Fibromyalgia News

Browse our library of news below or learn more about fibromyalgia symptoms, diagnosis and causes.

Whole30 and Paleo for Fibromyalgia: Science versus Anecdotal Success

Whole30 and Paleo for Fibromyalgia: Science versus Anecdotal SuccessThe internet is currently awash with chatter about fibromyalgia patients using the Whole30 diet as a therapy for their condition. Many have taken it upon themselves to adopt the dietary intervention after reading the testimonials of others but plenty more have been 'prescribed' it by nutritionists and even their rheumatologists in some cases. The science that it is of benefit however is far from clear cut.

The Whole30 diet is essentially a version of the Paleolithic diet, often referred to also as the 'Caveman Diet' or the 'Stone Age Diet'. It is based on the premise that our bodies are essentially the same as they were in Paleolithic times, evolutionarily speaking, thus we should be eating the same diet that our ancient ancesters did to atain or maintain optimal health. Indeed, this sounds like a logical approach to take and it's fairly safe to say it is a far healthier way to eat than the typical modern Western diet with its processed microwave meals and fast food. 

If the diet is to be recommended in the context of a therapy for a condition as painful, disabling and serious as fibromyalgia however, patients should expect this advice to be based on specific studies that prove its efficacy and safety. Having searched the main medical research databases it quickly becomes apparent that this is currently lacking.

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Fibromyalgia symptoms may be caused by treatable virus

Areas of pain and inflammation in fibromyalgia​An Alabama doctor believes fibromyalgia, related chronic pain syndromes and even digestive disorders have gastrointestinal viral infection at their heart. His planned Phase II anti-viral drug trial will put this theory to the test.

In the clinical trials that will start as early as February 2013, surgeon Dr. William Pridgen and colleagues will look at over 100 fibromyalgia patients in the hopes that Pridgen's theory is correct. In the best case scenario this would move the fibromyalgia community a step closer to a treatment option that targets the cause of symptoms rather than simply suppressing them as is the case with current painkilling and anti-inflammatory therapies.

Dr. Carol Duffy, a University of Alabama assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will assist Dr. Pridgen by analyzing lab results for specific immune system markers in the hope this will lead to a diagnostic tool for physicians.

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Underlying causes of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome may differ

Fibromyalgia patient sleeping​A new study suggests the underlying causes of the often co-existing medical conditions fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome may actually differ substantially - bucking the assumption that they are different manifestations of the same pathological processes.

Comparing symptoms experienced by patients of both illnesses it is obvious that they have much in common; in fact it is often a matter of whether pain or fatigue is more prominent that is used as the distinguishing factor. Add the fact that many patients appear to suffer from both conditions at the same time and it is easy to see why they are frequently considered to have similar causes and pathophysiologies.

Now, Dr. Benjamin Natelson, MD, head of the Pain & Fatigue Study Center at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, has published the results of a thorough review of the best current evidence to determine if this is truly the case. Dr. Natelson is an expert in neurology and the infectious and immunological causes of pain and fatigue and is considered one of the foremost experts on fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

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Fibromyalgia pain helped by low dose naltrexone (LDN)

Naltrexone CapsulesResults of a new study reported at the recent American Academy of Pain Medicine 28th Annual Meeting show that treatment with low-dose naltrexone (LDN) significantly reduces daily pain in those who suffer from fibromyalgia.

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist drug whose main use is in the treatment of drug addiction. However, when used at much lower dosages in the region of 1.5 to 4.5mg it has been found to modulate immune function and have beneficial effects on the brain. This has led to its use "off-label" for the treatment of a variety of autoimmune and other chronic diseases, from multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease, to chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

The discovery of the beneficial effects of LDN are attributed to Bernard Bihari, MD, a physician with a clinical practice in New York City, who in 1985 discovered its effects on the body's immune system helped aided HIV-positive patients. He soon found LDN was also beneficial for his patients with various forms of cancer and also those with autoimmune diseases such as lupus. Since then many other physicians have begun prescribing LDN for their patients but large scale, quality clinical trials and the official backing of the medical establishment have been lacking.

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Coenzyme Q10 supplements reduce fibromyalgia symptoms

Coenzyme Q10 CapsulesThe first study to look at the effectiveness of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplements in the treatment of fibromyalgia has had positive results and implicates oxidative stress as a contributing factor in the pain syndrome.

Supplementation with CoQ10 effectively raised blood levels of this vital substance in fibromyalgia patients, reduced oxidative stress, and brought clinical improvement in symptoms including fatigue, pain and migraines.

CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant and plays a key role in energy metabolism by acting as an electron carrier in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. It has been recommended to patients suffering from fibromyalgia by specialist doctors and nutritionists for many years and sufferers have also frequently self-treated with the supplement. With strong anecdotal evidence and logical rationale for its use it is perhaps surprising that no formal studies of CoQ10 as a treatment for fibromyalgia have been undertaken, until now.

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