Fibromyalgia refers to a disorder that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems, fatigue, emotional and mental distress. Because of the abnormal pain perception processing, fibromyalgia patients might be more sensitive to pain compared to people without the disorder. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 4 million adults in the United States are affected by fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia include pain, stiffness all over the body, fatigue, tiredness, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, thinking problems, memory problems, concentration problems, headaches, and migraines. Other symptoms include tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, temporomandibular joint syndrome, and digestive problems.
Scientific research is still ongoing to determine the exact cause of fibromyalgia, but it is believed that it involves several factors which includes genetics, infections, and physical or emotional trauma.
Treatment of fibromyalgia helps in managing the pain. It is usually a combination of several methods which include lifestyle changes, pharmaceutical drugs, and physical therapy. To help with manage the pain, doctor usually recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.
Pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen are recommended to reduce the inflammation, minimize muscular aches, and improve sleep quality. However, usage of these over-the-counter pain relievers might cause side effects such as gastritis, heartburns, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, cramping, or rashes.
Antidepressants are also recommended by doctors because they help in easing the pain and fatigue. Usage of these drugs might cause side effects such as nausea, weight gain, and loss of sexual desire.
Anticonvulsants are mainly used for epileptic patients to manage seizures. However, anticonvulsants such as gabapentin might also be suggested for patients with fibromyalgia because of its ability to reduce nerve pains. However, it might cause side effects such as dizziness, weight gain, swelling, and dry mouth.
Fibromyalgia and Medical Marijuana
Initial studies have already shown that the compounds found in medical marijuana, namely cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, are beneficial to the human body and can help with various and numerous illnesses including pain relief. Which is why some fibromyalgia patients have tried managing pain and other systems with medical marijuana.