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09/07/2007 08:04 AM

Fibromyalgia Am Fam Physician article



Authors SANGITA CHAKRABARTY, MD, MSPH, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee

ROGER ZOOROB, MD, MPH, Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

This appears to me quite a good article summarising the MEDICAL professionals current understanding of the condition.

I don't know about USA doctors but UK ones certainly don't have an accurate or up to date understanding of the role of Vitamin D in the body and therefore it's role as a natural anti inflammatory agent is overlooked. Much the same can also be said for OMEGA 3 and Magnesium.

You may find the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) useful as a way of presenting to your doctor or disability benefits advisor a summary of the way your condition limits your quality of life.


09/07/2007 02:45 PM

UK readers may find it interesting to compare the US Medical understanding and guidance with the UK official information provided to doctors.

Fibromyalgia Syndrome General Practice Notebook

What are the current diagnostic tests to confirm Fibromyalgia? What are the recommended treatments for Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia update

Again the approach seems to me to be a covering up of the symptoms rather than dealing with underlying problems.

09/07/2007 06:59 PM
Posts: 159

Great information Ted. Tell me, in the UK, is medical marijuana prescribed for the Fibro pain? Any other types of chronic pain? Just curious.


09/08/2007 02:10 AM

I am not aware that cannabiniods have been used for FMS in the UK. They are looking at using it for MS but I suspect that as finding it helpful would be policitally incorrect they will use a version do bereft of active ingredient that it will prove ineffective.

Sorry to be so cynical but I read so much Vitamin D research using the most ineffective version of Vitamin D and at trivial dose levels less than one 20th the amount your body actually needs daily that it seems some research is done simply to get the headline. This product is medically useless when those who are in the know would realise that using a trivial amount of the least effective form such research is doomed from the start.

Big Pharma aren't daft and when reading medical research you have got to look at what is really going on not just on the surface but at the political skullduggery that motivates it.

10/01/2007 09:46 AM
Posts: 1

Thank you. I really enjoyed that article. I am going to print it so that even my family members will understand more fully the disease. Excellent.

10/01/2007 01:35 PM
Posts: 467

Here's an interesting article regarding medical marijuana in general and its use specifically for MS and fibromyalgia I tied to upload the file but were not allowed to post PDF so here's the whole text-

the article is from the fall 2005 issue of

published by the multiple sclerosis society of King County.

Any article on medical treatments for such conditions as multiple sclerosis ideally should review its purpose, current applications and side effects. It should also include the results of clinical trials and tests. But in the case of medical marijuana, this scientific focus is almost completely obscured by smoke arising from the political struggle between opponents of this drug and those dedicated to erasing its stigma. Proponents of medical marijuana point out that it is beneficial for many types of medical conditions. Currently it is used to help reduce the nausea of cancer patients, decrease the severe weight loss of AIDS victims, provide relief from intraoccular blood pressure in people suffering from glaucoma, lessen the suffering for those experiencing the spasticity resulting from neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis,and giving relief to people with chronic pain. Set against this are the government agencies that insist that allowing medical marijuana is just the first step to legalizing it for everyone.Ever since the days of the 1950's propaganda film “Reefer Madness”, the U.S. government's political stand on marijuana use under any circumstance has been highly negative. Marijuana was banned in 1937 under federal law, even though the American Medical Society advised against this decision. At the time it was feared that the effects of marijuana use were similar to the dangerously addictive effects of opiates such as morphine and heroin. In 1970 the Controlled Sub-stances Act was passed, which classified drugs into groups based on their usefulness and potential for abuse. The classifications were Schedules I through V, with Schedule I drugs being the most dangerous with a high potential for abuse. Marijuana was placed into the Schedule I category, along with heroin and LSD, while drugs such as cocaine and morphine were placed in Schedule II. Numerous petitions to reschedule marijuana to level II have met with fierce resistance from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), even though most recent research indicates that marijuana does not have a high potential for abuse.The general fear in government circles seems to be that any measure which softens federal policy towards marijuana would be seen as a weakening of the “war on drugs” and that legitimizing marijuana as a medicine would pave the way to eventually legalize it. Opponents of medical marijuana also contend that the case to use marijuana as a prescription drug doesn't provide sufficient evidence as to its usefulness. The National MS Society states in its July 2005 “Medical Marijuana Update” that “there is not enough data to recommend cannabinoids in any form as a treatment for MS. Moreover,smoked marijuana, which contains many unknown compounds, is associated with serious long-term side effects, including lung damage.Well-tested, FDA-approved drugs are available to treat spasticity—including baclofen and tizanidine. They pose no threat to overall health.”Interestingly enough, a recent flood of research in this area is coming up with different findings. Both cannabis and cannabinoids(active compounds found in cannabis) are now being studied in FDA approved trials. Scientists have discovered that the body produces its own variety of cannabinoids and that the brain actually has specific cannabinoid receptors. This has prompted research into a number of areas to determine the potential usefulness of various cannabinoids. One study states, “Cannabinoids maybe useful for conditions that currently lack effective treatment, such as spasticity, tics and neuropathic pain.” Researchers from another study believe, “there is reasonable evidence for the therapeutical employment of cannabinoids in the treatment of MS related symptoms. Furthermore, data are arising that cannabinoids have immunomodulatory and neuroprotective properties.” Still other studies have offered encouraging results such as that cannabinoids can slow disease progression by inhibiting neurodegeneration, that they can modulate the function of immune cells, and that there may be a “proinflammatory, disease modifying potential of cannabinoids in MS.” Other studies found evidence that cannabinoids, “may offer benefits in the clinical management of trigeminal neuralgia,” and that conditions marked by an underlying endocannabinoid deficiency, such as migraine, fibromyalgia , IBS and related conditions may also be treated effectively with cannabinoid medicines. Almost all of the clinical trials reports recommend further studies with cannabis and cannabis extracts. Some of the tests found unwanted side effects derived from the psychoactive properties of cannabinoids, including sedation and anxiety, though they also indicated the effects are usually transient. One study suggested that the use of nonpsychoactive cannabinoids such as cannabidiol and dexanabinol may address the issue of unwanted side-effects. As smoked cannabis has all of the toxins of cigarettes, studies on alternate methods of delivery have been developed. In one study, supported by the Drug Policy Foundation, seven marijuana delivery devices were tested to determine which could best screen out smoked toxins while delivering the maximum amount of cannabinoids. Of these methods, vaporizers seemed to have the best delivery, with a 99%reduction in certain toxins as compared to marijuana smoke, while delivering substantial amounts of cannabinoids. Some researchers, however, have found their trials stalled because of restrictions imposed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which has a monopoly on the supply of research marijuana. Researchers complain that the marijuana provided through NIDA is lowpotency, and also that NIDA only makes its supply available to projects it approves. For example, one scientist tells of making a research grant application to study marijuana's potential medical benefits. NIDA turned it down. When that scientist rewrote the grant to emphasize finding marijuana's negative effects, the study was funded. NIDA has also refused to supply marijuana to two MAPS(Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies)-sponsored protocols that the FDA had already approved. In 2003, MAPS filed an application through the DEA with NIDA to buy 10 grams of marijuana (a tiny amount worth about $70) for their research. More than two years later,NIDA's decision is still pending, and MAPS has filed lawsuits against the DEA and HHS/NIH/NIDA for obstructing their medical marijuana research. Petitions to the DEA to allow the creation of another source of research-grade marijuana have also been delayed or denied. Many of these restrictions and delays would be removed by reassigning marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug, but all petitions to reschedule have been denied by the DEA and HHS. Many of these denials cite the lack of evidence through clinical trials of the medical usefulness of marijuana. The DEA, at the same time, continues to block efforts for the type of studies and clinical trials that would provide that evidence creating, in effect, a classic “Catch-22” situation.T his political hot-potato enters yet another level of complexity due to the battle between individual states to legalize marijuana for medical purposes and the federal government, which refuses to recognize those states' rights to regulate their own medical practices. In June 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government may still enforce national anti-drug laws in the states allowing medical marijuana use. One article noted that this decision effectively allows Congress to ignore state laws when deciding how to regulate marijuana.The continued stance of the government against any change in their current anti-marijuana policy is difficult to understand for those who are suffering from severe weight loss due to AIDS, the nausea of cancer treatments, spasticity and pain for those with MS and others who are unable to tolerate the side effects of approved drugs for their conditions.In 1988 DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young, after review-ing all the medical evidence, declared that marijuana is, “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man,” and stated in his recommendation that medical marijuana be reclassified to a Schedule II drug: “The overwhelming preponderance of the evidence in this record establishes that marijuana has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States…to conclude otherwise, on this record,would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious.” Judge Mark Polen, in State v Mussika, commented, “There is a pressing need for a more compassionate, humane law which clearly discriminates between the criminal conduct of those who socially abuse chemicals and the legitimate medical needs of seriously ill patients...” A 1995 editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association said,“We are not asking readers for immediate agreement with our affirmation that marijuana is medically useful, but we hope they will do more to encourage open and legal exploration of its potential.”Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to look beyond the emotion and rhetoric on this issue to finding safe and effective treatments for those with chronic conditions.

If you are interested in finding out more about medical marijuana,please contact Green Cross Patient Cooperative of Seattle (206-766-8155) or the Washington Alliance for Medical Marijuana (206-465-9862). If you would like a copy of the full article with references,check out our website( or call (206) 633-2606

Post edited by: bshapiro, at: 10/01/2007 18:38

10/01/2007 04:41 PM
Posts: 467

Post edited by: bshapiro, at: 10/01/2007 18:42

Grrrrr, wanted to post a Jpg of a couple of the tables (what works what doesn't) from the article but can't do it here & can't delete the post

Post edited by: bshapiro, at: 10/01/2007 18:47

10/01/2007 09:38 PM

i know it is probably politics.... but WHY aren't people listening?

12/03/2008 10:23 AM
Posts: 162

Ignorance and fear?

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