Thursday, September 20, 2012

Raising the roof on the article, “Fibromyalgia Patients Self-Medicating With Cannabis May Have Poor Mental Health Outcomes.”

I saw this article  (1), when it was first passed around the internet. Of course I looked for the abstract (2) as I always do, and the time has come for me to comment.

There are still people who don't believe fibromyalgia is real, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence otherwise.  This perception by the ignorant promotes low self esteem and depression, not fibromyalgia, as suggested in the report on the study involved.  

The Medical News Today, editor’s choice, does point out that the medications approved to treat fibromyalgia are under performing, so why are we not seeing comparative studies to see exactly what class of medications work best, including medical marijuana? Is our National Institute of Health willing to fund such research, and if not, why not?  Isn’t pharma biased in what studies they fund?

It is suggested in this article that those using medical cannabinoids for FM are of low socioeconomic status. What?  Moderate to severe pain greatly affects quality of life and knows NO socioeconomic boundaries.  The medications the FDA approved to treat FM potentiate cognitive deficit already known to exist in FM, create feelings of disconnection, and have far greater side effects than what has been reported in medical cannabis. Finding ways to avoid pain is a primal instinct, so why are such immoral, unethical statements regarding socioeconomic status made? Is it possible that those who use medical marijuana to control their pain so they can remain in the workforce are unwilling to participate in such studies?  Can you blame them with the current level of thinking the way it is? 

The editor’s choice suggests FM patients were taking opioids and some drinking alcohol.  I would imagine each of us knows patients on more than one medication to treat their fibromyalgia.  I imagine there are more people taking antidepressants that drink alcohol even though it is contraindicated. Do personal experiences allow us to dictate how someone else lives their life?  Last time I checked alcohol is legal for people over 21 in most states; and laws are different from state to state, and our government if fine with letting states regulate alcohol, but not medical marijuana?  Wasn't our great nation founded on rights to choose? 

Let’s report on all the studies, for instance, Fiz, et al, 2011 (3) found cannabis to be helpful in treatment FM pain. A published article reviewing the research indicates efficacy (potential benefits) in all chronic pain. (4). There is a line in the sand and neither side is all right nor all wrong, yet neither group is willing to cross the barriers of their own underpinnings.  This equates metaphorically to dropping the chronic pain patient in the deep blue sea without any regard to life and limb. Medical marijuana is legal in 17 states and DC, (5), and seven states have it on their ballot (6), so why is marijuana referred to as illicit in this report? I wish I could see more than an abstract to determine if this is reporter’s judgment.  Maybe we should all watch the documentary at Topdocumentary films: Medical Cannibus. (8)

Medical marijuana, opioids, anti-depressants, or anti-seizure medications, may not work for everyone, the later have had underwhelming results, while the former have long been known to be powerful analgesics, still each should be considered on an individual basis, considering personal belief systems and outcome. Should we demand the FDA approve Nabilone (8) for treatment of FM? Could cannabinoids be a natural alternative, leaving all the others in the dust?  

We are in the room people. We work very hard to integrate self-help therapies such as stretching, meditation, bodywork therapies, acupuncture, trigger point treatments, balanced nutrition, and journaling.  We have become experts on using helpful tools to deal with memory problems, physical restrictions, sleep disruption, preserving relationships and managing comorbid disorders. (If you aren’t doing these things, get our book now!).  Many of us participate in talk therapy, biofeedback, energy therapies, and hypnosis. Our lives are accompanied by ice packs, heating pads, TENS units, theracanes, tennis balls, topical analgesics, herbal and supplement trials, and a lifestyle that has been altered to minimize our pain. We are learning to redefine our lives to accommodate chronic pain and fatigue, and the financial hardship it brings.  

We deserve to be treated respectfully, and therapeutically.  We should not be impounded by the judgments and criticisms of others who have yet to walk a mile in our moccasins, nor should we be controlled and scrutinized by those whose goals are to make a buck off of our demise.  

We should all be fighting for the right of passionate, ethical, safe and effective management of pain that is shaped within our own conceptual framework, our personal beliefs.  Managing pain should be without judgment, it is a primal instinct, and words that depict crime should be a crime.

In healing and hope, Celeste  

(1)   Fibromyalgia Patients Self-Medicating With Cannabis May Have Poor Mental Health Outcomes.”  Medical News Today. Jul, 2012

(2)   Ste-Marie PA, Fitzcharles MA, Gamsa A, Ware MA, Shir Y. Association of herbal cannabis use with negative psychosocial parameters in patients with fibromyalgia. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Aug;64(8):1202-8. doi: 10.1002/acr.21732.

(3)   Fiz J, Durán M, Capellà D, Carbonell J, Farré M. Cannabis use in patients with fibromyalgia: effect on symptoms relief and health-related quality of life. PLoS One. 2011 Apr 21;6(4):e18440.

(4)   Lynch ME, Campbell F. Cannabinoids for treatment of chronic non-cancer pain; a systematic review of randomized trials. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Nov;72(5):735-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2011.03970.x.

(7)   Top documentary films: Medical Cannibus

(8)   Ware MA, Fitzcharles MA, Joseph L, Shir Y. The effects of nabilone on sleep in fibromyalgia: results of a randomized controlled trial. Anesth Analg. 2010 Feb 1;110(2):604-10. Epub 2009 Dec 10.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your symapthy... it is much appreciated...

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