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Other symptoms can include tingling of the skin, muscle spasms, limb weakness, nerve pain, muscle twitching, palpitations, bowel disturbances, and sleep disturbances. Because of the plethora of symptoms that can fall under the mantle of a fibromyalgia diagnosis and the lack of scientific consensus on its cause or specific physical findings or lab abnormalities that define the disease, there are some physicians who do not accept fibromyalgia as a defined syndrome. In my own anecdotal experience, this number seems to be decreasing.

As you might be able to guess, because fibromyalgia is a syndrome of unclear etiology with a wide variety of physical complaints, widely varying severity, and a clinical course that waxes and wanes, it is a woo magnet. As I pointed out back in August when I described a deceptively framed study of tai chi in fibromyalgia:. These sorts of conditions are the most frustrating of conditions to deal with, particularly for patients but also for doctors.

Not surprisingly, patients are neither happy nor satisfied with this, nor should they be. In , a systematic review of the most recently used conventional drugs for fibromyalgia was published in a leading scientific journal Clauw, Although some drugs had beneficial effects, the author acknowledged the significant limitations of these benefits and the need to utilize other treatment options. The article cited by Ullman was indeed published in Nature Reviews Rheumatology.

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However, the article by Daniel Clauw was in actuality describing a study published in a less prestigious journal, The Journal of Pain. What Dana cited was the commentary, not the original study. Dana also cherry-picked some quotes from Dr.

Homeopathy for fibromyalgia: The Huffington Post bombs again

The authors concluded that the three drugs were superior to placebo for all outcomes noted above, with the exceptions of duloxetine for fatigue, milnacipran for sleep disturbance, and pregabalin for depressed mood. When individuals have a favorable response to any of these drugs, they typically improve across many symptom domains. This is, of course, just Dana being Dana. It is also undeniably true that, advances over the last decade or so notwithstanding, we still have a long way to go in developing effective and safe treatments with few side effects for fibromyalgia patients.

But does our current lack of highly effective treatments imply that we should be open to using homeopathy to treat fibromyalgia? Before I move on to the discussion of the best evidence that Dana can produce for the use of homeopathy in fibromyalgia, I always find it instructive to see how a homeopath defines homeopathy, as Dana does here:.

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Each medicine is prescribed for its capacity to cause, if given in overdose to healthy people, symptoms similar to those that the sick person is experiencing. Perhaps most gratifying of all, Ullman admits:.

Pain killer?? Homeopathic pain killer??analgesic?

The fact that people with fibromyalgia tend to have sometimes slightly or overtly differing symptoms from each other is no significant problem for homeopathic treatment. In fact, homeopathic treatment tends to be easier when patients have idiosyncratic or unusual symptoms. Before we do, one should note that, as Kimball Atwood has pointed out time and time again, RCTs can be wrong. The key word is appears. The first study PDF here cited by Ullman is actually somewhat interesting. It tested a 6C dilution, which is only a 10 12 -fold dilution, of Rhus toxicodendron. That means that, unlike most homeopathic remedies, there is actually some active substance left, which makes it possible, albeit unlikely, that whatever extract was in the homeopathic remedy might actually have a pharmacological effect.

It was also a very small study 30 patients , which are exactly the sorts of studies that are most likely to have a false positive result. Next, Ullman cites four papers by Bell et al at the University of Arizona. Two of the studies were published in real journals here and here , two in the woo journal Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine , whose history of publishing dubious CAM research makes it an unreliable source, at best.

These studies are also fairly underwhelming, as is the trial by Relton et al published last year. For one thing, all the studies by Bell et al suffer from low numbers of patients, as usual. Whenever someone like Dr. Bell publishes a flurry of papers in a single year and then nothing for six years after, it always raises red flags. Specifically, it makes me wonder whether Dr. In the end, all Ullman has are a handful of studies, all of them relatively small, all of them with not particularly convincing results.

As Edzard Ernst put it in his recent systematic review of homeopathy for the treatment of fibromyalgia , which includes a discussion of each of the RCTs cited by Ullman:. Even though our searches were thorough, we cannot be sure that all relevant RCTs were located. Negative studies tend to remain unpublished [24].

This bias could therefore have distorted the overall picture. All the four RCTs tested different homoeopathic treatments or approaches; this means that no independent replication of any of the tested approaches exists. The paucity and, at times, disappointing quality of the available RCTs render firm conclusions problematic.

Homeopathic Research and Treatment of Fibromyalgia – Naturopathic Doctor News and Review

In summary, the findings of the four existing RCTs all favour homoeopathy over controls. Others may suffer from a sensation of numbness in their limbs. For some, the pain may be worse in the morning, while others may experience difficulties in the evening. Another factor that makes Fibromyalgia a chronic and difficult condition to live with is that it tends to deter people from being active.

This in turn causes the muscles to weaken, which makes activity even more problematic. The lack of mobility, weakened state and difficulty sleeping which are brought on by this illness can contribute to a general state of depression. Persons afflicted with Fibromyalgia may begin losing hope, mainly because they do not feel as if they have control of their own bodies, or lives.

Homeopathic Medicine can be an excellent treatment therapy for those with Fibromyalgia. There are several different remedies which can help alleviate the pain, sleep deprivation, and depression associated with this condition. However, it is also important to note that the success of each individual case will differ dependent upon several factors, such as age, the severity of the illness, and quantity of treatments. The first remedy worth discussing is Arnica. While it is not a feasible long-term solution for Fibromyalgia, it can be quite effective for those suffering from aching, or throbbing pains in the muscles.

A potency of 30CH, twice a day will suffice. The next remedy is Bryonia. This prescription is particularly successful in cases where the individual is suffering from stitching or tearing pains in their muscles and ligaments. Medium to low doses, such as 30CH or CH, are best but this may vary depending on the case.

Calcarea carbonica is another excellent remedy for Fibromyalgic symptoms. It is prescribed when the patient suffers from muscle soreness and weakness.

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  7. Calcarea cases also experience fatigue with great ease, as well as feeling overwhelmed. Causticum is also worth mentioning. This remedy is recommended for those who have stiffness in the muscles which worsens with the cold. It is also a good treatment for muscles that constantly feel contracted, as well as restless legs. Low or medium potencies are the most common prescription. For individuals who have a general feeling of restlessness combined with stiffness and soreness, Rhus-tox is a great remedy. It is also suggested for those who experience the most pain in the morning, and who feel alleviated with movement, such as walking or stretching.

    Once again, medium or low doses are best. All cases of Fibromyalgia are different, and each treatment must be tailored to each specific patient. The use of medium or low doses when treating this condition serves a direct purpose; in almost all cases, Fibromyalgia is a chronic issue, meaning that treatment may be prolonged.

    Taking this into consideration, it is best to prescribe lower doses of homeopathic medicine over a longer period of time, so as not to over-stimulate the body too quickly which would render the remedy ineffective. By treating the case slowly and with lower doses, the progress of the patient can be carefully monitored, and any necessary adjustments can be made. For more information, contact your homeopathic practitioner. Established in , Vitality magazine is one of Canada's largest publications on natural health, alternative medicine, and green living.

    All advice provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, or serve as a substitute for professional medical or psychological advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment.