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Will LDN therapy improve the quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia?

MedExpress Team

Dr n. med. Marek Derkacz

Published May 5, 2023 11:38

 Will LDN therapy improve the quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia?  - Header image
Fot. arch. red.
Fibromyalgia is a disease that is characterized by chronic pain in the muscles and soft tissues. Its symptoms also include fatigue and muscle stiffness. This disease occurs primarily in middle-aged women, and its causes are still not fully understood. In Poland, fibromyalgia is diagnosed based on the ACR (American College of Rheumatology) criteria, which require the presence of pain in at least 11 out of 18 characteristic pain points. In addition to the pain and fatigue that occur in this disease, fibromyalgia can also cause sleep disturbances, mood disorders, and problems with memory and concentration.

In the treatment of fibromyalgia, pharmacological therapy, physiotherapy and psychotherapy are used. It is extremely important that people with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia receive appropriate support from doctors and loved ones, to whom it is necessary to explain exactly what the disease is and what it can do. show symptoms, as well as warn about the ineffectiveness of treatment and its chronic nature. People suffering from fibromyagia should have easy access to appropriate forms of therapy to help them cope with the disease. Unfortunately, a common problem is misdiagnosis, which translates into the lack or improper treatment of this disease that hinders everyday functioning.Fibromyalgia is a disease that can be and is quite often misdiagnosed as other conditions due to the similarity of symptoms. Often, women complaining of pain in places typical of fibromyalgia are considered as hypochondriacs for whom the recommended treatment are sedatives. Most often hydroxyzine or benzodiazepines that can be addictive. It is worth remembering, that the diseases that are often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia include diseases that rheumatologists treat i.e. rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus and ankylosing spondylitis. It happens that fibromyalgia is confused with stiff man syndrome - a severe neurological disease characterized by, among others, strong and painful muscle contractions. In the case of symptoms such as generalized musculoskeletal pain and increased sensitivity to tactile stimuli, it is worth consulting an experienced specialist in order to exclude other diseases and make a correct diagnosis. It is also worth remembering that fibromyalgia can accompany other diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome or Hashimoto's disease. Thus, patients with fibromyalgia may also be patients of endocrinologists or gastroenterologists, who very often also specialize in internal medicine, which increases the chance that they will be able to make the correct diagnosis when treating diseases typical of their specific specialization. In April this year, the Australian Journal of General Practice published a scientific publication entitled: "Low-dose naltrexone in the treatment of fibromyalgia: A systematic review and narrative synthesis”. The authors of the article reviewed the literature published so far to assess the effectiveness of low-dose naltrexone therapy (LDN therapy) in the treatment of fibromyalgia and to highlight potential challenges and future directions in this field. Fibromyalgia, as the researchers write, is a multifaceted disorder that poses a serious challenge to healthcare professionals. Unfortunat...

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