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25/Nov/2022

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you know that it can be a debilitating condition that causes fatigue, pain, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues and brain fog. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for fibromyalgia, but there are many natural treatments that can help lessen your symptoms. Here are 10 natural ways to treat fibromyalgia:

Rest and relaxation:

Getting enough rest is crucial for people with fibromyalgia. Taking breaks during the day and getting a good night’s sleep can help reduce fatigue and pain.
A study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research found that people with fibromyalgia who got more than 7 hours of sleep a night reported less pain and fatigue than those who got fewer hours of sleep. Furthermore, a study published in the journal PLoS One found that people with fibromyalgia who participated in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program had reduced levels of fatigue and pain. This suggests that relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation may help improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue and pain in people with fibromyalgia.

Exercise:

Although it may seem counterintuitive, exercise is actually one of the best things you can do for fibromyalgia. There is significant evidence to support exercise for fibromyalgia.
One study showed that a 12-week program of aerobic and resistance training improved pain, fatigue, and sleep quality in women with fibromyalgia. A review of 16 studies found that exercise was associated with significantly reduced pain intensity and improved physical function in people with fibromyalgia.
Another study showed that aquatic exercise was beneficial for reducing pain, fatigue, and improving mental health in people with fibromyalgia. Walking appears to be the most beneficial form of exercise for people with fibromyalgia, but any type of exercise that is gentle and can be sustained for a moderate amount of time is likely to be helpful. It is important to start slowly and build up gradually, listening to your body to see how much you can handle. Taking rest days when needed is also important.

Diet:

Eating a healthy diet is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for people with fibromyalgia. Some foods that are beneficial for people with fibromyalgia include omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium-rich foods, and probiotic-rich foods. One thing to avoid is trigger foods that can make symptoms worse. Common trigger foods include caffeine, alcohol, processed food, and sugar.

Supplements:

Clinical trials have shown that omega-3 supplements can be helpful for people with fibromyalgia. One study found that omega-3 supplements improved pain, fatigue, and quality of life in participants with fibromyalgia. Another study showed that omega-3 supplements reduced tenderness in the muscles of people with fibromyalgia.
Magnesium supplements have also been shown to be helpful for people with fibromyalgia. One study found that magnesium supplements improved pain and tenderness in the muscles of participants with fibromyalgia. Another study showed that magnesium supplements improved fatigue and sleep quality in participants with fibromyalgia.
Vitamin D supplements have also been shown to be helpful for people with fibromyalgia. One study found that vitamin D supplements improved pain and fatigue in participants with fibromyalgia. Another study showed that vitamin D supplements improved quality of life in participants with fibromyalgia.
Finally, turmeric supplements have been shown to be helpful for people with fibromyalgia. One study found that turmeric supplements improved pain, fatigue, and depression symptoms in participants with fibromyalgia. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.

Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for pain, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia in a number of clinical trials. For example, a trial published in the journal Rheumatology International in 2012 found that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture in reducing pain and fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia.
Additionally, a trial published in the journal Pain Medicine in 2013 found that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture in reducing pain severity and improving function in patients with fibromyalgia. These and other clinical trials provide strong evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.

Massage:

Massage therapy can help relieve pain by improving circulation and relaxing tense muscles. It can also help reduce stress and promote better sleep.
Research has shown that massage therapy can be an effective treatment for pain relief in people with fibromyalgia. A study published in the journal Pain Medicine in 2016 found that massage therapy was associated with a significant reduction in pain intensity and improvement in fatigue and sleep quality in people with fibromyalgia.
Another study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2017 found that massage therapy was associated with a reduction in pain, anxiety, and depression symptoms in people with fibromyalgia. These findings suggest that massage therapy may be helpful for managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Cannabis:

Cannabis has been shown to be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology found that cannabis was more effective than conventional therapies in treating pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances in people with fibromyalgia. The study participants who used cannabis reported significant improvements in all measures of fibromyalgia severity, including pain intensity, fatigue, and cognitive function.
A 2017 study published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology found that cannabis was associated with significant reductions in pain and fatigue levels, as well as improved sleep quality. The study participants who used cannabis also reported significant improvements in quality of life.
Based on the evidence, it appears that cannabis may be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms. Cannabis is safe and easy to use, and it may provide significant relief for people who suffer from this debilitating condition.

Aromatherapy:

Aromatherapy has been shown to be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia. A study published in the journal Pain Management Nursing found that aromatherapy with lavender oil improved pain, fatigue, and sleep quality in people with fibromyalgia.
Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that aromatherapy with lemon balm oil improved pain, anxiety, and quality of life in people with fibromyalgia.
A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that aromatherapy with bergamot oil improved pain and tenderness in people with fibromyalgia.
A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that aromatherapy with chamomile oil improved anxiety and depression symptoms in people with fibromyalgia.

Laser therapy:

Laser therapy is a beneficial treatment for Fibromyalgia. It increases circulation, which helps to reduce pain and promote healing. Additionally, laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that is relatively painless.
A study published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” in 2009 found that laser therapy was able to improve pain, fatigue, and function in people with Fibromyalgia.
Additionally, a study published in “PLoS One” in 2013 found that laser therapy was able to reduce pain and improve quality of life in people with Fibromyalgia. These studies provide evidence that laser therapy may be an effective treatment for Fibromyalgia.

Intravenous vitamins and minerals:

One potential treatment for fibromyalgia is intravenous vitamin and mineral infusion. This treatment bypasses digestion and allows the vitamins and minerals to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream. The use of intravenous vitamin and mineral infusion for the treatment of fibromyalgia has been supported by a number of clinical trials.
A randomized, controlled trial published in 2011 found that the treatment was effective in reducing pain and fatigue in people with fibromyalgia. A study published in 2012 found that the infusion was associated with a significant improvement in quality of life and sleep quality.
Another study published in 2014 found that the infusion was associated with a reduction in tender points and improved self-reported pain scores. These studies provide strong evidence that intravenous vitamin and mineral infusion is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for natural ways to treat Fibromyalgia, there are many options available. Some of these include: rest and relaxation techniques, exercise, diet, supplements, acupuncture, massage, cannabis, laser therapy and intravenous vitamins and minerals. It is important to speak to your naturopathic doctor about which natural therapies might be best for you. With so many options available, there is sure to be a treatment that can help improve your symptoms and quality of life.

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06/Oct/2022

Introduction

You may have seen people getting IV therapy and wondered what it was all about. IV therapy is the administration of vitamins and minerals through an IV, or intravenous, drip. The vitamins and minerals are infused directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. This allows for higher absorption of the nutrients than if they were taken orally.
IV therapy has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including cancer, migraine, inflammatory bowel disease, and infections. Proponents of IV therapy claim that it can boost energy levels, improve immunity, and help the body recover from illness and injury more quickly. But does IV therapy really work? Let’s take a closer look.

How Does IV Therapy Work?

IV therapy is thought to work by providing high concentrations of nutrients that can be rapidly absorbed by the body. When these nutrients are infused directly into the bloodstream, they bypass the digestive system, which can sometimes limit absorption when taking oral supplements.
The intravenous route also allows for higher doses of nutrients than would be possible with oral supplementation. For example, when taking a vitamin C supplement orally, only a small percentage of it is actually absorbed by the body. However, when given as an IV infusion, concentrations of vitamin C in the blood can increase to levels that are not achievable through oral supplementation alone.

What Are The Benefits Of IV Therapy?

IV therapy is claimed to offer a number of benefits, including improved immunity, increased energy levels, and faster recovery from illness and injury.

Dehydration

One of the most well-known benefits of IV therapy is its ability to treat or prevent dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. This can lead to symptoms like fatigue, headache, dry skin, and dizziness.
Dehydration can also cause more serious problems like heat stroke and kidney failure. IV fluids can help rehydrate your body and relieve some of these symptoms.

Migraine

Another common use for IV therapy is to treat migraine headaches. Migraines are a type of headache that is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. A study published in 2012 found that patients who received magnesium sulfate through an IV had fewer migraines than those who received placebo treatments .

Cancer

IV therapy is also sometimes used as a treatment for cancer . While there is no cure for cancer yet , research has shown that high doses of certain vitamins and minerals may help improve quality of life for cancer patients and even improve survival rates. Vitamin C, for example, has been shown to kill cancer cells in test tubes . It’s also been shown to reduce fatigue, pain, nausea, and vomiting in cancer patients. Other vitamins and minerals that have been studied include selenium, CoQ10, curcumin, B vitamins, and vitamin D . However, more research is needed to confirm whether or not these nutrient infusions are effective treatments for cancer.

Immune Booster

IV therapy can also be used to boost immunity. If you frequently get sick or feel run down, IV therapy can help give your immune system a much-needed boost. Vitamins C and D are both essential for immune health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and has been shown to reduce the risk of respiratory infections.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Most people tolerate IV therapy well and do not experience any side effects. However, some people may experience mild side effects such as bruising or soreness at the injection site. more serious side effects are rare but could include allergic reactions or blood clots.

Conclusion

If you’re considering trying IV therapy, it’s important to speak with your doctor first. IV therapy is not without risks; for example, it can lead to dehydration or an infection if not done properly. That being said, there is some promising research to suggest that IV therapy may be an effective treatment option for certain conditions. If you and your doctor decide that IV therapy is right for you, be sure to choose a reputable provider like myself who has experience administering treatments.

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16/Mar/2018

Why get a license?

I want to tell you how to obtain a license for Medical Marijuana. Every month I see a handful of patients who are trying to medicate with unregulated cannabis obtained either through “a guy” or a local illegal dispensary. The problem with this approach is that you are buying an unregulated product, meaning you cannot guarantee its purity, quality, potency, and cannabinoid profile.

There are some decent products out there but largely its hit and miss and perhaps the most frequent complaint is a lack of consistency from batch to batch. Its funny how patients will be shy about discussing use of medical marijuana with me and yet will go to a complete stranger for their medication. A growing part of my practice is convincing patients to transition from their “street weed” to a proper regulated medical marijuana product.

Although, as a Naturopathic Doctor, I am not able to directly prescribe medical marijuana in Ontario, I am fortunate to have a good professional relationship with a licensing clinic and am writing an average of 3-5 patient referrals per week. Most licensing clinics will require a referral from a healthcare professional.

How to get a license

The process is quite simple: a patient will come in either having experience with cannabis or will be curious as to whether cannabis can help them. I will then preform an assessment, including a health history and short physical exam, in order to determine if they would benefit from cannabis. A referral is then made to the licensing clinic. The licensing clinic then calls the patient to setup an appointment to get a license for access to medical marijuana. Once setup with an account the patient then does all their ordering online through a regulated distributor such as Tweed, Aphria, Tilray or MedRelief.

These regulated grower/distributors have an excellent selection of strains and oils with varying cannabinoid concentrations and terpene profiles. Most importantly, the purity and potency are guaranteed and there is very high consistency from batch to batch. Therefore, if you find a strain or oil that works for you, you can pretty much guarantee it will work the same way every time you order it.

Common conditions for referral

The most common conditions I write referrals for are: Insomnia, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Pain, Migraine, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, PTSD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Cancer, Fibromyalgia and Neurological Conditions with painful spasms.

The environment in Canada with regard to cannabis is going to change as we approach legalization, but until that happens I would advise you that it is usually better to consume regulated medicines, this medication just happens to be marijuana.

 

For more great articles and information on cannabis and CBD check out the link below:CBD Oil Room


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31/Oct/2017

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, (CED), was first introduced by Dr. Ethan Russo M.D. a neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher and former advisor to GW pharmaceuticals. The theory of CED is based on the concept that many neurological conditions are associated with neurotransmitter deficiencies, for example, a deficiency in dopamine with Parkinson’s disease. Subsequently, an endocannabinoid deficiency might be present in some disorders sharing predictable clinical features.

 

All humans possess an underlining endocannabinoid system governed by two primary compounds; Anandamide (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These are compounds naturally made in our body that interact with the same receptors marijuana and associated cannabinoids act upon. It is known through various studies that when endocannabinoid tone is decrease there is a lower pain threshold, disrupted digestion, mood and sleep disturbances. A deficiency of endocannabinoids can be caused by genetics, injury or disease.

Migraine

There is evidence for CED in several treatment resistant syndromes, most notably in Migraine, Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. All three present with: heightened pain sensitivity, mood disruption, and comorbidities. One study in chronic migraine sufferers discovered a statistically significant difference in endocannabinoid concentration within the cerebral spinal fluid of chronic migraine sufferers vs. non-migraine sufferers. With migraine there is a strong association between endocannabinoids and blood vessel dilation, a key component of the propagation of migraine. Furthermore activation of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor decreases pain fiber activity in the sensory nerves of the face and head.

Endocannabinoid levels in Migraine Cerebral Spinal Fluid

It is worth noting that Cannabis was a mainstay treatment of migraine for a century between 1843 and 1943. A study from 2016 looked at the effects of medical marijuana on migraine headache frequency in adults. Headaches diminished from 10.4 to 4.6 attacks per month and overall 85.1% had decreased migraine frequency.

Fibromyalgia

Much like Migraine, Fibromyalgia is associated with hyperalgesia. In an uncontrolled trial of nine patients Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was administered in doses of 2.5-15mg a day for 3 months. Unfortunately 5 patients left the study early due to secondary THC side effects but those completing had marked reductions in subjective pain visual analog scales (VAS) 8.1 at start to 2.8 after 3 months. A survey of 1300 respondents called the National Pain Report from 2014 demonstrated that marijuana was the most effective treatment for Fibromyalgia compared to Duloxetine, Pregabalin and Milnacipran.

Cannabis treatment in Migraine
Cannabis most efficacious in Fibromyalgia

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Another syndrome suspected of CED is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The role of the endocannabinoid system in the gut is to regulate propulsion, secretion and inflammation. Cannabis was one of the first medications used for secretory diarrhea associated with cholera. A study done in 2007 demonstrated that endocannabinoids AEA and 2-AG influences the contractile force in the muscle fibers of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies also have demonstrated that there are increased levels of immunoreactive nerve fibers (TRPV1) causing pain and hypersensitivity in IBS. Cannabidiol (CBD) seems to increase AEA, which in turn reduces the activity of TRPV1. In 2007 a randomized control trial of 52 normal patients were given a single dose of 7.5mg THC. The outcome on the gastrointestinal tract was increased colonic compliance, inhibited postprandial tone, and a trend toward relaxation of fasting colonic tone.

There are a number of other conditions demonstrating evidence for CED, including motion sickness, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Conclusion

There is good evidence for disruption of the endocannabinoid system in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, IBS and many other neurological and psychiatric syndromes. Besides a wealth of anecdotal benefit, there exists some clinical evidence to support cannabinoids as a safe and effective treatment in these conditions. We also need to come to terms with the fact that effective medications are lacking in these conditions. An obvious shortcoming of past studies is the use of single cannabinoids for treatment such as THC. I am certain that future studies incorporating a more complete cannabinoid profile, including CBD, as a treatment approach will have far better outcomes and far fewer side effects. Lifestyle choices also play an important role in endocannabinoid function, specifically low-impact aerobic exercise. Multimodal approaches including diet, lifestyle and cannabinoid therapy will ultimately be the best approach in CED syndromes.

 

At my clinic I have repeatedly seen the benefits of cannabinoid therapy in these syndromes. After an initial assessment, if indicated, patients are referred to a medical cannabis clinic for registration under a licensed producer under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).


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25/Oct/2016

THC and CBD the ABC’s of Medical Marijuana

The perspective of a Naturopathic Doctor

 

As a practicing Naturopathic Doctor, I have understandably been occupying a front row seat in what has become one of today’s hot topic health issues; the use of medical marijuana. I have seen a trend recently in my patients; they’re dropping the conventional pain medications and experimenting with the unquestionably still taboo, cannabis. Two things seem to be driving this phenomenon: traditional pain medications aren’t doing the trick anymore and there is a curiosity about this promising although misunderstood plant.

Professionally, I too have been very curious about the medical applications of marijuana. For years patients would confide in me and share their experiences with using different preparations of cannabis. One of the usual preparations is “hemp oil”, which can contain a significant amount of a cannabinoid called CBD. Hemp oil may have been dismissed as folk remedy; however, with the recent surge in medical marijuana use prompting an educated examination of a potential effective therapy. I can now appreciate that hemp oil is a way to reap the benefits of cannabis without getting intoxicated.

There are thousands of articles on the web that explain in depth what the different components of marijuana are and how they differ in pharmacology and therapeutic applications. The point of this article is not to give a thesis but rather present a concise easy to grasp understanding of what those components do in the body and why cannabis in one form or another should be considered as a first choice medicine.

Before presenting the different types and components of marijuana, I would like to give this article some context and legitimacy by introducing myself, and my medical background. I am a Naturopathic Doctor and have been in private practice for just over 7 years in Toronto Canada. Over the past 4 years my practice has focused on the treatment of pain, debilitating neurological conditions and cancer. This really sets the stage as the first few regulated cannabis medications in Canada, namely Nabilone and Sativex, were approved for neuropathic pain, spasticity and nausea associated with cancer treatment and multiple sclerosis; both of which I see more consistently than the average naturopathic doctor. Naturally I started having patients that had experience with these medications or who were experimenting with unregulated forms of cannabis.

A watershed moment in my practice occurred when I began treating a 10-year-old girl that had suffered a stroke. I thought she would benefit from cannabis but at the same time was hesitant about subjecting her to the hallucinogenic properties of THC. Fortuitously around that very same time I viewed a CNN Sanjay Gupta report about a low THC / high CBD strain of marijuana called “charlottes web”. Treatment with this strain had been helping a young girl with a rare debilitating condition associated with frequent seizures. My young patient didn’t have seizures but had chronic high muscle tone as is also seen during seizures. The report also mentioned how CBD is not hallucinogenic. I was certainly intrigued as to the potential efficacy of this treatment and devoted both time and resources in understanding medical cannabis and CBD. As a result of this study and promising results, I now recommend CBD regularly in my practice. Now let’s take a step back and understand what CBD is and what does it do.

Although there are thousands of potentially therapeutic compounds in cannabis, research has really focused on two: THC and CBD. Depending on the sex and strain of the cannabis some will be higher or lower in one compound than the other.

THC is what gets you high. It acts on cannabinoid receptors in the body and brain with the result of inducing the perception altering experience that marijuana is known for. Along with the “high”, research has pointed out that there are definite pain lowering and mood enhancing properties of THC. However; there are some concerns with THC as it may impact learning in the developing brain, may trigger a psychotic episode in individuals predisposed to schizophrenia and impacts the users ability to carry out daily living tasks such as operating machinery and driving.

CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis that can comprise up to 40% of the active cannabinoids in marijuana. Although large doses of CBD in my experience can induce an intense feeling of relaxation there are no perception altering effects from even the highest doses of CBD. Research into this curious compound has pointed out that rather than binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body, as does THC, CBD for the most part blocks activity at these receptors and exerts most of its effect at a receptor called 5-HT1a. The 5-HT1a-receptor is linked to serotonin activity.

The overall effect of CBD in the complicated milieu of the human body is that it is anti-inflammatory, mood enhancing, offers protection for the nervous system, promotes relaxation, anti-spasmodic and negates some of the unwanted side-effects of THC consumption. CBD has even been shown to prolong the beneficial effects of THC by increasing the body’s amount of cannabinoid receptors. Furthermore, there has yet to be any evidence for negative side effects or toxicity even at very high doses of CBD per day. CBD research is currently exploring promising therapeutic effect in epilepsy, dementia, migraine and cancer. So all in all it’s a pretty impressive compound.

Now you may be wondering; “how do I get CBD?” – do I need a prescription and is it legal? Technically in Canada any derivative of Marijuana including THC and CBD is classified as a schedule 2-drug and can only be legally obtained with a prescription from a medical doctor. Personally I find it frustrating that Naturopathic Doctors, who receive 4 years of training in botanical medicine, are restricted from prescribing marijuana (a botanical last time I checked) whereas the responsibility falls on medical doctors who typically have no training in prescribing botanical preparations. Fortunately hemp, which is part of the cannabis family, is high in CBD, low in THC and in some cases legal (The legality of the extraction depends on factors such as THC levels and what part of the plant is used).

There are now many companies which specialize in CBD preparations derived from hemp and do not require a prescription from a medical doctor. Unfortunately the CBD on the market continues to be a bit pricey per milligram ($1/10mg) since a therapeutic dose often starts at around 40mg all the way up to 200mg per day. Hopefully in the future we will start to see some higher potency, cheaper preparations of CBD.

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I offer the following personal and professional perspective to both botanical medicines as a whole and specifically CBD. Medicines derived from whole botanicals are a complex collection of thousands of compounds. Often we really only have an understanding of a few of those compounds and that is what disorients many practitioners, especially medical doctors. However, I believe we should appreciate the complexity of botanical medicines precisely because our own physiology is just as complex. Pharmaceutical preparations are very specific in their composition and action in the body. Our bodies are not built that way and that is why we often see side effects with pharmaceutical preparations.

Certainly I do not claim that there are no side effects with botanical medicines, but it is a fact that there are far fewer. Pharmaceutical medicines have a definite time and place in specific treatment but we should not be frightened to use botanical medicines because it is their complexity that often make them safer for prolonged use proving for a more balanced therapeutic effect.

During my relatively short period of recommending CBD, I have seen the benefits in: Pain, Sleep, Focus and Rigidity. I work with a great deal of patients who have suffered from neurological injuries (Spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke) and neurological disease (Multiple Sclerosis, Transverse Myelitis, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, Migraine, Fibromyalgia). I have witnessed more than half of these clients taper down or completely come off of several pain medications including addictive opioid medications and manage their symptoms more effectively with a combination of THC and CBD.

I have a number of patients who after several years of insomnia return to a normal sleep pattern with a therapeutic program that includes CBD. Many of my clients with high tone and muscle rigidity experience a relaxation response within minutes of taking CBD. In fact patients will often take a dose of CBD during a treatment session and will see the effects immediately. I have several patients tell me that since starting CBD their thinking has been clearer. I even have one patient who has told me that her vision is clearer, which makes sense in the context of inflammation of the optic nerve often experienced in multiple sclerosis.

As a Naturopathic Doctor it is my job to be on top of the latest research and treatment-options within the realm of nutraceuticals, complimentary therapies and herbal medicines. CBD is an exciting new treatment option with an excellent safety profile, promising results and that fits in well with my patient population. I am proud to an advocate for medical marijuana  and have made a commitment to continue to update my patients and peers as to my clinical experience with CBD.


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13/Oct/2015

Title: Reduction in symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia at six weeks using Intravenous Vitamins and Minerals (Myers Cocktail).

Running Header: Myers Cocktail for Fibromyalgia

Author: Dr. Shawn Meirovici N.D.

Physio-Logic 96 Scarsedale Road, Toronto, Ontario, M3B 2R7

Disclaimer: Patient consent was obtained

Key words: Intravenous, Vitamins, Minerals, Fibromyalgia

Abstract: Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder characterized by widespread pain commonly with one or more coexisting symptoms. Treatment often includes both non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapy. Pharmacological therapy includes the use of antidepressants and GABA derivatives with varying success rates and often with unpleasant side effects. Micronutrient infusion is a newer approach with the majority of use in the field of alternative medicine. To date one placebo controlled pilot study has examined its use in fibromyalgia patients noting statistically significant effects on pain and fatigue. The following is a case study using a similar “cocktail” as the one used in the placebo controlled trial, for 4 treatments using the modified visual analogue scale of the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (mVASFIQ) as an endpoint measure. Significant reduction in all parameters of the mVASFIQ was noted at 6 weeks, suggesting that micronutrient infusion should be further investigated as a treatment approach for fibromyalgia.

 

Background: I have a special interest in the treatment of chronic pain. Operating out of a rehabilitation clinic in Toronto, Canada has allowed me the opportunity to work with neurological conditions and traumatic injuries of which chronic pain is often a prevalent symptom. Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain and often involves disruption of many body systems including the gastrointestinal tract. While pharmaceutical intervention is focused on regulating the body’s response to pain, many alternative therapies are focused on restoring function to debilitated body systems. One such treatment is the Myers Cocktail: a intravenous micronutrient therapy that delivers vitamins and minerals directly into the blood stream thereby  bypassing the gastrointestinal tract. There is both a review and placebo controlled pilot study demonstrating intravenous micronutrient therapy as an effective treatment for symptom reduction in fibromyalgia. [1] [2]

 

Introduction: Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain, increased tenderness at specific sites known as “tender points,” un-refreshing sleep, fatigue and cognitive dysfunction not attributable to other disease states. While the etiology of fibromyalgia is not entirely clear, associations with trauma, adverse life events, impaired mood, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, cold intolerance, paresthesias and other medical conditions have been described. The pharmacologic treatment of fibromyalgia ranges from antidepressants to analgesics. Here we are commenting on a novel treatment involving the infusion of vitamins and minerals also known as a Myers Cocktail.

 

Case Presentation: J.M. is a 38-year old female who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2008. Her  symptoms started approximately 10 years ago after enduring a series of traumatic life events. Symptoms included: chronic widespread pain, non-restorative sleep, muscle weakness, morning stiffness, subjective swelling, multiple chemical sensitivities, frequent severe headaches, vestibular dysfunction, TMJ, paresthesia, chronic fatigue, dysmenorrhea, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome. J.M. had tried a number of GABA derivatives, antidepressants and analgesics with varying degrees of relief but with significant adverse reactions including aphasia, depression and dyspepsia. At initial presentation, J.M. was taking Wellbutrin 300mg XL daily and Tylenol with Codeine as needed. She felt that she was starting to develop a tolerance to Wellbutrin. She was not taking any dietary supplements and was not on any type of specialized diet or exercise program.

J.M. was prescribed an intravenous infusion Myers Cocktail (B-complex 1ml, Dexpanthenol 250mg, Pyridoxine 100mg, Hydroxocobalamin 1mg, Ascorbic Acid 2000mg, Calcium Chlroide 100mg, Magnesium Chloride 1000mg and Sterile Water 46ml) via 60cc syringe with a 24 Gauge butterfly needle at the right median cubital vein, delivered over 15 minutes once per week for 4 infusion sessions. This patient completed a modified visual analogue scale of the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (mVASFIQ) at initial consult (Image 1) and again after her final infusion (Image 2). She was also prescribed magnesium malate 1.5 grams per day, 1000iu vitamin D per day and 1mg melatonin at night 30 minutes before sleep. However, J.M. was admittedly not taking these supplements consistently during the 4 weeks of intravenous treatment.

The mVASFIQ score at treatment initiation was: (Fatigue 9.5, Insomnia 9.5, Depression 4.5, Anxiety 6.5, Rigidity 8.5, Pain 8.5, Difficulty with work 8.5) at four weeks the mVASFIQ score was: (Fatigue 3, Insomnia 5, Depression 1, Anxiety 3, Rigidity 3, Pain 3, Difficulty with work 3). Besides mild nausea and flushing during the first treatment no adverse effects were reported.

 

Discussion: Micronutrient infusion delivers vitamins and minerals involved in stress response, muscle contraction and nerve signaling, while able to bypass the need for gastrointestinal absorption. This is an effective delivery method for chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia, where there is often gastrointestinal disruption as well as the potential for micronutrient deficiencies. The results of this case study demonstrate that micronutrient infusion Myers Cocktail may be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia related symptoms as indicated by a  decreased in symptoms score on mVASFIQ at 6 weeks post treatment. This joins the small collection of evidence for the validity of this treatment for fibromyalgia. More study into this treatment for fibromyalgia is warranted.

 

Confounding Factors: As was outlined in the treatment plan, J.M. received a few dietary supplements on initial consult; however, J.M. admitted to not taking these consistently throughout the 4 intravenous treatments. The patient received all 4 infusions by myself and was not blinded to the treatment. There was also no placebo control. Additionally, the patient may have been influenced by the doctor patient relationship or through placebo effect. However the significant improvement observed within a relatively short time helps to validate the results of this study.

[1] Intravenous Micronutrient Therapy (Myers’ Cocktail) for Fibromyalgia: A Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study, Ather et al., The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume 15, Number 3, 2009, pp. 247-257

[2] Myers’ Cocktail, Dr. Alan Gaby M.D., Alternative Medicine Review, Volume 7, Number 5, 2002.

 Image 1

Table 1

mVASFIQ for J.M. on July 18th 2015 (patient incorrectly marked X in box rather than a check through the appropriate line, therefore, results have +/- 0.5 confidence interval.

Image 2

Table 2

mVASFIQ for J.M August 28th 2015.


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Patient focused integrative health care. Utilizing effective natural approaches designed to be used alone or to compliment conventional medical care.


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