Dr. Ginevra Liptan, a doctor from Portland, OR who treats fibromyalgia patients and has the disease herself, wrote two books about fibromyalgia and inflammation. When someone has high levels of inflammation in the brain, like most people with fibromyalgia, it can cause much pain. One drug that Dr. Liptan prescribes, and has a 60% success rate is LDN (low-dose naltrexone). In higher doses, this drug is often used to treat alcohol addiction. However, they found that in lower doses (1-5 mg) it can lower inflammation in the central nervous system, as well. There were two studies done at Stanford University that proved it lessened pain hypersensitivity in people with fibromyalgia. One of the reasons why the percentage rate of success wasn’t higher was that LDN doesn’t combine well with opiate-based pain meds.
She also suggests there are supplements that work almost as well to lessen inflammation in the body. These three supplements are:
- Turmeric – It has been used for hundreds of years to treat inflammation with it’s active ingredient, a chemical called curcumin
- Green Tea – Green tea has a chemical in it called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate. It protects against inflammation, oxidative damage, and cell death in the brain
- Cruciferous Vegetables – Referred to as the mustard family vegetables. These are brocolli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, radishes, & bok choy) They have an extract in them called sulforaphane that protects the brain from inflammation and lessens injury to neurons
The last way to relieve the pain of fibromyalgia is not yet legal in all states, but it is cannabis (medical marijuana). It has been tested in mice to reduce inflammation with success. There is hope that someday it will be legal to obtain everywhere in the U.S.