Fibromyalgia – A New Treatment Option
It’s a simple request… you just want to feel good again.
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to wake up free from chronic pain, alert and happy. That’s what many people with Fibromyalgia seek. And now it may be possible with a new treatment for Fibromyalgia. Recent findings are suggesting that a repurposed anesthetic medication can dramatically reduce the pain and “Fibro-Fog” associated with Fibromyalgia.
“Pain is the biggest cause of disability in the US, particularly chronic pain conditions like Fibromyalgia, and we have not had very many effective treatments for it. But that may be about to change.” Dr. Grass, Director of the Ketamine Institute said.
Fibromyalgia is now recognized as a neuropathic pain condition that may in part be caused by “over activity” of certain brain circuits related to pain. It can be compared to “turning up” the volume on a stereo system. The sound, or in this case pain and sensitivity, is blasting in every room of the house causing widespread pain. One factor known to contribute to this volume increase in a brain neurotransmitter know as glutamate.
Glutamate and Fibromyalgia
Glutamate is a brain chemical that activates or “turns on” various receptors in the central nervous system which are like “little switches.” Activating them turns the volume up on pain and everything hurts. By turning some of them off you could dial the volume back down to comfortable levels. And that is what an anesthetic medication known as ketamine appears to do. It has been found not only to block the effects of glutamate and turn the sound (pain) down but it also seems to “rewire or reboot” the system to return to normal operation. And the effects can be rapid and in some cases, dramatic.
One such patient is Michelle, a young and vibrant professional from Florida. At only 35-years-old, Michelle’s life dramatically changed several years ago, after becoming ill with a viral illness. Soon after she seemingly recovered from the virus, she began to have difficulty concentrating and everything started to hurt. She even felt pain just by being touched.
“I was in constant pain. On a scale from one-to-ten, my normal day’s a six or a seven, and I just couldn’t function” Michelle said. “Emotionally, I was getting depressed, my husband saw it more and more. I just sat in the chair and went from my bed to the chair, and that was horrible, I couldn’t function at work and everything in my life started to crumble.”
“I went from doctor to doctor and each one gave me a different opinion. Eventually I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Following that, I tried everything to help the pain including antidepressants, antiepileptic medication, pain medications, and acupuncture. I even tried Meyer’s cocktail therapy but nothing worked. So, I researched a lot on the internet and found out about ketamine. I was becoming desperate to find some help, so I flew to Florida and began Restore infusions.” she said.
“It was nothing short of amazing. Within hours following my first infusion, the pain melted away and I began to feel better. My mood improved dramatically and I could concentrate again. Now I have my life back and I am working and enjoying life with my husband for the first time in years.” Michelle said.
“Many of our patients described feeling being ‘reset’ after the treatment. They often use computer analogies to describe the effects, Grass said.” For example, one patient said he felt like her brain had been ‘rebooted’ like a computer hard drive. Others report that it is like the neural networks “light up” all over your brain when you’re experiencing the effects of the infusion and start working properly again. The experience varies for each person but what they all have in common is that the pain and fog are lifted and they feel “normal” again.
Some Things To Consider
Dramatic improvements are seen in some Fibromyalgia patients with ketamine infusions, but not every case is the same. “Many physicians have the impression that all people with Fibromyalgia are alike, but you really need to know a lot about the person to appropriately consider ketamine therapy for them. Each person is unique and different, so the treatment must be individually tailored to match the patient. The amount of medication needed from patient to patient can vary greatly. This is addressed with the Restore Infusion, matching the treatment to the person, providing more effective therapy.” Dr. Grass said.
Also, because Restore is administered by intravenous infusion, it requires close physician monitoring and adjustment during the treatment phase to ensure the best results. Many patients report their symptoms begin to improve almost immediately after the infusion. “Frankly, it is wonderful to have something that is so effective and acts so rapidly.” Grass says.
Realizing the tremendous potential of ketamine therapy, pharmaceutical companies are working to develop duplicate versions of ketamine that can be administered in other ways, including a nasal spray. Unfortunately, they are not tolerated as well as the infusion. And it may be a few years before any of these ketamine treatments are FDA-approved. But, because the drug is already approved for other uses, some physicians are recommending ketamine infusion therapy for their patients with Fibromyalgia now.
Learn more about Restore and Fibromyalgia