It is not known why more women than men suffer from fibromyalgia or indeed what it is that causes the disease. It is usually categorised alongside other forms of rheumatic disorders, such as arthritis and lupus.
With twice as many women as men suffering from fibromyalgia, it is thought to be hormones that are contributing to this gender bias.
But what exactly is fibromyalgia? According to a report from website Healthline, it’s a chronic condition that can last a lifetime. It isn’t progressive like dementia or arthritis that actually cause damage to the body, and it isn’t a fatal disease.
But it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cause pain, discomfort and anxiety. Just ask Lady Gaga who told Vogue magazine in this report that “I get so irritated with people who don’t believe fibromyalgia is real. For me, and I think for many others, it’s really a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and panic disorder, all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive, and then you have nerve pain as a result.”
Fibromyalgia can develop at any age but typically fibromyalgia develops in middle-aged adults. Some of the symptoms include extreme muscle pain, usually accompanied by fatigue. According to the Healthline report, some of the most common symptoms include: headaches, back aches, pain and numbness in the limbs, light and temperature sensitivity, facial or jaw pain and forgetfulness, sometimes referred to as “fibro fog.”
But there’s good news out of Israel from cannabis research organisation Tikun Olam (“repair the world”). A study of 367 fibromyalgia patients who were treated with cannabis revealed a significant improvement in pain intensity and patients′ overall quality of life and fibromyalgia‐related symptoms after six months of medical cannabis therapy, with 81.1% reporting overall treatment success.
"It is commonly accepted that chronic pain can be treated with cannabis, but there is scarce evidence to support the role of medical cannabis in the treatment of fibromyalgia specifically," says Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, head research scientist at Tikun Olam in this report. "We hope these findings will lead to more research and acceptance of cannabis as a safe and effective treatment for pain and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia."
Click here to read more about the research being conducted on the efficacy of cannabis in treating fibromyalgia and more results from the Tikun Olam study conducted.