Little Mountain Homeopathy, 351 E. 39th Ave., Vancouver, BC V5W 1K3 Phone: (604) 677-7742 Email: LMhomeopath@gmail.com

Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia are diagnoses of exclusion, meaning that a diagnosis is made only after other conditions have been ruled out. There are no specific tests to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Homeopathy can be especially helpful in reversing these conditions because no pathological changes have yet taken place in the body. Natural medicine always works best when no pathological changes have taken place. There is no effective standard treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. Homeopathy, on the other hand, can treat these conditions naturally, effectively, and with no side effects.

Scientists are still not exactly sure what causes CFS, but they have measured abnormalities in the nervous system as well as the immune system of CFS patients. Many cases of CFS begin after an acute infection, such as mononucleosis. Homeopathy has a healing effect on both the immunity and the nervous system, which is why it is effective in CFS cases.

A thorough review of the scientific research on the homeopathic treatment of fibromyalgia, article by homeopathic expert Dana Ullman: Exploring the Research on Homeopathic Treatment for Fibromyalgia

Scientific Studies Prove the Effectiveness of Homeopathy for the Treatment of Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia

Bell IR, Lewis DA, Brooks AJ, Schwartz GE, Lewis SE, Walsh BT, Baldwin CM. “Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo.” Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004 May;43(5):577-82.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of individualized classical homeopathy in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
METHODS: This study was a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial of homeopathy. Community-recruited persons (N = 62) with physician-confirmed fibromyalgia (mean age 49 yr, s.d. 10 yr, 94% women) were treated in a homeopathic private practice setting. Participants were randomized to receive oral daily liquid LM (1/50,000) potencies with an individually chosen homeopathic remedy or an indistinguishable placebo. Homeopathic visits involved joint interviews and concurrence on remedy selection by two experienced homeopaths, at baseline, 2 months and 4 months (prior to a subsequent optional crossover phase of the study which is reported elsewhere). Tender point count and tender point pain on examination by a medical assessor uninvolved in providing care, self-rating scales on fibromyalgia-related quality of life, pain, mood and global health at baseline and 3 months, were the primary clinical outcome measures for this report.
RESULTS: Fifty-three people completed the treatment protocol. Participants on active treatment showed significantly greater improvements in tender point count and tender point pain, quality of life, global health and a trend toward less depression compared with those on placebo.
CONCLUSIONS: This study replicates and extends a previous 1-month placebo-controlled crossover study in fibromyalgia that pre-screened for only one homeopathic remedy. Using a broad selection of remedies and the flexible LM dose (1/50,000 dilution factor) series, the present study demonstrated that individualized homeopathy is significantly better than placebo in lessening tender point pain and improving the quality of life and global health of persons with fibromyalgia.

Fisher P et al: “Effect of homoeopathic treatment on fibrositis (primary fibromyalgia),” BMJ, 299(6695):365-6, 1989.

This was a study done with 30 fibromyalgia hospital patients. The study was double blind, placebo controlled, and of crossover design. Some patients were given placebo and some were given homeopathic Rhus Toxicodendron 6C. Assessments comprised the number of tender spots, scales of pain and sleep, and overall assessment. Patients did better in all variables when they took active treatments rather than placebos.

Relton C, et al: “Healthcare provided by a homeopath as an adjunct to usual care for Fibromyalgia (FMS): results of a pilot randomized controlled trial,” Homeopathy 98(2):77-82, 2009.

A randomized controlled trial was conducted comparing “usual medical care” compared with usual medical care plus adjunctive care by a homeopath for patients with fibromyalgia syndrome. A total of 47 patients were recruited. Drop out rate in the usual care group was higher than the homeopath care group. Adjusted for baseline, there was a significantly greater mean reduction in the FIQ total score (function) in the homeopathic care group than the usual care group. There were significantly greater reductions in the homeopath care group in the McGill pain score, FIQ fatigue, and ‘tiredness upon waking’ scores.

Weatherley-Jones E, Nicholl JP, Thomas KJ, Parry GJ, McKendrick MW, Green ST, Stanley PJ, Lynch SP. “A randomised, controlled, triple-blind trial of the efficacy of homeopathic treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2004, Feb, 56, 2, 189-97.

In this well-controlled trial, where the practitioners, trial subjects and data analysts were all blinded to the group assignments until the end of the data collection period, individualised homeopathic prescriptions were compared to placebo in 79 people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (as determined by the Oxford criteria for CFS). The trial was carried out over a 6 month period with monthly observations used to determine clinical progress according to the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI) as a primary measure and the Fatigue Impact Scale and Functional Limitations Profile as secondary measures. On the primary MFI measure, those using the individualised homeopathy had significant improvement over placebo.

Case studies
Tom Whitmarsh describes two cases of fibromyalgia. Tom Whitmarsh MA MBBS FRCP FFHom is Consultant Physician at Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital. 

In my experience at Glasgow Homeo­pathic Hospital, it is unusual to find someone with symptoms of fibromyal­gia just on its own. Most people affected are struggling with multiple diagnoses and so many things feel wrong in addi­tion to the pure symptoms attributable to fibromyalgia.

I quite often find myself giving more than one medicine, often addressing the constitution with one remedy and the pain with another, perhaps in a lower potency.

Case one
Fay is 64. She has described herself as a “career woman”, working for and event­ually running various companies and always active and engaged fully with life. She first sought homeopathic help when she was 54. She had had pain in the chest fully investigated conven­tionally and little was found, though she had had lifelong heartburn. She had had a lot of anti-acid medications for this and was eventually found to have gallstones for which she had her gall­bladder removed.

She suffered from recurrent attacks of bronchitis and to crown it all, fell down some steps on the way to her gar­den and sustained a crushing of one of her spinal vertebrae at the age of 52. She was subsequently found to have general thinning of the bones (osteoporosis). Soon after the fracture of the spine and the discovery of osteoporosis, she began to suffer from widespread aches and pain in her muscles. She saw a rheuma­tologist, who did lots of tests (mostly negative) and confirmed a diagnosis of “secondary fibromyalgia”.

A highly communicative woman, Fay suffers a constant feeling of heat throughout the body and notices how easily she comes out in bruises at the slightest knock. She described her expe­rience of the pain – “it feels as if the body is on fire”, or the pain can be sharp and stabbing. It is particularly bad when she tries to use her arms. The example she gave was how uncomfortable it is to stand and chop vegetables. “It is a pain I cannot bear.” If sitting down and the pain gets bad, then she can find herself sliding down the chair, which gives a small measure of relief. She hates to be constricted with any tight clothing and very much prefers loose things to wear.

She had become miserable and depressed at her inability to cope with the pain brought on by the normal tasks of living – she had been so fit and active. She was helped with pain in her ankles, knees, lower back, shoulders and wrists initially by addressing the vertebral frac­ture with a high potency (200c) of Arnica and also Arnica cream to rub into the back. The remedy which has been most helpful for her generally has been Lachesis, in high potency, 200c three doses over 24 hours, and then LM1 five drops daily. This she says, “lifts the mood” and “helps a lot to let me cope”. The particular muscle pain all over the body was helped with regular doses of Rhus tox 6c three times a day.

Case two
Patricia is 45. She was referred for in­patient care by her rheumatologist, who had performed many tests and made diagnoses of depression and fibromyal­gia. It was noted in the referral that she was undergoing some marital dishar­mony. Her husband had affairs while she was unwell and suffering from panic attacks, as well as a very reduced libido. They went to Relate for counselling together, but she remained worried that it might happen again and she had lost her trust in her husband. She is quite fas­tidious about the state of her home and one of her big upsets is that because of the pain in the muscles, she is no longer able to be as tidy as she wants to be in her house.

She has two children who are well and a grandson whom she adores. She describes them all as being “very much part of my life” and she gives the air of being a welcoming mother to them all. Every detail of their lives concerns her.

She has pain in all her muscles from the neck down, which she describes as “like someone inside, twisting my mus­cles and joints”. There’s also an “excru­ciating nerve pain”, like a dentist hitting something with a drill, in the muscles most days. The pain is worse with any activity. It is exhausting and she suffers “horrible fatigue” by the end of every day. She has frequent dreams of her childhood family home and her parents.

She was scared to leave her husband, although he continued to have affairs and was unsupportive of her illness as she was scared of “splitting the family up”. She was admitted to Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital and given the remedy Calc carb 200c, three doses over 24 hours and the LM1 five drops daily. The next time we saw her, three months later, she had made definite plans to leave her husband and was feeling a lot calmer because of this decision. The pain was unchanged. The potency of the rem­edy was increased to LM2 and the pain has begun to come under control. She still plans to leave as well.

Calc carb is often given to people who invest a lot of their energy in home­making and making the home beautiful for their family. One can see what a des­perate betrayal the husband’s serial infi­delity is for such a person and why it might make them particularly unwell. So in this case, the constitutional rem­edy was all that has been required.

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Copyright Sonya McLeod, Registered Classical Homeopath, Little Mountain Homeopathy, 351 E. 39th Ave, Vancouver, BC, (604) 677-7742