Are you a fibromyalgia patient? Receiving this diagnosis is challenging, but when you’ve been living with symptoms for years, you may feel like it’s a relief to know what you’re dealing with finally. However, after the initial confirmation, questions still loom.
How Fibromyalgia Can Hold You Back
According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, an estimated three to six percent of the world’s population is currently suffering from fibromyalgia. These statistics further point out that between 75-90% of these patients are women. While women produce estrogen, which is a hormone that protects them against pain, its levels fluctuate throughout the month so this can lead to times of greater discomfort.
Because fibromyalgia causes a wide range of symptoms, it makes living with it a complex challenge. One of the most significant issues is dealing with chronic pain, which in conjunction with sleep disturbances, fatigue, and brain fog (fibro fog), can make fibromalgia a fairly debilitating disease.
What is Chronic Pain?
Those who are suffering from fibromyalgia are experiencing widespread pain at various points throughout their body. Chronic pain, unlike acute pain, lasts anywhere from weeks up to years. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines chronic pain as when, “Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap — sprained back, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain — arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.”
How Ketamine Therapy can help
Patients who are suffering from fibromyalgia find that traditional prescription medications often come with a host of side effects. Under many circumstances, these prescriptions are for opioids. These opioids are not only highly addictive, but they also can cause constipation, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting.
When patients are looking for an alternative with a few common side effects, low-dose ketamine may be the solution. Ketamine might be a way for many, who have turned to painkillers in the past, get through the day when chronic pain is severely compromising their quality of life.
Research Supporting Ketamine and its Use for Fibromyalgia
A new case study, “Intravenous Ketamine Alleviates Pain in a Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient With Comorbid Fibromyalgia,” the Journal of Medical Cases published is offering hope to fibromyalgia patients. The case study involved following a 49-year-old woman from Florida with a seronegative erosive RA diagnosis. She began using IV ketamine after different medicines offered her no relief. She followed a 10-day plan where her pain scale was monitored. It started on a pain scale of 10 and decreased to a six after one treatment. Then, after her final treatment, she was at a zero.
According to a study the journal, Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, published, “While most studies on intravenous ketamine show acute analgesic effects, three recent trials on long-term ketamine treatment (days to weeks) demonstrate the effectiveness of ketamine in causing long-term (months) relief of chronic pain.”
How Do Physicians and Clinics Use Ketamine?
The only way patients can receive ketamine is under direct medical supervision. You’ll receive this medicine intravenously at a clinic or hospital setting. A nurse, doctor, or clinician will administer ketamine into your muscle as a shot or your vein.
Medical professionals use ketamine for treating bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, and a host of other pain and mood disorders in addition to fibromyalgia. The physician’s goal is to help patient’s experience better physical and mental health. Therefore, they’ll discuss your history as to develop a comprehensive plan together. Then, they’ll make adjustments to the ketamine dose based on how you’re responding to the initial treatment.
An Overview of Ketamine, it’s Process, and What Patients Can Expect
Psychology Today describes ketamine as an intravenous anesthetic that’s been in use for medical purposes and veterinary medicine since the 1970s. According to the World Health Organization, “In 1985, ketamine was placed on the WHO Essential Medicines List and was recently described as ‘for sedation of both children and adults … perhaps the most widely used agent in the world.'”
Those who are receiving ketamine infusion therapy for fibromyalgia may experience results immediately. The dosage depends on the level of fibromyalgia pain you’re experiencing. You’ll also discuss other factors during your initial consultation, including your age, height, weight, and how your body may react to the treatment.
Ketamine treatments typically last for about 60 minutes to treat depression and other mood-related conditions. For chronic pain, the treatment typically lasts for 3-4 hours. You’ll be in a private room sitting in a comfortable infusion chair. You won’t lose consciousness during your treatment. Instead, you’ll feel a mild euphoric feeling that’s best described as a warm, relaxed experience. You’ll remain engaged and aware of what’s happening around you, and once the effects wear off, you’ll feel invigorated and refreshed.
Once your treatment reaches its conclusion, patients tend to stay in the office for at least 60 minutes because ketamine levels may still be high in your bloodstream. During this time, at Pacific Ketamine Institute, we provide you with a confidential and safe place to relax following your session. Then, when you feel comfortable to leave, you can do so at your convenience.
Creating a Plan That Works for You
Speaking to a professional, like Dr. Steuer, about your fibromyalgia pain is critical. Instead of living with this pain daily, reach out to find out how ketamine can help relieve your pain today.
Contact us at Pacific Ketamine Institute today to learn more about setting up a consultation and starting your treatments today.