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Fibromyalgia drinking therapy concerns doctors

Lana Bandoim's picture

A new study reveals that drinking therapy may help reduce the symptoms of chronic pain and fibromyalgia. However, doctors are concerned that encouraging patients to drink more alcohol will lead to serious consequences and make their health worse. Researchers found an observational link between alcohol consumption and disability.


Chronic pain is one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, and patients often struggle to find relief through medications and other types of treatments. The new study, titled “Alcohol Consumption Linked to Lower Disability in Patients with Chronic Pain,” was published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research. Researchers included 2239 people with chronic pain in the study and found that alcohol consumption was linked to lower levels of disability.

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Researchers shared that the patients who drank 21 to 35 units of alcohol per week were 67 percent less likely to have disability. In this study, the researchers considered one unit of alcohol to be a “half pint of average strength beer/lager, one small glass of wine, or one single measure of spirits.” Alcohol can reduce the sensation of pain, but doctors are concerned about patients using this type of therapy to deal with their fibromyalgia.

Medical experts indicate that alcohol consumption can lead to tolerance, so more and more alcohol is needed to achieve the same impact. In chronic pain patients, there is a risk of alcohol dependence that can lead to serious issues. In addition, alcohol withdrawal can actually increase pain levels. Alcohol can increase inflammation in the body and make pain symptoms worse in some patients. Doctors point out that the study shows a connection, but it is not a direct cause and effect link. They suggest that patients suffering from fibromyalgia consider other therapy options for their chronic pain instead of turning to alcohol.

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