Alternative & Complementary Medicine for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • A systematic review entitled “Alternative medical interventions used in the treatment and management of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia” was published in this month's Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.  The study compiled data from 70 controlled clinical trials of alternative treatments and nonpharmacological supplements. 

    Study authors noted that although complimentary and alternative (CAM) treatments are frequently used by ME/CFS and FM patients and a number of clinical trials had been conducted, until now no one had ever done a comprehensive and systematic review of the efficacy of these CAM interventions.  The results of the review revealed that 60 of the studies (86%) found at least one positive effect of the CAM treatment and 52 studies (74%) also found improvement in an illness-specific symptom.  This showed that a significant majority of the CAM treatments had been beneficial for patients. 

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    The researchers concluded that several types of alternative therapies had potential for treating ME/CFS and FM and should be studied further.  CAM treatments showing the greatest promise were:

    • Acupuncture
    • Several types of meditative practices
    • Magnesium supplements
    • L-carnitine supplements
    • S-adenosylmethionine supplements

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    Source:  Porter NS, et al. Alternative medical interventions used in the treatment and management of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia . J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Mar;16(3):235-49.

     

Published On: March 09, 2010