Moderate Alcohol Consumption Could Help Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain, Insomnia, Study Shows

Moderate Alcohol Consumption Could Help Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain, Insomnia, Study Shows
Low to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with greater hippocampal volume, decreased intensity of clinical pain, and better sleep quality in fibromyalgia patients, new research shows. The study, "Low-to-Moderate Alcohol Consumption is Associated With Hippocampal Volume in Fibromyalgia and Insomnia,” was published in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Fibromyalgia patients often report fatigue and sleep disruption. In fact, one study demonstrated that 75% of patients with fibromyalgia have symptoms of chronic insomnia. Fibromyalgia and chronic insomnia often occur together and are both associated with increased sensitivity to pain, which can be related back to the hippocampus as it is involved in pain stimuli. Studies have demonstrated that the volume of the hippocampus is reduced in both fibromyalgia patients and chronic insomnia patients. However, no studies have shown the impact of the hippocampal structure in patients that have both chronic musculoskeletal pain and chronic insomnia. Alcohol use is of great interest in this area because it conducts a number of interesting activities due to its extensive interactions with a variety of neurotransmitter systems such as inhibiting the GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) receptors and the NMDA (n-methyl d-aspartate) receptors. Patients with fibromyalgia have high levels of excitatory amino acids that act on NMDA receptors, which is associated with hyperalgesia (increased sensitization to pain) and allodynia (a pain response from a stimulus that does not normally provoke pain). Inhibiting GABA receptors has been shown to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. Therefore, researchers could hypoth
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