Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is calorie-free. The safety of aspartame has long been a controversial topic in the medical world. Although several studies show that aspartame is safe for consumption, there is evidence of its potential link to fibromyalgia. In fact, aspartame is also link to other chronic conditions.
Safety of Aspartame
Aspartame is one of the six artificial sweeteners approved for use by US FDA. The sweeteners have a sweetening capacity that is several times sweeter than sugar. FDA reviewed each sweetener thoroughly especially in terms of health safety. In fact, the safety testing gone beyond the required testing level for food additives, according to a study published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. Authors of the article concluded that the aspartame is safe for everyone to consume.
Evidences on The Link of Aspartame and Fibromyalgia
There is no existing study done to determine if aspartame can trigger fibromyalgia. However, a 2010 article published in the Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, reported two different cases. These cases were reports on two individuals who had fibromyalgia and whose symptoms had vanished after they stopped consuming aspartame.
One of the cases follows a 50 year old woman who suffered from fibromyalgia for more than 10 years. She went on a vacation for several days without taking any aspartame. During her vacation, her fibromyalgia symptoms were nonexistent. Thereafter, she decided to totally remove aspartame from her diet. After which, she saw complete regression of all her fibro symptoms.
The other case followed a 43 year old man who shared similar experience. He saw complete regression of his fibro symptoms after he decided to stop taking aspartame.
Eliminating Aspartame for Fibromyalgia Patients
Since the cause of fibromyalgia is not known, the manner by which these individuals experienced regression of symptoms can only be speculated. Yet, many believe that fibro patients can benefit from eliminating aspartame from their diet. The potential benefit of eliminating this sweetener from their diet can be reduction of symptoms. This is not only applicable to those suffering from fibromyalgia but also people with other chronic diseases.
Nevertheless, some experts believe that doctors should consider asking their fibro patients if they consume aspartame. This could be a lead to the cause of this mysterious condition.
Can Viral Suppression Help Treat Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is still seen as less than legitimate in the medical world. Fortunately, some researchers believe otherwise and many are working on various approaches in treating the condition. The recent drug which received a fast track status from the FDA is IMC-1. This drug is a type of viral suppression drug that showed promising results in treating fibromyalgia.
The Theory between IMC-1 for Fibromyalgia
As mentioned, IMC-1 is a type of viral suppression drug invented and studied by Innovative Med Concepts (IMC) for the treatment fibromyalgia. The main purpose of the drug is to suppress viruses in the body. The theory behind IMC-1 is that the chronic pain syndrome may be related to herpes virus, which lies dormant in the body tissues. Researchers observed that fibromyalgia exhibit the same symptoms with other diseases linked to herpes. They believed that the dormant herpes virus may play a part in triggering and maintaining the symptoms of fibromyalgia. One of the most common fibro symptoms is widespread chronic pain. Others are sleep problems, overwhelming fatigue and mood problems. Many of fibro patients may also suffer from frequent headaches, IBS and cognitive impairment, famously known as the fibro fog.
Related Studies of IMC-1 for Fibromyalgia
IMC-1 is a combination of anti-viral famciclovir and anti-inflammatory celecoxib. The basis of using the drug as treatment is its potential effectiveness in suppressing the herpes virus. Currently, the drug has already completed Phase 2 trials, a double-blinded and placebo-controlled study done by some experts in the medical field. In the study, 143 fibromyalgia participants were randomly given either IMC-1 or a placebo over a 16-week treatment period. Researchers observed and evaluated the participants during the 16 weeks. At the end of the study, participants who took IMC-1 showed less fibromyalgia pain and lower pain scores. This group also reported less fatigue. In general, participants tolerated the drug well.
This study showed a potential treatment option for pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia. It also suggests that suppressing dormant herpes virus can improve the chronic pain syndrome. This finding may lead to more clues to the root of fibromyalgia. IMC is now coordinating with FDA in order to comply with requirements needed for Phase 3 trial which is targeting to commence end 2017.
Although there are around 5 million fibro patients in America, it was only in the recent decade that the chronic pain syndrome gain awareness. There is no definitive fluid test or scans that can confirm the diagnosis and limited options for treatment. This lack of effective treatment is the reason why FDA has granted the Fast Track designation to IMC-1. This designation further encourages drug development for such disease, which doesn’t have many treatment options.
Treating some of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia will require the use of certain drugs. Among these are painkillers, antidepressants, Lyrica and many more. Doctors also recommend regular exercise, proper diet and getting enough sleep. However, what most fibro patients need is an even quicker and more effective relief from its debilitating symptoms.
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