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Highly Accessed Open Badges Editorial

Can alcohol consumption be an alternative treatment for fibromyalgia?

Mei Chung1 and Chenchen Wang2*

Author Affiliations

1 Nutrition/Infection Unit, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, 150 Harrison Ave, Jaharis 264, Boston, MA 02111, USA

2 Division of Rheumatology, Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Box 406, Boston, MA 02111, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:126  doi:10.1186/ar4394

See related research by Kim et al.,

Published: 29 November 2013


Treatment of chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia is challenging due to limitations of drug therapies. An initial exploration into the relationships between self-reported alcohol consumption, symptom severity, and quality of life for individuals with fibromyalgia sheds new light on plausible hypotheses and potential mechanisms of action for future research. Evidence suggests that alcohol consumption may improve social and psychological factors because of activity in the ascending and descending pain pathways in modulating gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmission. Further methodologically rigorous studies in this field to improve well-being of individuals with fibromyalgia are warranted.