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Hormonal replacement therapy does not affect self-estimated pain or experimental pain responses in post-menopausal women suffering from fibromyalgia: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial – Source: Rheumatology (Oxford), Nov 14, 2010

  [ 10 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By KD Stening, et al. • www.ProHealth.com • November 22, 2010


Objectives: FM is a condition that preferentially affects women. Sex hormones, and in particular estrogens, have been shown to affect pain processing and pain sensitivity, and estrogen deficit has been considered a potentially promoting factor for FM.

However, the effects of estrogen treatment in patients suffering from FM have not been studied.

Here, we examined the effect of transdermal estrogen substitution treatment on experimental as well as self-estimated pain in women suffering from FM.

Methods: Twenty-nine post-menopausal women were randomized to either 8 weeks of treatment with transdermal 17beta-estradiol (50micrograms/day) or placebo according to a double-blind protocol.

A self-estimation of pain, a set of quantitative sensory tests measuring thresholds to temperature, thermal pain, cold pain and pressure pain, and a cold pressor test were performed on three occasions: before treatment, after 8 weeks of treatment and 20 weeks after cessation of treatment.

Results: Hormonal replacement treatment significantly increased serum estradiol levels as expected (P<0.01).

However, no differences in self-estimated pain were seen between treatment and placebo groups, nor were there any differences between the two groups regarding the results of the quantitative sensory tests or the cold pressor test at any of the examined time points.

Trial registration. ClinicalTrials.gov Registration; http://www.clinicaltrials.gov; NCT01087593.

Source: Rheumatology (Oxford), Nov 14, 2010. PMID: 21078629, by Stening KD, Eriksson O, Henriksson KG, Brynhildsen J, Lindh-Åstrand L, Berg G, Hammar M, Amandusson A, Blomqvist A. Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Division of Cell Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University; Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University, Kalmar; Department of Computer and Information Science (IDA), Division of Statistics, Linköping University; Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Division of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University; Department of Neuroscience, Division of Clinical Neurophysiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.





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Article Comments Post a Comment

It may be helpful for Interstitial Cystitis though
Posted by: CWB
Dec 1, 2010
I report this only from my own recent experience. As so many things for us with these conditions, it's a longer story. I've been on Cimetidine (generic Tagamet) for six months, prescribed by my infectious disease specialist for its off-label immune modulating effects to treat shingles. I don't have Fibro but I do have ME/CFS and IC, and with this crazy dys- or up-regulated immune system, for 20 months I've had shingles and been on the highest dose of Acyclovir possible. It has helped with that, but even moreso it's helped with IC. Potential side effects (of course "rare," but those of us with these conditions always seem to get the "rare" ones!) of Cimetidine are breast swelling and return of periods in post-menopausal women, which I've experienced and researched to learn that it's becasue it increases extradiol. That would explain why my might sweats have improved, too, but the hormone-related side effects were significant enough that we had to cut my dose of Cimetidine in half twice (though my doctors and pharmacist said they'd never had anyone else have these side effects be so pronounced). Even at the lower dose I seem to be still getting the IC relief. It may not be helpful for others, but I've looked for a forum to share this with people with IC as something to try. If you do try it and have those side effects, be sure to check with your doctor (and perhaps the research) if you have had or suspect you might have had endometreosis for the estradiol may increase the risk for endometrial cancer.
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