A typical symptom that the patients affected by fibromyalgia, it the pain. This is due to the high levels of excitatory amminoacids that act on NMDA(n-methyl d-aspartate) receptors lowering the level necessary to trigger the signal. The hard consequence of this is that stimuli which didn’t cause pain before the disease appeared, might cause pain in patients with fibromyalgia. Also, pain stimuli are in in general more painful. These two phenomena are called respectively hyperalesia and allodynia.
A common condition which affects the subjects with fibromyalgia is difficulty to sleep. Chronical insomnia is associated with increased levels of GABA (gamma amino butyric acid).
A recent study from the University of Florida shown how moderate alcohol consumption might help on both symptoms. The underlying mechanism is not yet clear, but it could be due to the capacity of alcohol of inhibiting GABA and NMDA receptors.
Fibromyalgia and chronic insomnia are frequently comorbid conditions with heightened sensitivity to painful stimuli, potentially subserved by the hippocampus. Recent evidence suggests moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced fibromyalgia symptom severity.
Another typical symptom associated with fibromyalgia is a reduced volume of hyppocampus, which after the treatment with the moderate alcohol consumption was improved and displayed an increased volume in MRI. Nevertheless, the correlation between pain relieve and increment of hyppocampus volume was not significant enough.
The results are promising and may lead to better treatment of this disease alleviating the suffering of the people affected.
Based on these findings, systematic prospective and longitudinal work examining the relationship between drinking pattern and FM/FMI symptomatology is warranted.