Diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 30 years ago, former nurse Elizabeth has been searching for a natural solution for decades – now she believes it’s CBD.
Despite dedicating many years to her role as a lead specialist immunisation nurse, in her personal life Elizabeth (who asked us not to use her surname) was on a mission to find a natural remedy for her chronic health condition.
Elizabeth, now 67, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia around 30 years ago. With no known cure and no specific treatment for the illness – which causes severe pain all over the body and extreme fatigue – for years she was prescribed various pharmaceuticals, while she searched for an alternative option.
“I had to put all these unnatural products into my body and I decided I didn’t like it at all. For the last 20 years or so I have been interested in natural health – which felt a little bit antagonistic to what I was doing in my day job,” she tells Cannabis Health.
“I have lived with fibromyalgia for such a long time and knew it wasn’t curable, so I’ve been on a quest to find natural solutions.
“I’ve always tried to avoid putting chemicals in my body – I buy organic where I can and cook my meals from scratch when I can – so when I found out about the endocannabinoid system I knew this was the way I wanted to go.”
Elizabeth began taking CBD around six years ago and did notice some initial improvements in her symptoms. However, it was after she came across UK brand Canaxen at a Just V Show for vegan and plant-based products that she converted fully.
She now takes the 16 percent CBD oil, as well as raw hemp oil, alongside some conventional painkillers to manage the osteoarthritis in her hip.
“I had seen some benefits before, but I found this oil really did help with my fibromyalgia symptoms,” says Elizabeth.
“I don’t have the same fatigue, I don’t have as much pain and I sleep so much better.
“I have occasional relapses if I’m very stressed and unfortunately my fibromyalgia is dependent on pressure changes, so if it goes suddenly from high pressure to low pressure I really struggle, but on the whole I just don’t have the same symptoms as I did before. I actually struggled to get through a day sometimes.”
Elizabeth’s other saving grace has been her ‘positive attitude’, as well as making sure she stays as active as she can, walking every day on the treadmill.
“I am lucky in that I’ve never experienced depression with fibromyalgia. I could get low when I felt unwell but I have a positive mental attitude towards things and always try to look at the glass as half-full, rather than half empty” she says.
“I keep myself as active as possible and I will not allow myself to feel sorry for myself. I pull my socks up and get myself going and I think that helps an awful lot.”
Elizabeth continues: “I get up every day at 6.30am and even though I’m in pain I get on my treadmill and walk. I have to stop every 10 minutes and sit down when it hurts too much, but then I’ll get up again and start walking again.”
Elizabeth would like to see CBD and medical cannabis more widely accepted by the medical profession.
Although she retired seven years ago, at the age of 61, she feels she may have been able to cope better with her symptoms at work – and may even have stayed in the profession for longer – had she had access to CBD.
“At times my symptoms were really bad and I was in a very responsible position, with a lot of stress in my job and targets to meet,” she says.
“I got to the point where I actually felt that I couldn’t do it anymore.
“I’m totally different now from how I was then and I think if I had had the CBD oil I would have been able to cope so much better, maybe I could even have worked a bit longer.”
Recently, she took part in a trial for a new CBD product from Canaxen, to measure its effect on stress and anxiety, which she is now hoping comes on the market.
“I didn’t know I was stressed until I started taking it,” she says.
“I didn’t feel so uptight anymore and it really helped my sleep.”
She says she wouldn’t use any other products now.
“I’m so grateful for the ongoing support I have had from the Canaxen team, I can’t recommend them highly enough.”
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