Cannabis and CIDP – A New Horizon in the World Neurology
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, more commonly known as CIDP, is a progressively developing autoimmune neurological disorder. Although it is a rare condition that merely affects one in 100,000 people each year on average, it might make even the most mundane tasks tiresome for the patients.
This neurological disorder is characterized by slowing down of reflexes, pain, fatigue, tingling sensations, and other symptoms caused by the structural destruction of the nerves by the hyperactive immune system of the body. Studies reveal that Cannabis can be an excellent adjunctive remedy to seek help in this aspect. The following write-up closely addresses the intricate relationship between Cannabis and CIDP treatment.
What Is Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy?
CIDP or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy is a rare condition caused by an attack on the myelin sheaths of the nerve cells. CIDP is considered difficult to diagnose compared to other medical conditions. Thus, many people might be living with the condition without even knowing it.
This disorder is characterized by inflammation in the peripheral nerves accompanied by the destruction of the fatty protective layer. This blocks the nerve signals from traveling and causes further impairment. In order to limit progression, one must consider getting appropriate treatment. Patients tend to get gradually weaker and develop symptoms that hinder their way to an active lifestyle.
What are the causes of CIDP?
CIDP is a rare disease, yet it finds its way to the attention of researchers who are on their toes to pinpoint the major causes of CIDP in the patients. Studies suggest that CIDP is generally caused by an abnormality in the immune response of the body, which explains why it is known as an autoimmune disease. It happens when the nerves come across challenges like attacks from the immune system on the myelin sheath.
Triggers of CIDP are still not known in several cases. However, different aspects of the disease suggest that it’s pretty close to Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Experts believe that CIDP might be potentially associated with certain medical conditions such as:
- Chronic hepatitis might lead to CIDP indirectly.
- Diabetic patients are potentially more vulnerable to developing the condition
- Certain bacterial infections.
- Other autoimmune diseases such as AIDS/HIV
- Types of cancer that lead to disorders that affect the immune system
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Cancer affecting the lymphatic system
- Medications are used to treat HIV and chronic cancer conditions.
- Overactive thyroid
Although these diseases aren’t explained as the direct cause of CIDP, some kind of connection is found between them. The real causes of CIDP remain undetectable in several cases, which is an intriguing factor for the experts.
What are Different Types of CIDP?
There are numerous types and variants of CIDP that find their way into extensive research in the medical arena. Experts suggest that this wide range of variants creates a whole room for research and experimentation to unleash new aspects.
A basic classification of the CIDP brings forth that there are three main categories to understand the Medical conditions more closely.
- Progressive CIDP: This type of CIDP involves the kind of condition in which the symptoms tend to get worse over time.
- Recurrent CIDP: This doesn’t prevail for a long time; recurring episodes come and go.
- Monophasic CIDP: Lasts for a period of 1 to 3 years.
Following are some of the reported variants of CIDP:
- One of the variants is known as CCPD or combined central and peripheral demyelination. This kind of variant is significantly known to affect the patient’s central nervous system. This variant is closely related to multiple sclerosis and CDIP syndrome.
- Another variant known as typical CIDP affects the distal and proximal muscles. Also, it may ultimately cause the loss of deep tendon reflexes in several cases. It implies that this variant turns out to be asymmetrical sensory and motor progressive neuropathy.
- Multifocal motor neuropathy is a variant of CIDP characterized by pure motor disorders. Patients might experience asymmetric weakness in the nerves. The diagnosis is possible through diagnostic nerve conduction results.
- Lewis-Sumner Syndrome is another rarely occurring variant of CIDP. Characterized by similar symptoms, this variant tends to cause sensory loss.
- If you’re going through poor balance and pain along with sensory loss, you’re probably facing the pure sensory CIDP. Although patients report that weakness is not a potential symptom, other symptoms may make things hard for you.
What are the risk factors for CIDP?
Some medical conditions make the patients more vulnerable to developing the condition. However, anybody could get affected when talking about the potential targets of this medical condition.
- Individuals lying in the age groups ranging from their 50s to 60s are potentially more vulnerable to developing CIDP.
- Women are less likely to develop the condition as compared to men. Studies believe that men are exposed to 50% greater risk.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of CIDP?
Sometimes it’s hard for people to get fully acquainted with the symptoms of CIDP as they may vary from individual to individual and show major deviations. However, here’s an account of the symptoms of CIDP that are most commonly reported by almost every patient.
Some of the most common signs that indicate CIDP are significant amounts of weakness accompanied by numbness. Several cases include tingling effects in several body parts, especially fingers, arms, legs, and hands. CIDP is also found to impair your body’s ability to balance itself, which further impairs your ability to walk properly. Patients report their experience as an “electric storm” in body parts accompanied by fatigue and pain.
The condition may or may not involve both sides. For some patients, it’s only one side of the body. Also, the severity of symptoms isn’t the same for all patients. Here’s a precise list of the effects you may experience in certain parts of the body:
- You may experience a loss of facial movement in the facial region due to CIDP.
- Weakness is a typical condition caused by CIDP in the arm, making it hard for you to do even those mundane tasks.
- Weakness, numbness, tingling effect, and burning sensation are some of the most frequently reported symptoms in hands, toes, feet, and legs.
- In addition to all these, CIDP impairs your ability to walk properly; you may feel trouble while bending over and squatting. Also, other problems associated with body balance are pretty common.
How Cannabis can be useful for CIDP treatment?
The cannabis plant has components that can potentially address several medical discomforts through interactions with your body systems, but does Cannabis help with CIDP treatment? Well, we lack formal research on whether Cannabis can stop the progression of CDIP. Still, there’s a lot it can do to stabilize the condition of the patients to help them live better on a day-to-day basis. How does Cannabis do this? Here’s how:
- Closely analyzing the working of Cannabis, the studies reveal that it can significantly reduce the condition of patients suffering from inflammation and pain. As it’s reported that the form of pain suffered by CIDP patients is pretty close to any other form of pain in any medical condition, Cannabis may substantially reduce the pain as well as help the patients with tingling effects, muscle spasms, and other symptoms that make this condition worse.
- Some studies also approve of the potential capacity of Cannabinoids to improve the condition of patients suffering from neuropathic pain. Using it right could help the patients fight off their sleeping disorders. The reason why it’s considered to be better than most sleeping agents is that you can avoid drowsiness and grogginess by cutting down the psychoactive part of the cannabis extract. CBD is a known Cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, which is free from psychoactive effects.
- One of the most important aspects to address during CIDP is the immune system that is constantly attacking the myelin sheath on the nerves. Luckily, the cannabis plant finds a close relationship with the body’s immune system. This is why it can help reduce your immune system’s ability to destroy this myelin sheath. Its interaction with the immune system also enables it to reduce inflammation.
Cannabis And CIDP; Research analysis
More spotlight on various aspects of Cannabis and CDIP brings forth astounding facts. The following studies unleash some marvelous potentials of the cannabis plant to address various aspects of discomforts faced by CIDP patients:
- Studies suggest that the cannabis plant, especially CBD, can be practically used as an adjunctive treatment for the symptoms of CIDP. 
- Another analysis reveals that Cannabis can marvelously address neuropathic pain. 
- Also, Cannabis may suppress the body’s inflammatory response to reduce neuropathic pain by interacting with the α3 glycine receptors of the body. 
Cannabis offers a phenomenal range of benefits that may prove to be fruitful for CIDP treatment. The aspects above of how Cannabis can help improve the condition of CIDP patients open the doors to a whole new world of medical care.
Legal Disclaimer : Medical Cannabis Doctors does not provide medical services or medical advice. This information is for awareness purposes only and is NOT medical advice. Do not self diagnose or prescribe any forms of treatments based on this information or the information on this site. Always consult with a licensed physician in your state for any medical advice, treatments, prescriptions and medical services.
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