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"Cortisol may alleviate chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia symptoms"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 19 Mar 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (1½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Sufferers of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome may see significant relief from their symptoms when administered the stress hormone cortisol, finds a new study.

A review of 50 published studies conducted by researchers in California has found that people who suffer from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia have adrenal dysfunction, meaning their adrenal glands, which produce sex hormones and cortisol, don't work effectively...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 3 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

The article scored low on most criteria because there were gaps in how this treatment option was presented. While the benefits of the treatment were successfully quantified, there was no mention of patients who may have seen little or no effects following treatment. The article is clear in stating that the reported findings are based on a review of 50 existing studies -an important piece of information to include yet it is difficult to to conclude who exactly completed this review. What would have been of benefit to the reader was a brief description of how the reviewers drew their conclusions from these existing studies.
The spokesperson indicated that the cortisol treatment carries significantly less risk and a greater potential for benefit than alternative treatments but the details of these other treatments were not described.

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