Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Does insulin resistance cause fibromyalgia?

Researchers led by a team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston were able to dramatically reduce the pain of fibromyalgia patients with medication that targeted insulin resistance.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Experimental blood test accurately spots fibromyalgia

For the first time, researchers have evidence that fibromyalgia can be reliably detected in blood samples—work they hope will pave the way for a simple, fast diagnosis.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Study links adult fibromyalgia to childhood sexual abuse

A new Tel Aviv University study finds that fibromyalgia syndrome—a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties—may be a consequence of post-traumatic physical and psychological ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Are most patients with fibromyalgia misdiagnosed?

Recent studies have suggested that most people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia by physicians may not actually have the condition. A new Arthritis Care & Research study found that overall agreement between clinicians' ...

Neuroscience

People with fibromyalgia have inflammation of the brain

The causes of the difficult-to-treat pain syndrome fibromyalgia are largely unknown. Using PET brain imaging, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Massachusetts General Hospital have now shown that glial cells – the ...

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (new Latin, fibro-, fibrous tissues, Gk. myo-, muscle, Gk. algos-, pain, meaning muscle and connective tissue pain; also referred to as FM or FMS) is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure. It is an example of a diagnosis of exclusion. Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness. Some patients may also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling, and cognitive dysfunction. Fibromyalgia is frequently comorbid with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and stress-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Not all people with fibromyalgia experience all associated symptoms. Fibromyalgia is estimated to affect 2–4% of the population, with a female to male incidence ratio of approximately 9:1.

The brains of fibromyalgia patients show structural and behavioral differences from those of healthy individuals, but it is unclear whether the brain anomalies cause fibromyalgia symptoms or are the product of an unknown underlying common cause. Some research suggests that these brain anomalies may be the result of childhood stress, or prolonged or severe stress.

Historically, fibromyalgia has been considered either a musculoskeletal disease or neuropsychiatric condition. Although there is as yet no cure for fibromyalgia, some treatments have been demonstrated by controlled clinical trials to be effective in reducing symptoms, including medications, behavioral interventions, patient education, and exercise. The most recent approach of a diagnosis of fibromyalgia involves pain index and a measure of key symptoms and severity.

Fibromyalgia has been recognized as a diagnosable disorder by the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Rheumatology. Fibromyalgia, a central nervous system disorder, is described as a 'central sensitisaton syndrome' caused by neurobiological abnormalities which act to produce physiological pain and cognitive impairments as well as psychological symptomatology. Despite this there are some members of the medical community who do not consider fibromyalgia a disease because of a lack of abnormalities on physical examination and the absence of objective diagnostic tests.

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