Recent Studies Show Link Between Fibromyalgia and Small-Fiber Polyneurophathy
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a musculoskeletal syndrome that starts in the brain and causes widespread pain in the joints and muscles coupled with intense fatigue, sleep, mood and memory issues. More than twelve million people suffer from FM syndrome with most of the affected being women between the ages of twenty-five and sixty. The fatigue that FM patients feel is one that often leaves them unable to get out of bed or stand well. Some of the effects of having FM culminate in anxiety, depression, tension headaches, IBS and TMJ.
The pain responses in people with FM are overly sensitive and they react more strongly to pain stimuli. Because all of the symptoms that FM patients experience are also symptomatic of other diseases and disorders, and because the symptoms are not always consistent, it can be difficult to obtain a diagnosis and the road from symptoms to diagnosis can be a long, painful and isolating one. There is no test for FM, making the disorder hard to confirm. They can’t just take blood or do an x-ray to confirm symptoms. In order for diagnosis to occur, doctors must rely on the grouping of a patient's symptoms.
It’s been recently found though that almost half of patients in a study done at Massachusetts General have what is known as Small Fibre Polyneuropathy (SFPN), prompting physicians to call for testing of this disorder in patients labeled as FM patients. The prompt is owed to SFPN having a set criterion that can be established when diagnosing, it’s thought that if used, more patients with FM may be easier to Identify.