What Is The Latest Fibromyalgia Research?
Despite affecting millions of people, fibromyalgia is a very complex condition that is still not fully understood. There is no definitive test to check for fibromyalgia and the overlap of symptoms with many other conditions, often lead to misdiagnosis. There is no one medication to treat fibromyalgia or a known cure. For this reason, sufferers of fibromyalgia feel that funding for research is crucial. They hope that research will improve scientists’ understanding of this condition and help them to develop more effective ways to diagnose and treat this syndrome.
Research is being conducted to help our understanding of pain. How individuals with fibromyalgia respond to pain could be a key to the problem. Early research suggests that sufferers have a hypersensitivity to stimuli that people do not normally find painful. Research can explore why some people have this increased pain sensitivity and how it can be controlled.
Fibromyalgia seems to run in the family although there is no scientific evidence yet of it being genetic. Researchers are trying to identify whether a specific gene or genes predispose family members to this condition. Further research is also needed to understand why certain factors such as stress or a trauma can trigger fibromyalgia in a person with a predisposition to it.
Chemical reactions between the nervous system and hormonal system may offer some understanding into the link between stress and fibromyalgia. There is medical evidence to suggest that problems in responding to physical and emotional stress can trigger or worsen fibromyalgia symptoms.
Some researchers believe that reproductive hormones may be connected to the increased sensitivity to pain that fibromyalgia sufferers feel. Research is being carried out to examine the role of sex hormones and pain sensitivity in relation to stress and symptom perception at different points in the menstrual cycle.
Sleep disorders are one of the major effects of fibromyalgia and medication is not effective for many sufferers. A research team is investigating the link between fibromyalgia and insomnia sufferers. These two groups share many characteristics such as erratic sleep patterns and spending too much time in bed.
Some researchers are expanding their research into the link between fibromyalgia and other disorders. They want to determine if fibromyalgia is more common in people who have other disorders that run in families, such as serious mood disorder. The emphasis is on psychiatric disorders and arthritis.
Understanding Different Reactions To Fibromyalgia
Scientists realize that all fibromyalgia patients are different and that their different reactions to pain and treatment can help them to provide better care. One research team has divided sufferers into three groups based on how they cope with their condition. They feel that understanding these sub groups can help to tailor treatments to fit the individual.