By: Dr Alex Robber
FM is a very real biological condition
Those with fibromyalgia have been forced to deal with medical professionals, family and friends who don’t accept that fibromyalgia is a real medical disorder for too many years. Gradually over the past 15 years, the fact that FM is a very real biological disorder has been recognized by more and more people, including physicians–largely aided by the FDA’s approval of three drugs to treat FM.
Even though fibromyalgia is a common condition, diagnosis is extremely difficult. Diagnosis can be a gradual method of removing certain ailments and medical conditions. For some cases, the process could even take years. There has not been a clear diagnostic procedure for fibromyalgia in the past.
Many doctors and researchers however claim they may have found one in the FM/a study. Let’s look at current methods for making a fibromyalgia diagnosis, as well as the FM/a test.
A simple new blood test
“We have really good evidence of a test that could be a significant help in the treatment of patients with fibromyalgia,” says Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State University and senior author of a report that will be published in the Analyst journal next month.
Scientists used a high-powered infrared microscope in a small study at Ohio State to define a pattern of molecules in the blood that is specific to patients with fibromyalgia. The pattern was then checked in a blind study against blood samples from patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, a biological “fingerprint” of fibromyalgia. With 100 percent accuracy, the blood test verified, which patients had fibromyalgia.
Medicare and other private insurers are also paying for the FM/a Fibromyalgia test. Epic-Genetics provides support to determine whether the policy supported the test.
Epic-Genetics, a lab in California developed this new blood test
The fact is, not many lab tests are successful in diagnosing fibromyalgia. But a new blood test that is apparently very effective when diagnosing fibromyalgia, developed by Epic-Genetics, a laboratory in California, has recently been performed.
This blood test is theoretically capable of diagnosing fibromyalgia by detecting blood cell markers that would only be present in people who have fibromyalgia. The cost of this blood test is very high, costing under $1,000 and it will not be covered by most insurance companies either. You should always consult your doctor first, before you simply walk in and take the blood test.
Difference between depression, other chronic pain conditions and fibromyalgia
In the research section of the discussion it was noted, “Chronically depressed patients are characterized by higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine in the blood and lower levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine in the blood, somewhat like those seen in patients with chronic pain. Down with IL-10,IL-1? And IFN Development by mitogen stimulated PBMC has been found in depressed patients that have associated with our results. “The question is, could this test differentiate between depression, other chronic pain disorders and fibromyalgia?
Before this blood test came to pass, doctors tried to diagnose (and still do) fibromyalgia through physical testing, such as finding tender, sore points on your body. The doctor will then conduct a few more tests to make sure you have no more serious disorder than fibromyalgia. Blood tests were also conducted by physicians, such as ordering a complete blood count and testing red cells and white cells, as well as liver and kidney tests. None of these studies have been very conclusive in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, however. Your doctor may order certain blood tests to rule out other conditions, which include:
- Complete blood count
This test includes a count of your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It also tests the amount of hemoglobin in your blood.
- Thyroid hormone tests
These tests measure how well your thyroid is working and can help your doctor diagnose hypothyroidism.
- Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test
This test determines if you have these types of antibodies and can help your doctor diagnose RA.
- C – reactive protein test
This test looks for a substance produced by the liver that is a marker for inflammation.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate test
This test examines how quickly red blood cells settle in the bottom of a test tube. It can help your doctor diagnose polymyalgia rheumatica.
Epic-Genetics’ latest blood test is being hailed as the first conclusive blood test for fibromyalgia diagnosis
Epic-Genetics’ latest blood test is hailed as the first conclusive blood test for fibromyalgia diagnosis and can also give you the full tests in just under a week. The blood tests look for molecules of protein in the blood stream. White blood cells contain other molecules.
People with fibromyalgia usually have less of these protein molecules in their blood stream (and therefore a weakened immune system too). Such biomarkers of the immune system can be found in people with fibromyalgia but also in people with other diseases. But normally only patients with fibromyalgia will have a low level of these protein molecules which the blood tests for Epic-Genetics are looking for.
There are variations that show people with some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, but who also have enough levels of fibromyalgia of these protein molecules. Today, this blood tests are thought to be more than ninety percent effective to identify and show the levels of these protein molecules in bloodstream.
Ultimately, we need to bear in mind that this was only one analysis. Research must be repeated before they are appropriate as absolute scientific fact. Just over three years ago, when a study found the retrovirus XMRV in ME / CFS patients, we assumed that the cause of ME / CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) had been identified.
A tool for detecting XMRV was put onto the market quickly. Sadly, the initial results were retracted after many more trials. Hopefully, in addition to healthy controls, this research and test will hold up more studies which include other cohorts. It’s only time to tell.
Featured Image : via Red Orbit