Tuesday, March 5, 2013

First Test to Objectively Diagnose Fibromyalgia

Though I'm very excited that there is a way to test Fibromyalgia, I'm not too sure that they have us right just yet.  Researchers at the UIC Department of Pathology seem to think that Type A Fibromites have a hard time handling stress due to an abnormality in our immune production patterns.  They think this might lead to the pain and other issues we have.

I'm not so convinced.  Many people that suffer from other illnesses find themselves dealing with exacerbated symptoms while under stressful situations.  This is not uncommon to hear. 

And lets not forget that flares can come from other situations.  Changes in temperature, laundry detergent, cleaning products, or even the seasons can cause a flare for me, and those situations have nothing to do with the stress in my life. 

Let's also add to the mix what happened before I got sick.  I was able to work all day (12 hour shift) at my job and then come home, cook a meal, and clean the apartment.  That's not strenuous for a healthy person-- that's life, yet, there are days when I can't do that now due to pain or fatigue-- regardless of stress.   

I truly do not believe that there is something wrong with how we deal with stress or strain.  I think that we were born with a dysfunction and it progresses with age.  I believe it's a disease-- not a disorder of the physical or psychological kind-- but a real honest to goodness, bonafide disease.  And if this study winds up linking us to not being able to handle stress psychologically, that would be sad.  There is nothing wrong with our heads!  We are not crazy!  We just aren't functioning properly.  That is all.  Stepping down from the soap box...

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,



David Shmukler said...

If you feel pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. I can help you with that. I'm a chiropractor and there are many ways to cure and treatment for fibromyalgia that I can offer to you.

Kimberley Linstruth-Beckom said...

Thank you for your kind comment Dr. David Shmukler. I'm a big fan of chiropractors. I think they help the Fibro patient a lot. I wasn't able to wear any type of shoe except sneakers for years due to the pain, and after getting adjustments for about a month and half, I was able to wear heels for the first time in 15 years! I can't say enough good things about chiropractic care.

Michelle Devon (Michy) said...

Kimberley, I think you're misunderstanding this some... first, what you're saying here is a slightly insulting to those who have mental disorders. Mental disorders--such as depression, bipolar, etc.--are real medical conditions that are caused by a malfunction in the body chemistry, the way the brain releases and reuptakes chemicals. It's no different than, say, diabetes where insulin is not properly regulated--it's just that with a mental disorder, it affects the brain, so things like mood, personality, etc., are affected. Please don't stigmatize those who suffer from mental or emotional disorders--which are real medical conditions with real medical treatments and NOT weaknesses of character--when you yourself don't want people to do the same with FM.

From what I read of this study, they're saying that fibromyalgia is a medical condition that affects cytokines and certain proteins in the body, which trigger an immune response (which sort of sounds like they are calling it an offshoot of an auto-immune disorder--which we've long suspected about FM)... and that this immune response affects how those with FM respond to and react to stress. Not mental stress, Kimberely, but stress. Stress can include: mental, emotional, physical, etc.

I have fibromyalgia. I also have adrenal insufficiency (called Addison's Disease). Adrenal insufficiency has to do with the adrenals, which control how the body responds in s stressful situation. Stress in this instance means illness, physical activity, emotional stress, etc.

So what they are saying is exactly what you're saying here, but I think you're misunderstanding it.

You're saying that you once could handle things well, and now you're struggling with that because of the FM.

That's exactly what they are saying too. They are saying that because of the changes in the way the chemicals/proteins and cytokines (and cytokines have a lot to do with pain responses) are changed in someone who has FM, it makes them less able to handle daily stress, which is what results in the pain, the brain fog, the lower immune system, etc.

That's exactly what DOES happen. People with FM have bodies that are not able to handle as much stress as people without FM, and they are saying that this is because of the immune trigger in the body that changes the cytokines and these proteins that can now be tested for.

The PROBLEM with this test isn't about that at all. The problem is, they haven't tested to see if other conditions might also cause these cytokines and proteins to increase. For example, complex regional pain syndrome, myofacial pain syndrome, chronic fatigue, Epstein-barr, etc... can all these also cause the same results? Is it possible some people might take this test and end up with an FM diagnosis, when in reality, they have a DIFFERENT pain condition.

So I'm all for the test--diagnostically--but only if all these other conditions that might produce the same response are ruled out first.

This is a HUGE step in the right direction. For decades now, FM has been thought by many to not exist. This test is the first conclusive proof that there is a PHYSICAL condition, a real, honest-to-goodness medical proof that there is a disease here.

I'm pleased to see this advancement.... sorry for babbling on your blog!

Love and stuff,

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