Fibromyalgia blood test could become reality

Lana Bandoim's picture
Fibromyalgia blood test

Instead of struggling to get a diagnosis, imagine being able to walk into a doctor’s office to get a simple blood test for fibromyalgia. This dream may become a reality thanks to new research being done by scientists at King's College London. They recently received a large grant to help them create a reliable blood test that could diagnose fibromyalgia.

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Patients often find it difficult to get a fibromyalgia diagnosis because of the variety of symptoms and lack of understanding about the disease. Some fibromyalgia symptoms, such as insomnia, fatigue and chronic pain, are shared with other medical conditions. Often, doctors attempt to use a process of elimination to diagnose patients who are suffering from fibromyalgia, but a misdiagnosis is a common problem.

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Researchers at King's College London are working on a new blood test for fibromyalgia. They are studying 400 twins to determine DNA biomarkers for pain. They hope to increase knowledge about pain pathways while finding a biomarker they can use for a simple blood test. This would allow patients to be diagnosed easier and allow them to get treatment faster.

Currently, there are no official blood tests that can confirm the presence of fibromyalgia. However, some doctors use the FM/a blood test to try to diagnose fibromyalgia. The test comes with a large price tag of $744 that may not be covered by insurance. In addition, the Arthritis & Osteoporosis WA foundation states that the test is controversial and warns that patients need to remember the old saying of “Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).” Professor Fred Wolfe has criticized the test and believes it is not capable of diagnosing fibromyalgia. This is why researchers at King's College London want to create a better and more reliable blood test that will eliminate concerns about diagnosis.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain

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Comments

I did have the FM/a test in January 2017. My result was negative, which they ran through twice. I have been in a limbo for the past year because if I don’t have fibromyalgia then what do I have? I waited five months to see a rheumatologist and she didn’t come up with anything conclusive except to say she thought I might have rheumatoid arthritis. Going back 13 years I was first diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica. Then for the past ten with fibromyalgia. No I waited five months to see an integrative doctor this week so hopefully she can make some progress. Personally I believe I’ve had a thyroid issue for a long long time, but have only had part of the tests done. I believe I have a reverse T3 problem but having no treatment for all this time, I have developed these autoimmune conditions. It is so so frustrating. Had to leave work 10 years ago because I couldn’t make it through even a half a day. So maybe I’ll finally get some answers, it has been such a struggle. I have been one of those overachievers all my life until I finally went over the edge my body could not handle it anymore. I’m almost 67 and keep praying for some answers. I also refuse to get all drugged up on meds. I had been on five or six and have reduced them down to 1/3 of the original dose of gabapentin/Lyrica. Thanks. B