New research could move treatment of fibromyalgia ahead

Suffering from a chronic and painful illness can be debilitating. Not only could there be physical symptoms of these conditions, but there may also be mental issues that a person is dealing with, such as depression or anxiety. This can be especially true when an illness is not well understood and treatment is inadequate or ineffective.

These are the challenges that Texans who have fibromyalgia commonly face. Sufferers of this condition experience serious fatigue and pain that can be felt all over, not just localized to one body part. While there are various treatments that can help relieve some of the symptoms, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, research is ongoing to help us understand more about fibromyalgia and find more effective ways of identifying and treating the condition.

Recently, research efforts may have put us closer to standardizing the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia.

According to reports, researchers recently conducted a study that helped them classify fibromyalgia symptoms into four different groups. They asked study participants a number of questions related to their physical or mental symptoms and the degree to which they experienced them. Based on the answers, four distinct groups, or clusters, were identified.

  • Cluster 1: Lowest levels of symptoms
  • Cluster 2: Increased fatigue, pain and stiffness symptoms but less severe depression and anxiety
  • Cluster 3: Increased depression, dyscognition and anxiety but less severe symptoms related to pain, fatigue and stiffness
  • Cluster 4: Highest level of both physical and mental symptoms

This research is quite promising, in that it could help standardize the way that fibromyalgia is diagnosed. It could also help physicians prescribe treatment and medication that alleviates the more severe symptoms effectively.

As people in Dallas with fibromyalgia know, this condition can be disabling, painful and devastating. Depending on the severity of symptoms, a person could be unable to work and earn a living. In addition to seeking medical treatment, these people may also want to consider speaking with an attorney to explore options for pursuing Social Security Disability Insurance. With SSDI, recipients can access benefits while they are unable to work, which can help enormously when it comes to seeking out treatment and caring for themselves.

Source: ProHealth, "A Step Toward Identifying Fibromyalgia Subgroups," March 7, 2014