New research has developed a link between fibromyalgia and bacteria in the gut. The latest study shows that there are changes in the bacteria level in patients. It could be a breakthrough for people with the disease, and their doctors were waiting; with future testing, it may provide information on cause, diagnosis, and even prevention. The connection at this time is not exactly clear about the meaning, but the future is hopeful thanks to the new discovery.
1. Summary of Fibromyalgia
This is a disease that affects the whole body, although there is known pain in the locomotor system; it can also increase problems with memory, fatigue, sleepiness and drowsiness. Although there is no known cause, the popular belief is that people suffering from the disease experience pain that worsens when pain occurs; patients describe it as a dull, aching pain. Currently, many people suffer for years before a diagnosis, even up to 5 years; future research hopes that this may change the current process. With today’s medical technology, there is still no test for the disease to confirm this. For a doctor to be able to diagnose, it is usually determined by a specialist doctor known to a rheumatologist, where the doctor must make the diagnosis based only on their symptoms.
2. The Study – Part 1
Recent studies have given a new perspective on what can cause the disease; studies have shown a connection between intestinal bacteria and disease. The journal Pain published a study showing that people with the disease found bacterial changes in their gastrointestinal tract. During study 20, different species of bacteria changed, increasing or decreasing their amounts. The Canadian study used 156 participants to test urine, saliva, stool and blood; the aim was to examine and compare with healthier individuals. Seventy-seven of the participants suffered from the disease itself.
3. The Study – Part 2
Dr Amir Minerbi, who is from the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at McGill University Health Center (MUHC), elaborates by describing to ensure that the changes they observed in patients’ microbiomes, the researchers used a variety of methods, including artificial intelligence . The idea was to be on the safe side; the changes were not due to other issues such as the patient’s age, diet, physical activity and medications, as these factors are known to affect the microbiomes. The researchers found that what contributed most to the changes were the symptoms of the disease. When bacteria changed in the system, the symptoms were exactly related to the changes. According to Dr. Amir Minerbi, symptoms get worse in patients when the levels of the special gut bacteria change.
4. What are gut bacteria
The gut microbiome is the bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract; it is also known as gut flora and gut microbiota and is considered a microorganism. Other microorganisms will be fungi, viruses and protozoa. You may have heard that eating yogurt or taking probiotic supplements is important because probiotics help your gut health; it helps with the good bacteria in your system. Having the right balance of good bacteria is important for the digestive system to function properly and for our overall health.
5. The future
Whether the microbiome is involved in the disease, or whether it is a symptom of the disease, it is still unclear whether the disease does not only involve pain. Future research will involve investigating whether these changes in gut bacteria are involved in other types of pain, or whether they have any involvement in the development of the disease. Other future research will try to find help in the curing process and the diagnostic process. Emmanuel Gonzalez, of the Canadian Center for Computational Genomics and the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University, credits computers with helping to make this new discovery with 87% accuracy. He also adds that there is hope in the future to build on recent findings to diagnose the disease more quickly.
We hope that some of the subjects will get answers in the future test: how they relate, prevent them or signs of developing it, monitoring the intestinal health can help to eliminate symptoms, and the individual with the disease has the same effects in other parts of the world.
People who suffer from the disease also suffer from others who cannot understand the symptoms that the patients face. The new research has opened up new hope, not only for patients, but also for researchers and doctors; in fact, frustration with the lack of answers prompts researchers to look for more.