Yes, Laura, there is a blood test for fibromyalgia and it’s 99% accurate. On top of that, it doesn’t confuse fibromyalgia with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or other chronic pain conditions as was previous thought. It has been discovered that people with fibromyalgia don’t have the same blood markers as those with other chronic pain conditions; therefore, the blood test for fibromyalgia is extremely accurate.
Bruce Gillis, MD, founder and CEO of EpicGenetics, a bioresearch company based in Santa Monica, CA. said, “We have not seen any overlap between the biomarkers in fibromyalgia and the immune system patterns of patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. That really takes the air out of the sails of any naysayers that are out there”.
This is extremely good news for fibromyalgia sufferers. A definitive blood test that will say ‘yes, I have this’ should prove to the most doubting doctors that fibromyalgia is a disease of the body and not ‘in our head’ as many of us have been told in the past.
The blood test for fibromyalgia was first started in March, 2013 by EpiGenetics. It looks for proteins in the blood called chemokines and cytokines. The blood test shows that people with fibromyalgia have fewer of these proteins than other people including those with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and the like according to the study done on 300 individuals that had a mixture of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Dr. Gillis told National Pain Report that , “We have not seen any overlap between the biomarkers in fibromyalgia and the immune system patterns of patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. That really takes the air out of the sails of any naysayers that are out there”.
The cost of the blood test for fibromyalgia is expensive but has come down considerably. The original cost was $12,500 to analyze someone’s blood but is now ‘only’ $744. Unfortunately most insurances doesn’t cover it. The cost is a real blow to fibromyalgia sufferers because many of us don’t/can’t work because of the pain; therefore, no insurance; therefore, we can’t afford the test. Dr. Gillis is hopeful that the cost will become more affordable by licensing outside labs to draw the blood and send the samples to EprGenetics for analysis.
EpiGenetics isn’t the only place where a blood test for fibromyalgia is being researched. There is another study from the University of Ohio. This small study was conducted by Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD. Who is a professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State University. He is also the senior author of a study being published in the journal Analyst next month.
This study produced similar results when samples of blood taken from persons with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus were compared. The blood was analyzed under a high powered microscope and the analysis proved without a doubt which persons had the fibromyalgia. Dr. Buffington said that the analysis never mistook someone with arthritis for someone with fibromyalgia. More good news !
This study included blood samples from twelve persons with osteoarthritis, fifteen persons with rheumatoid arthritis, and fourteen persons with fibromyalgia. True, it’s small but the results are still promising.
The microscopic study of the blood showed that the molecular pattern of the blood from persons with fibromyalgia was definitely different from the molecular patter of the blood from the persons with arthritis. Of course, more study is needed to find out which molecules are involved but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
At the end of the study from EpiGenetics there are fifty eight comments that people have written. A couple sum up many of the things I hear from fellow fibromyalgia sufferers and sometimes feel myself. One in particular will help close this article.
From Ann, “I am a longtime sufferer of severe fibromyalgia. I spend most of my days totally bedridden, and I’m only 43. It has robbed me of almost everything, including ability to have children, which my husband and I really wanted! My muscles feel like rocks, and my upper spine and neck has arthritis. My back feels unstable and locks out of place due to the arthritis. My family tries to understand, but they really don’t, and I have no real familial support, save my husband. This disease, if I may call it that, is relentless and sinister, and I want to be able to look forward to some kind of life before I die.
Please find a cure!!!!!”
From Linda (me), “I know that this research is not totally definitive but it sure is a far cry from how my fibromyalgia was diagnosed. When I was diagnosed it was by pressing on eighteen specific spots on my body including shoulders, elbows, shoulder blades, hips, knees and a couple other places. This was done only after a two year barrage of blood tests, heart tests, psychological evaluation and then a lot of guess work. I feel that any strides towards a ‘fool-proof’ blood test is great. The research should be continued and expanded, as I’m sure it will be, until a cause and hopefully a cure for this pain-in-the-body disease is diagnosed and treated successfully. (You thought I was going to say something besides body, didn’t you ?) Thank you to my friend, Laura, who mentioned this blood test to me.