Insulin Resistance May be Linked to Fibromyalgia, Preliminary Study Says

Insulin Resistance May be Linked to Fibromyalgia, Preliminary Study Says
Insulin resistance may be linked to fibromyalgia, which, if confirmed, could change the way physicians and patients face the disease, researchers say. The preliminary study, "Is insulin resistance the cause of fibromyalgia? A preliminary report," was published in PLOS One. Fibromyalgia is a complex condition characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and memory and mood issues. Although the specific causes underlying the development of fibromyalgia are not clear, scientists think the condition arises from a disturbance of the nervous system that changes the way the brain interprets sensations, especially painful stimuli. Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the body's cells become insensitive to insulin, a hormone produced by the spleen. This is the major cause of type 2 diabetes. "Earlier studies discovered that insulin resistance causes dysfunction within the brain's small blood vessels. Since this issue is also present in fibromyalgia, we investigated whether insulin resistance is the missing link in this disorder," Miguel Pappolla, MD, PhD, professor of neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, said in a news release. In the study, researchers from UTMB and collaborators carried out a retrospective chart review of 23 patients with fibromyalgia, focusing on potential laboratory abnormalities that would enable them to distinguish these patients from healthy individuals. They found that only the test assessing levels of glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) — the fraction of hemoglobin that is bound to glucose, or sugar, in the blood — normally used to identify pre-diabetic patients showing signs of IR was able to clearly separate those with fibromyalgia from two independent populations
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