Monday, March 11, 2013
Has it finally arrived?
Is there really a test?
We shall see.
We've waited and waited for research to come up with something that will give Fibromyalgia the legitimacy we crave. No more doctors looking at us with disdain or patting us on the head telling us to take a couple of pills and call them in the morning. Having this "syndrome" has cemented what we've learned through life experience.
Dismissal and rejection hurts.
So, now the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago and EpicGenetics has revealed a test that will diagnose Fibromyalgia. Other research has shown for quite some time that pro-inflammatory cytokines are elevated in patients with Fibromyalgia. They have tried to eliminate BMI and response to exercise as a stressor for the increased elevation as well as dismissing a cytokine connection in its entirety because that tends to lead to an impaired immune system and a connection to autoimmune diseases.
Back to the test, however.....
The test identifies specific biomarkers and is stated to be 93% sensitive. Currently, insurance does not cover the test and it's only being done through EpicGenetic. The cost is also $744. Patients are required to fill out a questionnaire for qualification and it can be arranged through their doctor.
Are they saying that Fibromyalgia is genetic? Are we predisposed to this and then a stressor sets it off?
Also, cytokine elevation can occur with other autoimmune illnesses. Sleep deprivation can induce elevated levels as well. Given the fact that Fibromyalgia has so many other symptoms and overlays of other illnesses, can this accurately diagnose Fibromyalgia or just the fact that cytokines are elevated could we be dealing with more than one pain condition?
The APA Assay test has been around for awhile. This test measures the IgG anti-polymer antibodies in human serum. Published studies have shown that different levels of these antibodies show the severity of the symptoms in Fibromyalgia patients. Basically, this test seeks to confirm that Fibromyalgia is an immune disorder because a positive result means that your immune system is producing these antibodies.
There are a lot of tests out there but none specific for Fibromyalgia, until this one. I think it has promise but is there more research to be done so that it is truly specific to Fibromyalgia and not just a pain disorder? I need to do more research on this test. It's very interesting. The very fact that most of us have to go through doctor after doctor, year after year to finally get a diagnosis this test could be a real step forward saving us money and heartache.
I'm hoping it isn't one more thing that I'll spend money on.
Right down the drain.
All those on board take one step forward.
Not so fast.