An insulin-resistance drug can also be used for fibromyalgia treatments, a discovery that provides better insights about the chronic condition. Presence of heightened fatigue, increased pain sensitivity and abnormal body pains are symptoms of fibromyalgia.
It affects 4 million people in USA as per CDC estimates. Yet, its causes remain unknown. However, Texas University researchers located in Galveston, found a breakthrough discovery. They investigated that if insulin resistance was responsible for fibromyalgia. A1c levels reflecting average sugar levels allowed identification of patients who had fibromyalgia. This test is usually used to diagnose type 2-related diabetes and pre-diabetes, with tests looking for hemoglobin A1c levels in the body, which are proteins found in blood cells, binding with glucose.
Published in PLOS One, 23 individuals with fibromyalgia were studied. They were recruited on the basis of their doctors’ recommendation for connective tissue or muscular pain. The tests of those with fibromyalgia indicated higher A1c levels than the control group, indicating insulin resistance. Dr. Papolla pointed that pre-diabetes and elevated A1c levels encouraged chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia.
However, no one had thought to research the link between fibromyalgia and insulin resistance, despite this information having been available about this in the public domain.
Reasons for oversight include the fact that 50% of fibromyalgia-diagnosed patients had A1c levels in the ordinary range. The first step of the study was to normalize these figures as per person’s age. These adjustments were crucial for the proper functioning of the trial.
Metformin, common insulin resistance drug, was administered to the test subjects. This showed in decrease in pain. Researchers are now suggesting that this is a cheaper and viable treatment for those affected by chronic pain.
With global healthcare costs going north of $100B every year, confirmation of their findings would revolutionize fibromyalgia management procedures and save billions in healthcare worldwide.