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Fibromyalgia Linked To Gut Microbes
Thursday 11 July 2019
Fibromyalgia Linked to Gut Microbes
Genetic technologies advanced incredibly in recent years, allowing researchers to take stock of the microbial community living in the human gastrointestinal tract. Since then, the gut microbiome has been shown to have a close connection to our health and well-being. Some diseases with unclear causes have been linked to this microbial community, which can impact digestion and nutrient absorption, our mental health, and the function of the immune system, among other things. Now researchers have found an association between the gut microbiome and a chronic pain disorder - fibromyalgia.
For a time, people with fibromyalgia were told that their disorder was psychological, or a figment of their imagination. But this debilitating condition is now estimated to affect two to four percent of the population. There is no cure; treating the disorder is challenging and only applies to the symptoms - widespread pain and sensitivity.
This new study, which has been published in Pain, assessed biological samples and questionnaires from 156 Canadian individuals, 77 of whom have fibromyalgia. The scientists identified differences in the microbial population in the guts of people with fibromyalgia. There were either more or less of around twenty types of bacteria in those suffering from the disease than the healthy people, as shown in the figure.
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