According to Healthline, there are things you need to know about the Fibromyalga blood test.
Diagnosis, as we all know, can be a lengthy process of ruling out other diseases and medical conditions. This process could even take years for some people. In the past, fibromyalgia hasn’t had a specific diagnostic test.
Blood tests have been used in the past but primarily to rule out other conditions like :_
- ypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- polymyalgia rheumatica (aching and stiffness across the whole body)
- rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects joints and organs)
- lupus (an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects the kidneys, brain, blood cells, heart, lungs, and sometimes joints)
other conditions a blood test can rule out are :-
- Complete blood count. This test includes a count of your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It also tests the amount of hemoglobin in your blood.
- Thyroid hormone tests. These tests measure how well your thyroid is working and can help your doctor diagnose hypothyroidism.
- Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test. This test determines if you have these types of antibodies and can help your doctor diagnose RA.
- C-Reactive protein test. This test looks for a substance produced by the liver that is a marker for inflammation.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate test. This test examines how quickly red blood cells settle in the bottom of a test tube. It can help your doctor diagnose polymyalgia rheumatica.
If these tests are negative for these similar conditions, then your doctor will start looking more at a possible fibromyalgia diagnosis.
THE FIBROMYALGIA BLOOD TEST :-
There have been some promising studies on the possible diagnostic blood test for fibromyalgia. It’s called an FM/a test. The test collects plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in a small sample of your blood. It tests the concentration of cytokines within your blood sample.
Significantly lower levels of cytokines may be an indicator of fibromyalgia. Abnormal levels of cytokines have been linked to being a trait in people with fibromyalgia. Because of this link, researchers are hoping that the FM/a test may prove to be a way to more definitively diagnosis fibromyalgia.
The research that has been done up to this point does show promise that the FM/a test may be able to diagnose fibromyalgia. However, more clinical trials need to be done before this test will be fully recognized as a diagnostic tool for fibromyalgia.
The FM/a test is still new and subject to research. Many doctors may not use it yet, and insurance companies most likely will not cover the cost. However, even with the FM/a test, it’s likely that your doctor will still use the current diagnostic criteria as confirmation.
Unfortunately, this test is only available in the USA and even now five years on from when it was first used the diagnosis it is still not 100% accurate. According to the NHS Tests to check for some of these conditions include urine and blood tests, although you may also have X-rays and other scans. If you’re found to have another condition, you could still have fibromyalgia as well.
The UK criteria for diagnosing Fibromyalgia are :-
- you either have severe pain in three to six different areas of your body, or you have milder pain in seven or more different areas
- your symptoms have stayed at a similar level for at least three months
- no other reason for your symptoms has been found
The extent of the pain used to be assessed by applying gentle pressure to certain “tender points”, where any pain is likely to be at its worst. However, this is less common nowadays.
With so many more people being diagnosed with this condition daily and a stigma still attached to it by some medical practitioners I guess it’s just a case of hoping that a more accurate blood test can soon be available to everyone worldwide and not just in the USA.