February 27, 2017

Fibromyalgia Worsens Function in RA Patients

Recent published research stated that those patients with Rheumatoid arthritis had higher pain levels if they also were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

“Fibromyalgia is associated with worsening function in rheumatoid arthritis patients”.”The researchers noted that Fibromyalgia is a debilitating syndrome characterized by widespread, non-articular pain. The condition is more common in RA patients, with a prevalence of about 20% compared with 2.5% in the general population.”

A few additional fact from the study included a psychosocial stress element and a suggestion for rheumatologists to consider using a pharmacological approach for treating RA patients with Fibromyalgia.  Even though the study attempted to connect a psychosocial distress element there was no recorded worsening of the RA/Fibromyalgia patient. What the research found was RA patients without Fibromyalgia had significantly higher anxiety and depression scores ,Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). At this point this worsening of psychosocial status in RA patients minus Fibromyalgia cannot be fully explained.

Researchers suggested that RA/Fibromyalgia patients may benefit from treatment that involved improving physical function and consider prescribing antidepressants, anti-convulsants and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibtors.

The author and coauthors of this research reported financial relationships with a number of pharmaceutical companies.

I am happy to see that research has finally caught up with what we in the field working with these patients knew for many years. Fibromyalgia is a “condition” that makes all other conditions that a patient has worse. As I have written numerous times in my blogs, all Fibromyalgia patients have multiple conditions with interrelated symptoms. These symptoms are constantly exacerbated by Fibromyalgia. Regardless of the condition whether it be RA, Lime disease, Osteoarthritis, thyroid conditions, traumas from auto accidents or work related injuries or any other condition not mentioned if you also have Fibromyalgia your symptoms will be 3 to 5 times greater.

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Fibromyalgia, Pain Management