Fibromyalgia is not only a difficult condition to live with, but it also remains difficult to diagnose. Most often the condition is diagnosed through inspection of a patient’s medical history, with an evaluation of their current symptoms. After ruling out the possibility of other disease, it is deemed to be fibromyalgia.
The condition itself causes chronic pain throughout the entire body, coupled with tenderness and stiffness in the joints and connective tissue. Over 6 million people are affected in the U.S. alone, not counting those that remain un- or misdiagnosed. The development of a definitive test to diagnose the condition would be a great leap for the medical community, and a relief to those who have yet to be properly diagnosed.
Just recently, EpicGenetics of Santa Monica, California has developed a new blood test that may be able to accurately diagnose the condition. The test measures the proteins in the body that lessen pain. People afflicted with fibromyalgia have dramatically lower numbers of these proteins. Initial tests showed that 93% of people who had fibromyalgia were diagnosed correctly with the blood test. The company is still conducting studies to improve the test’s efficacy.
As of now, the test carries the steep price tag of $744, making it difficult to obtain for many people. Experts agree that it should be utilized for patients lacking many of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, but who are still having difficulty determining the cause of their pain. The company hopes to reduce the cost and improve availability after more research is conducted, and the test is approved.
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