UPDATES AND INFORMATION
NEW TOLL FREE NUMBER 1-800-261-2083. Many people are wondering what our status will be after Dr. St.Amand retires in March. Our site will remain open as normal. I know many of you know that I am up in years also,but both Kevin and Stacey will keep the site open if anything happens that is not expected.
GUAIFENESIN TABLETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE.Many different ones seem to be coming onto the market, Be careful,since many of the new ones have blue dye, So far the one being recommended by both doctors is the Guardian brand. We are in talks with them to see if we can get direct pricing from them and maintain inventory. As we have seen in the past many of theses products seem to come and go causing havoc in the Guai community. Our 600 mg capsule is the same as always but the 300mg is a little larger. The manufacturer added a little more of the product that controls it's release so it can be a little longer acting(about an hour)which makes it closer to the 600, Nothing else has changed. So, people that have done well with the capsule should find no difference in its action.Our tablet form of the 600mg has not been ok'd by Dr. St.Amand as of yet. They are doing studies on it and will get back to us.
patients taking guai 400mg.If you are buying it from your local pharmacy be aware that many of the products have dye(aluminum lake blue) and maltodextrin. We will carry some of this product for price conscience patients, but it is NOT the preferred product. Dr. St.Amand is also concerned about the dye in Mucinex.
Blood Test for Fibromyalgia: What You Need to Know
Blood tests for other conditions FM/a test Research How to test yourself for fibromyalgia Current diagnostic criteria Takeaway
Fibromyalgia is a neurologic condition that causes pain across most or all of the body. A neurologic condition is one that affects the nervous system. Fibromyalgia affects 2 to 4 percent of people. More women than men have the condition.
The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
pain or tenderness in muscles, joints, or skin from touch or pressure severe fatigue sleep difficulties memory difficulties foggy thinking
Even though fibromyalgia is a common condition, it's very challenging to diagnose. Diagnosis 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. However, some doctors and researchers think they may have found one in the FM/a test. Let's take a look at current methods of reaching a diagnosis of fibromyalgia as well as the FM/a test. Blood tests to rule out other conditions
The symptoms of fibromyalgia are often similar to those of other conditions. Before your doctor considers a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, they'll want to rule out these conditions. The conditions that have symptoms that resemble fibromyalgia are:
hypothyroidism (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)
These conditions can be diagnosed, or ruled out, through blood tests. Some blood tests your doctor may order to rule out other conditions include:
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. What about the FM/a test?
There have been some promising studies on a 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. What does the research say?
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. ADVERTISING Can you test yourself at home?
There are some steps that you can take to help determine if you might have fibromyalgia. These steps are part of the diagnostic criteria and information that your doctor will need to know before being able to give you a correct diagnosis. Gathering this information before making a doctor's appointment will help your doctor better determine the next steps in your diagnosis.
Some of the steps to test yourself are:
keep a pain journal that answers these questions: where does it hurt? how long does the pain continue? what activities were you doing, if any, prior to the start of the pain? how long have you been noticing your pain? has it been present for more than three months? Check the tender points keep a sleep journal that tracks how rested you feel when you wake up and throughout the day
After you collect this information, if you think you may have fibromyalgia, you should make an appointment to see a doctor. Your doctor will ask you a number of questions. The information gathered in your journal will help you answer those questions. How is fibromyalgia diagnosed currently?
Currently, most doctors still use the traditional criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. This diagnostic process includes:
interviewing you about your specific symptoms and their severity checking the number of symptoms you have and the number of body regions that are painful ordering blood tests to rule out similar diseases and conditions taking X-rays and scans to also rule out other diseases and conditions if indicated finding your widespread pain index (WPI) score
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.
Primary care doctors are now much more familiar with fibromyalgia and its symptoms than they were in the past. This familiarity will help you get a diagnosis more quickly while the FM/a test continues through additional clinical trials.
If you're interested in having the FM/a test, talk to your doctor. It may be an option for you. Your doctor may also recommend that you get some information on possibly participating in a clinical trial for the test. Healthline Newsletters Get our weekly Fibromyalgia email
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Behm FG, et al. (2012). Unique immunologic patterns in fibromyalgia. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6890-12-25 Diagnosis. (n.d.). fmcpaware.org/diagnosis.html Fibromyalgia. (2017). rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia. (2017). cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/fibromyalgia.htm Fibromyalgia. (2014). niams.nih.gov/health-topics/fibromyalgia#tab-diagnosis FM/a test. (n.d.). fmtest.com/#right-for-you Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Fibromyalgia. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354780 Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Lupus. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lupus/symptoms-causes/syc-20365789 Menzies V, et al. (2009). Integrated review of the association of cytokines with fibromyalgia and fibromyalgia core symptoms. journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1099800409348328 Polymyalgia rheumatica. (2017). rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Polymyalgia-Rheumatica ÃœÃ§eyler N, et al. (2011). Systematic review with meta-analysis: Cytokines in fibromyalgia syndrome. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-12-245 Wallace DJ, et al. (2015). Cytokine and chemokine profiles in fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus: A potentially useful tool in differential diagnosis. link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00296-014-3172-2
Medically reviewed by Nancy Carteron, MD, FACR on January 19, 2018 — Written by Diana Wells related stories
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