Fibromyalgia is a common cause of chronic pain in North American adults. While this condition has been known for years, the exact cause remains a mystery. Viruses, auto-immune disorders and thyroid issues have all been proposed as causes but none have proven definitive. A recent study conducted by researchers in Texas may shed some light on the cause of this debilitating disease. Doctors treated fibromyalgia patients with medication designed for insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body’s tissues take up glucose from your bloodstream for energy. Insulin resistance is when your body becomes less responsive to insulin, which then leads to more glucose remaining in your circulation. This can lead to diabetes. The patients who were given the medication reported significant decreases in their pain levels. The researchers suggest this may be because fibromyalgia is in fact a metabolic disorder. The authors urge caution because this is preliminary research. However, fibromyalgia patients may want to consider decreasing their intake of sugar and foods with a high glycemic index such as refined wheat, corn and potato products.
Miguel A. Pappolla et al, Is insulin resistance the cause of fibromyalgia? A preliminary report, PLOS ONE (2019). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216079