What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition, which affects many lives. Patients affected by fibromyalgia suffer from chronic pain which involves different body parts: shoulders, arms, upper and lower back. In addition patients often feel tired, even after a night sleep, waking up unrefreshed. Many patients find it difficult to concentrate, and to be physically active.
These symptoms have a serious negative effect on patients' quality of life, academic achievements, daily function and mood.
How do you get fibromyalgia?
We are still not sure why some people develop fibromyalgia, while others do not. There seems to be a hereditary factor, because first degree relatives of fibromyalgia patients are at higher risk for developing fibromyalgia.
Many people with fibromyalgia report experiencing traumatic life events. So we believe that the risk to develop fibromyalgia is 'multifactorial', meaning that it is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
No single treatment is considered effective in fibromyalgia.
Most patients are offered a treatment plan, consisting of regular physical activity, physical therapy, medications and psychological support.
Unfortunately, even with the best treatments, many patients continue to suffer symptoms.
How does the microbiome linked to fibromyalgia?
Our research team has recently been the first to report on a link between the gut microbiome and fibromyalgia.
We found that the gut bacteria is significantly changed in people with fibromyalgia, in ways that could explain some of the symptoms.
This study takes these findings to the next step, trying to influence the gut microbiome using dietary changes.