Researchers Claim ‘Breakthrough’ in Fibromyalgia Study

Researchers Claim ‘Breakthrough’ in Fibromyalgia Study

Researchers are touting a “breakthrough discovery” in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia – a complex and painful condition that affects millions of people around the world.

In a new study being published in Pain Medicine, the journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, researchers based at Albany Medical College say they may have finally found the first biological evidence of what causes fibromyalgia.

bigstock-A-Chinese-Asian-female-medical-25132175“Instead of being in the brain, the pathology consists of excessive sensory nerve fibers around specialized blood vessel structures located in the palms of the hands,” said Frank Rice, PhD, President of Integrated Tissue Dynamics LLC (Intidyn) and the senior researcher on the study.

In a small study of fibromyalgia patients, researchers found an “enormous increase” in sensory nerve fibers in the blood vessels of the skin on the patients’ palms. The extra nerve fibers appear to disrupt the normal flow of blood, which may explain why many fibromyalgia patients often complain of tenderness or pain in their hands and feet.

“We previously thought that these nerve endings were only involved in regulating blood flow at a subconscious level, yet here we had evidence that the blood vessel endings could also contribute to our conscious sense of touch… and also pain,” said Rice.

“This discovery provides concrete evidence of a fibromyalgia-specific pathology which can now be used for diagnosing the disease, and as a novel starting point for developing more effective therapeutics.”

Fibromyalgia is a poorly understood disorder that is characterized by joint pain, deep tissue pain, fatigue, headaches, depression and lack of sleep. It affects about 10 million Americans, and one in 20 people worldwide. The underlying cause of fibromyalgia has confounded physicians for decades.

To analyze the nerve endings, Rice and his colleagues used microscopic technology to study small skin biopsies collected from the palms of fibromyalgia patients. The study was limited to women, who have over twice the occurrence of fibromyalgia than men.

Image courtesy of Frank L. Rice, PhD, Integrated Tissue Dynamics, LLC

Image courtesy of Frank L. Rice, PhD, Integrated Tissue Dynamics, LLC

The team found the extra sensory nerve fibers in tiny muscular valves or “shunts,” which form a direct connection between arterioles and venules, the blood vessels in the skin.

The shunts essentially act as thermostats, regulating body heat. Under warm conditions, the shunts close down to force blood into the capillaries of the skin in order to radiate heat away from the body. Under cold conditions, the shunts open wide, allowing blood to bypass the capillaries in order to conserve heat.

“The excess sensory innervation may itself explain why fibromyalgia patients typically have especially tender and painful hands. But, in addition, since the sensory fibers are responsible for opening the shunts, they would become particularly active under cold conditions, which are generally very bothersome to fibromyalgia patients,” said Dr. Charles Argoff, an Albany Medical Center neurologist and pain specialist, who was the study’s primary investigator.

Although they are mostly limited to the hands and feet, researchers say the shunts could have another important function which could account for the widespread pain, achiness, and fatigue that occurs in fibromyalgia patients.

“An enormous proportion of our blood flow normally goes to our hands and feet. Far more than is needed for their metabolism” noted Dr. Rice. “As such, the hands and the feet act as a reservoir from which blood flow can be diverted to other tissues of the body, such as muscles when we begin to exercise.”

“Therefore, the pathology discovered among these shunts in the hands could be interfering with blood flow to the muscles throughout the body. This mismanaged blood flow could be the source of muscular pain and achiness, and the sense of fatigue which are thought to be due to a build-up of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation (in) fibromyalgia patients.”

Reaction to the study from fibromyalgia experts was mixed.

“It is exciting that something has finally been found.” said Dr. Gary Bennett, Senior Research Chair of the Alan Edwards Center for Pain Research at McGill University. “We can hope that this new finding will lead to new treatments for fibromyalgia patients who now receive little or no relief from any medicine.”

“A great deal more research is indicated, but this is a good start. Loss of thermostatic control is a major complaint for many fibromyalgia patients, myself included,” said Celeste Cooper, RN, a patient advocate and author of Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Battling the See-Saw of Chronic Pain.

“I hope they also screened the participants for the presence of myofascial trigger points.  These knotted up pieces of muscle fiber can restrict blood flow, even in the smallest of vessels,” Cooper said in an email to National Pain Report. “Many FM patients have a disorder called Raynaud’s disease or phenomenon where their hands, feet, nose, and sometimes ears turn blue when exposed to cold.  They become numb and very painful on re-warming at which time, the color turns red. This is thought to result from spasm of the same vessels studied here.”

“Certainly, there is more than a casual connection of myofascial pain syndrome and Raynaud’s, but I am uncertain that fibromyalgia is a sympathetic nervous system disorder.  We just need more research and consideration of comorbid disorders.”

Authored by: Pat Anson, Editor

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I would encourage everyone with this type of pain to try to eat gluten free for a couple of weeks to see if there is improvement. I felt a difference in only a couple of days, and things got better as the time went on. I will never go back to eating gluten as my pain that comes from gluten is just not worth it. The diet is difficult but so worth it. More places are becoming aware of the need and so there is many more options. Start by just eating vegetables, fruit and eggs/meats for a few days which makes it simple.

I hope even some of you have a positive reaction to this diet, good luck.

I have tried EVERTHING available to ease my pain. I seldom dress for it hurts, especially a bra. The worse is that I have a wonderful husband and it hurts so badly for him to hug me, much less being intimate. I feel so guilty and have suicidal thoughts. Since I also have IBS, stomach bleeding from pills, I now have to use Hydrocod/acetaminophen, 7.5/500 in solution form. It is somewhat helpful but mainly adds to confusion, etc. I don’t need the test, my body tells me I have FM. I just want a cure. My life seems worthless and only God has kept me from checking out.


Chech out OSU integrative health departments WEE protocol for health vet ddifferent information than I’ve seen before and lowers the body’s imflammation markers. Google it. Might help.

hi please keep me updated of any new information related to fibromyalgia I am a mother of three who still works. I am stuggling so would love to know if you find a cure or something to help this painful condition.


I have a 22 year old son who has had Vasculitis since birth he has been experiencing foot, leg and muscle cramps as well as joint pain. His doctor refuses to look at him for fibro even though I am 2nd generation fibro & arthritis sufferer. He has diabetes so they blame it on Neuropathy even though the symptoms are fibro. He shows no signs of diabetes involvement. The doctor says he is to young to be labeled with fibro – what is to young if you have it? He receives no treatment so he is suffering. What is a mom to do?


Interesting research but no mention if a “normal” population was also checked for the presence of extra sensory nerve fibers. What if a % of a population that does not suffer from fibromyalgia also possesses similar numbers of extra sensory nerve fibers in those body areas? That would suggest that the linkage or connection is not as clear as the researchers are suggesting. Not saying it’s so, but it’s a possibility that needs to be ruled out.

Theresa Sheridan

I have suffered from fibromyalgia for over 8 years. It came on after my Father’s death, I would get hot flushes and then pain. So stress contributed greatly in this case. I was also Peri-menapausal (hence the hot flushes which are also brought on by stress). I was sent to see a rheumatologist, in fact I seen several and never the chief rheumatologist. I asked each one if the menopause was linked to the condition, and they laughed at me. I also said that I suffered with pain in my hands and feet, they did scans and said nothing was wrong and that I had fibro and that I should just get on with my life (easy for them to say!!). I was admitted to hospital twice on both occasions with pains in my legs and hips. I was given every test under the sun and everything showed up as being normal. They even questioned the possibility of me having hepatitis, those tests were negative also. The latest flare up is back pain, I am now on morphine when it gets really bad. I had an MRI scan which only shows a slightly bulging disc, which my doctor assured me would not cause the level of pain that I am suffering. I read this article and it does make sense. The palms of both of my hands are excessively red (and no I do not drink alcohol). The redness has been more prominent in my pregnancies (some years ago) and now as I am menopausal, coincidence or what? I also understand that a lack of sleep (through pain) can cause further pain and strain on the vital organs. The brain comes into play also because the body clock in the brain becomes messed up during the menopause (irregular menstrual cycles for example) and also due to sleep patterns being disturbed. This part of the brain also deals with sunlight, darkness, hot and cold and most importantly it deals with pain. My sleep pattern is very irregular and I often get to sleep when the sun rises which cannot be good. My days are short and this often makes me fed up and stressed out. Something else that I take into consideration is that I do not tolerate pain very well. As a child if I fell or knocked my legs or arms, the pain was excruciating. I am now taking amitriptyline which is supposed to help me sleep. My brain is active when I sleep and I feel as if I have been dreaming the whole time hence I do not feel as rested when I wake up. The only thing that has ever helped are sleeping tablets and every now and then I ask my doctor for a 7 day supply so I can at least get some quality sleep. Needless to say she will not put me on them full-time as I would become addicted and the effects would also wear off making them useless. So this is… Read more »


I have just been officially diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia even though I have been in pain for more than 10 years. I was cynically dismissed by a doctor and was told my pain was all in my head. The doctor even refused to refer me to a specialist because my blood test showed that there was nothing wrong with me. I have been taking Lyrical for 2 weeks already but the pain still persists and it is getting more unbearable. Amitripline and Gabapentine offered no relief. Numbness and tinging on both my hands every morning. Deep intense shooting pain on both my arms which keeps me awake and if I doze off, it wakes me up. I am fed up with the fatigue and weakness. Nothing seems to help ease the pain. Exercising and walking cause radiating pain on my back. I am in pain 24/7. Nobody understands my condition and I have to bear unkind remarks from people around me. I have already applied to retire early as I can’t move much. The doctors I have consulted so far do not have time to listen to the description of my condition. They would quickly dismiss me and prescribe me with pain killers. I feel so helpless.

geri fennelly

please keep up the good work researching this debilitating complaint that very few understand especially the medication profession.
I would appreciate updates

Franki deMerle

I have FMS, Major Chronic Depression, PTSD, have had IBS in the past, and have severe dry eye/mouth/nose but not positive for Sjogrens. I get butterfly rashes but don’t have lupus. Change of temperature is extremely difficult. I’m sun sensitive, so, even tho the rheumatologist in Alabama said it would make no difference, I moved to SW WA and got my life back. Cloud cover and low UV allow me to live and enjoy the outdoors. My connective tissue disease is in full remission. Here I only flare up when a cold front comes down from the Gulf of AK or the sun comes out for the short summer. In AL, I suffered with every low pressure system, coworkers keeping office too cold, being made fun of for not getting well and not being able to open certain doorknobs. I was told I fall into the category of FMS with 2-3x substance P in my spinal fluid. I now live on a disability pension. Yoga is my best friend. Your research is much needed validation for me. I’m almost a recluse because I’ve had it with people who don’t care that they’re ignorant but have to make snide remarks anyway. No, a vegan diet won’t cure me. One former office worker who was one of the worst now has FMS and we’ve become friends. I’m NOT too sensitive. At least I have possession of my senses. Add major defensiveness as a side-effect of the disease. I’ve always wondered in what way FMS contributed to my 5 lost babies & monthly hemorrhaging that followed. Fibroids can’t be a coincidence, nor can a fibrous tumor in the palm of my hand following an injury that took a couple of years to go away. We’re all desperate to know and willing to help. If I eat onions, peppers, or garlic, I have a cascade of fibro pain like swarms of wasps in my veins. I almost died in 2009 of an accidental overdose of Rx & over the counter meds just trying to get to sleep, but my doc has that under control now. Massage is excruciating. Pancreatitis following gall bladder removal (inflamed & enlarged, no stones), taught me all those over the counter supplements that were supposed to help are a waist of money. Only Rxs, meditation, exercise, & rest help. PLEASE continue your research. Meanwhile, death is not such a bad thing. Thank you.


It is truly ridiculous how many doctors STILL do not recognise Fibro….they say it is “all in our heads”. I think that I have finally found a doctor that will actually listen to me, but I’m not sure. Every Doc that I have gone to has shut me out as soon as I said “Fibro…”….they thought, I guess, that I was automatically going to ask for pain meds! I didn’t want facking pain meds, I want to know what’s going on! I just want doctors to finally recognise that we are in PAIN! We don’t want band-aids, we want explanations!


I was diagnosed about 15 years ago by a rheumatologist, but noticed symptoms about. 30 years ago. Interestingly, my acupuncturist was the one who suggested that I get it checked out. I had three kids, married and worked full time. I loved them all, but often didn’t know how I was doing it all. I was always so tired and in pain. I had carpal tunnel surgery about 10 and 15 years ago in both hands, about five years apart, mostly because my doctor was afraid I’d lose nerves in my arm if I didn’t. They were both successful. But my hands get very cold and painful, especially at night. My feet have always been cold and I’d often wonder what was wrong. I notice that I can’t keep up with most people my age . I was also diagnosed , about 10 years ago,with late onset Pompe disease, a rare, hereditary, degenerative, neuromuscular disease. There was no treatment then, but I promised myself I’d keep,up wth the research. I was so tired, that it was too much to do. I finally found out about a treatment by seeing a preview for a movie about it, and am now very fortunate to get infusions of the enzyme I lack, every two weeks. It’s not a cure, but it is helping. I’ve taked to some other patients, and they have never had the pain that I do. Still, I feel very lucky there is a treatment for that. I’ve already lost some other muscle use, including part of the diaphragm, but it could be much worse, I think this study is a good start, but I think it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Hands getting too cold to type now – lol. Good luck to all of you out there!

Dani Stephan

This is very interesting and I’m optimistic about researchers eventually finding something that will help those of us with FM, CFS, migraines, etc. However, I’ve noticed for myself that I never had any of these problems until about a year after I got mononucleosis my junior year in high school. After that, I had all of these issues mentioned above within a 1-2 years. My aunt, a Pharm. D., said she has also noticed that type of a connection with other conditions. I’m convinced that my problems stem from my body’s fight with mono. I am very pale and can see that I have a LOT of little vains in my hands, but I think there is probably more to fibromyalgia than that…

Please keep me informed on any new findings and posts.


This is the most promising research finding I’ve seen. I really hope this helps doctors figure out a more effective means of treatment. 8 going on 9 years for me, one of the youngers “lucky enough” to have Fibro.


I am skeptical of this research although there may be something to it, it does not definitively prove a cause for fibromyalgia. It may be a correlation to the many causes of fibro but by no means does it prove at least to me that it causes fibromyalgia. There are too many complex symptoms going on with this illness to say that it comes from the hands alone. I would like to see much more research and more proof of what is going on with us fibromyalgia patients. There must be more than this going on to cause such complex problems. It would take a whole page to list them all not including the overlapping conditions, and then I would probably leave some out. And every patient is different in what they go through on a daily basis. I say there is much more to this than extra blood vessels in the hands and blood flow problems. However, I do believe it could be a part of the puzzle. Keep up the research and be definitive, please we are suffering tremendously!


I hope they find a cure soon. Ironically, 20 years ago, I had a broken wrist and fractured all 8 bones in my hand (along with a lot of other injuries to my neck, spine, shoulder). Eventually, they inserted a Hoffman Device (like a giant erector set) into my hand and arm for 6 weeks to stabelize the hand and wrist. After 6 weeks it had to be removed at great pain. Maybe this had something to do with my Fibro. Who knows.

That was a great article. My daughter and I both suffer from fibromyalgia.I am so thankful that the research is going on.


Sandra DeBlois

Thank you for the information.
Growing up I was a worker and athlete. Going nonstop. Had two boys and they kept me going as well. Never complaining about any pain because I never had any to complain about. UNTIL, I slipped on a patch of ice flew up in the air and crashed down hard on to my back and head. From there day by day I started with pain. So much pain that I could not move without help from my family. I had severe whip lash where I could not lift my head up for months. I was not able to go on long hikes or return to work. My life changed from that fall onto my spine. Still no doctors could figure me out. ( It was upsetting coming from a hard worker and person who was in good shape and never had to go to the doctors.)They put me through many tests, blood, and other mechanical still found nothing. One Rheumatologist mentioned Fibromyalgia (because I had similar symptoms as his wife’s friend.) Therefore, that is what they went with along with other doctors who agreed. Currently 6 years later I am on SS disability (got it within 3 months) still in pain and not able to be the woman I once used to be.
My question is this how could it be associated with hands/feet? Does not make sense to me.

Brenda Lee

This is interesting but it’s not the whole picture. It doesn’t explain the severe pain all over our bodies that is unpredictable and predictable at the same time. It doesn’t explain the other serious physical problems we have (WAY TOO MANY to list here). But at least it is a step towards trying to find the cause and cure. We APPRECIATE that more than you know. In fact, we depend on someone to PLEASE help us. This disease takes our lives away from us on a daily basis and there is no escape at all. PLEASE continue to search for answers.


It’s a preliminary and admittedly small study.

Your description of fibromyalgia leaves out an entire array of other symptoms associated with it. Restless Leg Syndrome, Burning Mouth Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc. How does this study tie into those things?

Studies have shown that the fatigue correlates with actual poor sleep cycles. This is not merely a “sense of fatigue”.

This sounds more like a description of a possible phenomena associated with the pain and a few of the other weird symptoms like problems with hands and feet. Even if this part turns out to be right, it doesn’t describe the “cause”. What causes the blood vessel anomaly?

It’s an interesting finding and could turn out to have diagnostic or therapeutic applications.

Other interesting phenomena have been found in fibromyalgia patients over the years. This is not the first and I doubt it will be the last.

To describe it as the breakthrough “that finally found the first biological evidence of what causes fibromyalgia” is sensational hyperbole which I hope is a journalistic interpretation and not what the scientists themselves are claiming.

First I must congratulate you on the ongoing research into Fibromyalgia! I have “suffered” with the condition for over 15 years now and CAN tell you the illness does progress! I only wish we could call it was it is and it is a disease! It takes over your body and your life. It was nice to finally understand why my hands and feet hurt so horribly all the time and I now understand why I am dropping things left and right, and stumble all the time. My doctor looks at me with some questions when I try and explain how I feel ~ I do believe I will take her this article! I would love to know if this also is the reasoning for the terrible pain in the hips and knees as well. EVERY Fibro patient I have ever come across has the terrible hip pain. My doctor says it is sciatica? I have also recently been diagnosed with Platybasia and wondered if anyone else with Fibro suffers this condition? Or if this is the norm for Fibro as many Fibro patients have the cervical spinal stenosis, and end up with surgery as I did. Thank you for the great work and I pray we find more answers!

Peggy Garner

Please researchers don’t give up on us. We desperately need your help.


My daughter shared this article with me. I am so glad that she found it. I have so many different kinds of pain that it’s hard to say what hurts the most. I am having more and more problems doing daily chores. I can hardly open jars any more, my hand start burning and hurting when I am cooking..forget making cookie dough or anything that needs a lot of hand stirring! Taking care of my horses is getting harder and harder. I too would offer myself for studies if it would help in any way!!

I have heard that sometimes FM is brought on by a traumatic experience, such as a car accident, or injury, or even surgery. I have had several horse accidents in my life but I know I got much worse after I had kidney surgery to remove a small cancerous tumor. Good luck with the research! I hope you will find answers for all of us that suffer with FM!

Debra Gray

I found this very interesting. I have fibromyalgia and I have a great deal of pain in my hands and feet. Migraines, Renaudes also.

John Quintner

@ Pat. You write: ” …. researchers based at Albany Medical College say they may have finally found the first biological evidence of what causes fibromyalgia.”

Having briefly read the article and the accompanying Editorial, it seems to me that their findings, although potentially important, do not provide information as to the cause of Fibromyalgia. Their findings may be epiphenomenal, rather than central to the diagnosis.

However, judging by the Editorial, I see that their findings have given heart to the “peripheralists,” who are steadfast in their belief that this complex condition is driven and maintained by nociceptive input from damaged voluntary muscles that harbour the nebulous “trigger points”.

I must agree with FibroMama!

Colin Williams

As A Fibro sufferer for over 40 years – I would gladly be a ‘lab rat’ if it would help find a cure …

Susan F.

Finding links in research is always a positive point. This allows better starting point and narrows the research index they need to follow. I’m glad we have gotten somewhere! 🙂 I look forward to a day that I can be relatively pain free.

As for those who want a “cure”. Science is absolutely amazing however cures and research are blocked in many ways because of ethical reasons in testing. People are not to be used as lab rats and for good reasons. 🙂


Wow,Reading this Info does make sence,but there is other factors you must look into like the immune system,and so on,but keep up the fab work your doing…someone,someday will find an answer I’m sure.

MaryAnn Byrne

Like Cath, I too suffer fibro and osteo arthritis and although I have receive status under ADA law as a disabled worker, I cannot seem to make them understand why I need certain accommodations. Under the law I am not supposed to have to, but I do anyway. A more definitive diagnosis would be so helpful as many still believe it to be psychiatric in nature.

Gary Lines

Good article hope they can find something to help the pains are unbearable at time and the pain relief hardly helps. This really does cause me problems


I can relate to this as i have had pains in my hands and arms for years with the doctors saying its carpel tunnel syndrome .
Over the years the pain as spread though out my body . I am still wondering if its down to the tunnel problem in the wrist as i had a operation to rectify the problem which did not releave the pain for long , could this relate to the blood flow issues mentioned in the findings i wonder .

Donna Orsino

Please keep me informed. I have had Fibromyalgia, severe RLS, and chronic fatigue for a VERY LONG TIME. It gets worse with age. The depression is almost unbearable and I have no desire to even get through the day sometimes.

Kay Zurcher

Having had FMS/CFS for 50 yrs, I am interested in all studies. This one sounds promising but one thing is bugging me, Why don’t we cure anything in America anymore??? At the end of the article they talk about this leading to new treatments & medications, I don’t want another treatment or medication, I want a cure! We used to cure illnesses in America but medication & treatments bring in more money. I want a cure, I don’t want to end up like MD & MS sufferers who still have no cure despite the trillions of dollars brought in by telethons. Please keep studying this but shoot for a cure! Please.

john marco

i have to agree with fibro mama . there is an auto-immune element you are overlooking .

Patricia Ledbetter

please continue to study this and keep me informed, I’ve had fibromyalgia for 13 years now and it’s gotten extremely bass. all I have is pain management, and some times that doesn’t help. thank you for what your doing..

Jeanne Hyatt

I am heartened to read about this study and I thank the researchers and all involved for their work. I just hope that this really means something and that it is not just another unanswered aspect of this dreadful disease. We’ve been dealing with this for so long, with so little relative research being done that while it is great to hear “something” seemingly good come out of a research study, we’ve heard lots of somethings before that while interesting and good, ended up being just another unanswered piece to the puzzle that is Fibromyalgia. We need a lot more money thrown into research to find the cure now.

Shelly Rhian

Hiya Fibromama, All, 🙂

I think this is just a news site rather than posted by the researchers themselves (although they may check the comments?). I also think they’ll need to follow this up with a large sample group in order to prove conclusively they’ve found a test for fibro. It can take years from initial findings through to finished ‘test’ for a condition because of needing to do such large scale sampling.

Re: auto-immune, not all fibro patients have raised RA, ANA or other auto-antibodies. Or if there are auto-antibodies, they’re not being detected on tests. Furthermore, the papers on RA factor being raised in 30% of fibro patients have been shown to be an inaccurate marker, as RA is raised in 30% of the general population anyway, with no noticeable pathology.

The cytokines can be activated by any number of things, from hayfever to asthma to endometriosis to arthritis. There are some links between fibro and ME/cfs, and 75% of ME/cfs sufferers have fibro. Interleukins and cytokines are strongly involved with ME/cfs. So there may be some conflation of results within research papers if there is co-morbidity with ME/cfs.

Just from my readings, so you can all go research: there is thyroid/peripheral thyroid involvement (either thyroid failure, or too much reverse-T3 hormone); there can be biofilm infection of the blood vessels; as I said in a another post, microcirculation issues in the muscles, and muscular damage (so that under a microscope muscle tissue looks as if it has been eaten by clothes moths). There has also been the research on the central pain systems, such as too much substance-P; and the studies many of us are familiar with around fibromites having pain receptors in our brains where our emotion receptors are supposed to be.

I recommend a good _start_ is the holtorf medical group. They’re part-way there. They don’t cover everything. But they’re the closest I’ve seen to anyone who is looking at the research and tailoring things accordingly. I’m not saying use them. I’m saying, look at their compilation of research findings. Also look up the national academy of hypothyroidism.

There is more, but that was all i could think of off the top of my head. When i remember more, will post here so people can research 🙂

Wishing you all a pain free night,


melissa thompson

I’m just glad that what I have been trying to tell the doctors what’s going on regarding blood flow is being brought to life. I really hope they figure this out. We need help. And don’t need more and more pills that just make it worse.

Shelly Rhian

This is consistent with the findings in the 80s and 90s of ragged red fibres, moth eaten fibres and micro-circulation issues in the larger muscles of fibromyalgia patients, which causes widespread muscle hypoxia (hence the crampy feelings we get).

This is a multi-systems condition, and there is considerable evidence of physical local and central pathology in fibromyalgia patients. What we have is a staggering decentralisation of knowledge about the condition.

I will be happy to share peer reviewed articles and information should this site or the researchers request it. Please email me for links/lists of articles.

Shelly — cambridge university and fibromyalgia patient.


Found this article very interesting as I am a sufferer of this condition. Can you please keep me informed as to how your research is progressing, I have had having to justify by being absent from work as professionals in employment and a lot in our doctors surgeries do not recognise this condition. Im now on total disability..

Keep up this good research.

Alice Eddins

Very good article.

anne nelson

thank you for sharing this amazing article, as a fibromyalgia sufferer, any news is greatly appreciated. I pray that a cure will come soon, if not than at least treatments to relieve this severe pain would be helpful. Please keep researching and sharing your information. God bless all of you.

Sharon Warwick

This is very interesting as I suffer from this condition as well as CREST.
Part of my CREST is Raynauds Disease which means that my hands are very affected by cold & it appears to work opposite to this finding.
When my body senses it’s cold it systematically shuts down blood supply to my hands & fingers resulting in loss of feeling, splinter haemorrhages’ & sometimes frostbite.
I would love to be kept informed as to any more results.
I am in a Scleroderma Program which monitors my progress with this dreadful Syndrome so would be interested to see how the ‘overlapping’ progresses.
I hope one day that this such painful condition can truly be managed.

Patty Waite

I would like updates also.


Slowed blood flow is nothing new! This is something I have known about for a while and I am not a Dr. I also am aware that Fibromyalgia is an Auto-immune Disorder! Did you know that?
There are cytokines involved, do some more research please.
You claim, “a “breakthrough discovery” in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia”, really? No mention of a new test or anything, so how is this a breakthrough in the diagnosis of it, when there is no test, just a study you did. Shaking my head! How is that supposed to help people looking for a diagnosis?

Found this article very interesting as I am a sufferer of this condition plus osteo arthritis. Can you please keep me informed as to how your research is progressing, as here in Scotland am finding that I am having to justify by being absent from work as professionals in employment and a lot in our doctors surgeries do not recognise this condition.

Keep up this good research.