The traditional label of “psychiatric patient” for fibromyalgia sufferers has ceased to make sense today in parallel to the increase in knowledge among professionals of the characteristics of this disease, which can affect about one million people in all of Spain, and the emergence of drugs and new treatments that will improve your quality of life. The specialist in Rheumatology of the General University Hospital of Ciudad Real, Marcos Paulino Huertas, who was last Wednesday at the conference organized by the association of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue Trébol de Puertollano on the occasion of the international day of this condition, revealed Lanza the Advances harvested in recent years in the investigation of the disease and in its treatment, together with future prospects.
With the aim of eliminating any doubt, Marcos Paulino Huertas explained that fibromyalgia “is a disease that produces diffuse pain, extreme tiredness and affects concentration and memory.” Women in their forties and fifties are the most affected and according to the different approaches made, it could be present in some 20,000 people in a province like Ciudad Real. Of special interest is that fibromyalgia sufferers share that when undergoing the first medical tests in order to obtain a diagnosis they give normal results, which led to them being treated as psychiatric patients in the past.
The rheumatologist of the General University Hospital of Ciudad Real said that today it is possible to diagnose fibromyalgia not only through the discarding of other diseases in consultation, but with advanced and specific techniques. In this way, the tests allow us to verify that “patients experience unusual changes in nerve endings and in the brain”, so, according to the expert, “they are more sensitive to pain than other people”. Paulino Huertas stressed that “through studies such as functional resonance it is clear that neuronal and brain activity is different.”
The rheumatologist pointed out that currently the percentage of fibromyalgia detection is very important, due to the increase in training in the health field about this disease and also because of the important awareness that has existed with the introduction, for example, of its study in curricula of medical schools. There have also been advances in chronic fatigue, a “similar” disease, characterized by severe exhaustion, although it can sometimes involve the immune system, and affects half of fibromyalgia patients.
Although fibromyalgia currently has no cure, Marcos Paulino Huertas said that related research aims to “increase the quality of life of chronic patients, so that they can access effective treatments.” Without official medicines for the treatment of fibromyalgia in Europe, although there are three in the United States and two of them are used by European specialists – although at the community level “they are not considered effective enough”, hence they are not recognized by institutions-, Marcos Paulino Huertas, on the other hand, affirmed that “new treatments and more medicines will be released shortly,” which are now in the trial period. In fact, the city rheumatologist said with hopeful airs that “promising new therapies are going to come out” for patients.
Las investigaciones recientes también señalan que esta dolencia, que puede estar ligada al sexo femenino por cuestiones de tipo hormonal y que tiene un componente genético como demuestra que las hijas y las nietas de enfermas tienen ocho veces más riesgo de sufrirla, puede estar relacionada con “un cambio brusco” a nivel físico o psíquico, o una “situación de estrés”; de forma que aquellas personas genéticamente predispuestas a padecerla podrían desarrollarla en esos casos. Además, el especialista Marcos Paulino Huertas indicó que “la gente que sufre de ansiedad o depresión puede tener una mayor facilidad para desarrollarla”, según añadió, “no porque sean pacientes somáticos, sino porque los neurotransmisores del estado de ánimo están relacionados con la percepción del dolor”, determinantes para la fibromialgia.
The disease may show some of its symptoms from childhood, with “bone or growth pain”; and the specialist recommended to go to the family doctor to determine as soon as possible a prognosis when there is a headache or general and there are family precedents, especially because the GPs “are the main specialists in fibromyalgia and are very prepared” to treat it