When it comes to an individual’s medical history, family plays an important part in determining whether or not that individual will develop a serious medical condition. Genetics are a moderately difficult concept to grasp in the world of advanced modern medicine. However, in recent years, much has been done to advance the true potential of this practice. Through the power of genetics, a medical patient now has the access to discover whether or not they are genetically pre-disposed to inheriting a disease. These diseases include various forms of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. Among these harmful health conditions, there is a disease popularly known as Fibromyalgia. Much debate has risen as a result of how mysterious this medical condition is. There are many physicians who believe that “Fibromyalgia isn’t passed directly from parents to children”. However, the disorder does appear to cluster within families” ( Kevin C. Fleming, M.D.). This uncertainty created many different issues surrounding the accuracy of genetic disease screening. Fibromyalgia is very much effecting modern society, but not much is known about how it is developed. Currently, there is a movement to spread awareness about fibromyalgia. Furthermore, several groups of individuals have developed a community dedicated to providing people with new and advanced fibromyalgia treatments. These treatments include the examination of an individual’s family medical history, and searching to see if that individual could potentially develop fibromyalgia. Dr. Kevin C. Fleming states that “While there is still much to find out about fibromyalgia, many health experts believe that there is a link between genes and fibromyalgia. If one of your siblings or parents has it, then your chances of developing this ailment are higher compared to other people” ( Kevin C. Fleming, M.D.). After several tests and studies were conducted, many doctors now believe in the possibility of fibromyalgia being a hereditary health condition. Other studies are currently being conducted in an effort to get to the bottom of this debate.
Today, medical patients are aware of many health risks that would have been considered obscure in previous decades. More often than not, people are aware of their family’s medical history. Generally, a patient is aware if their lineage and pays attention to the major medical problems of their parents. However, the disease fibromyalgia is difficult to predict. Even though there are many complications in discovering this disease, there is still a correlation between an individual’s family history and fibromyalgia. According to the Mayo Clinic, “the chances of a person developing fibromyalgia are much higher if they have immediate family members who suffer from the disease, compared to those who don’t” (Wendy Henderson). The chances for developing fibromyalgia are much higher for the individuals with family members that have already contracted this disease. This is one of the biggest causes for disputes in the fibromyalgia community. Even though much has been observed by doctors and scientists concerning this disease, “There have been a few studies that have isolated several genes that could be responsible for the onset of fibromyalgia and would explain why it has a tendency to run in some families” (Wendy Henderson). Because of this lack of information, not much has been discovered about the possibly of fibromyalgia’s genetic transference. However, this has not stopped medical practitioners in conducting their experiments.
By definition, “Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain throughout your body”. Fibromyalgia is linked to many long lasting symptoms. Fibromyalgia “also leads to fatigue, sleep issues, and other symptoms. People with this condition are more sensitive to pain than those without the condition” (Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, FACP). This disease is incredibly painful because of the unorthodox approach it takes in attacking the human body. However, much more is associated with this complicated disease than people realize. This disease effects some patients mentally, because of the constant physical pain provided by fibromyalgia. In recent tests, doctors have had genes isolated in order to discover new aspects about fibromyalgia. The study showed that the “genes are also linked to anxiety and depression, which may explain why some fibromyalgia patients respond well to antidepressants” (Wendy Henderson). The patients respond so well to antidepressants because “These genes play an active role in the central nervous system and how our bodies determine pain” (Wendy Henderson). As medicine advances, there will be an increase in information about how fibromyalgia influences the genetic make-up of a human being. Unfortunately, “the cause of fibromyalgia is still a bit of a mystery. But there is research that points to several factors that may be involved. The research also includes risk factors that may increase a person’s chance of developing the condition” (Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, FACP). Much caution is being taken in how this disease is being examined. Because the human body is delicate and complicated, the treatments for this disease must match the challenges that are generated from fibromyalgia.
Many fibromyalgia patients are getting discouraged because, “experts don’t know exactly what causes fibromyalgia, but a few factors might be involved” (Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, FACP). As time goes on, more evidence about fibromyalgia and its genetic link to a person’s family medical history is being discovered. As more issues get resolved, doctors and other medical personnel get closer to finding the answers to their questions about fibromyalgia. In fact, “studies of DNA from family members of people with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes have turned up a number of genes that could help explain why these disorders seem to run in families” (Kevin C. Fleming, M.D.). Some doctors have a belief system about fibromyalgia that are unique to the other potential possibilities for why this disease is so prevalent in families. In fact, many doctors believe that “Fibromyalgia can run in families. It’s likely that there’s an unidentified genetic abnormality that increases certain people’s risk for the condition” (Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, FACP). For some, the search for a link between fibromyalgia and the genetic history of a fibromyalgia patient is an ongoing mission. Many possibilities and solutions have been generated to answers the questions of so many patients. In fact, many “scientists speculate that people with fibromyalgia carry one or more genes that cause them to react strongly to stimuli that another person may not perceive as painful” (Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, FACP). Fibromyalgia patients go through a large amount of pain on a daily basis because of their condition. Their physical pain can become so great that it causes collateral damage to their mental wellbeing. When something needed to be done in order to save these patients, “a study in 2004 also presented proof that fibromyalgia had a genetic link. The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Cincinnati and published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism,5 found that relatives of people with fibromyalgia were eight times more likely to develop the syndrome compared to those who didn’t have any family connection” (Kevin C. Fleming, M.D.). Fibromyalgia is a painful disease that harms individuals both physically and mentally. With the proper scientific research and medical examination, doctors and patients can move a step closer to finding a link between a person’s genes and their potential to inherit fibromyalgia. If a link can be found, then medical science can grow close to finding a cure for fibromyalgia.