For the first time, scientists have linked a specific gut bacterium to fibromyalgia. The disease is characterized by widespread chronic pain, sleep impairments, and fatigue.
Researchers analyzed the gut bacteria of 156 individuals from the Montreal area, 77 of whom had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
They discovered an increased presence of certain bacteria in the guts of those with severe fibromyalgia symptoms. These participants also lacked other gut bacteria that was found in individuals without the disease.
"At this point, it's not clear whether the changes in gut bacteria seen in patients with fibromyalgia are simply markers of the disease or whether they play a role in causing it," researchers speculated.
Future research will aim to discover whether specific gut bacteria impact the development of fibromyalgia symptoms.
Researchers hope these findings will lead to a breakthrough in diagnosing fibromyalgia. At the moment, it can take four to five years for someone with the disease to receive a final diagnosis. If scientists can pinpoint the specific combination of bacteria associated with the disease, it could allow them to diagnose individuals more quickly.