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Difficult to Diagnose Fibromyalgia symptoms typically appear first in middle age, but the incidence of the disorder increases with age--about 8 percent of people aged 80 and older meet the American College of Rheumatology classification of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia patients anecdotally have reported increased or decreased severity of symptoms with various foods.
The concept of fibromyalgia being a rheumatologic problem, however, has been questioned in recent years since physical examination fails to reveal any joint or bone findings, and the usual laboratory studies for inflammatory disease, such as sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, and c-reactive protein are typically normal.
The treatment of fibromyalgia is frustrating in its ineffectiveness.
Current treatments for fibromyalgia include lifestyle changes, such as better diet, sleep, cognitive therapy, and exercise--all of which have been shown to reduce symptoms.
Since this issue is also present in fibromyalgia, we investigated whether insulin resistance is the missing link in this disorder," Pappolla said.
"Most physicians nowadays don't question whether fibromyalgia is real, but there are still skeptics out there," said Hackshaw.
However, doctors don't know what causes fibromyalgia, though it could be a combination of a few key factors.
The authors conclude that saffron was equivalent to duloxetine for treating mental and physical symptoms of fibromyalgia. They propose the potential mechanisms of action underlying saffron's effect on fibromyalgia involve its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, as well as its effects on the serotonergic system.
How physicians and patients view fibromyalgia at this time is all over the map.