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Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy Are Friends

Awesome awareness art by Kindreds Page .

Chronic pain – not fun, extremely common, and very poorly understood.

I recently learned that 10 million Americans are estimated to have fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, and up to 20 million Americans have neuropathy, a nerve disease that causes pain and numbness. (Statistics from the National Fibromyalgia Association and the Neuropathy Action Foundation).

With enough patients coming together, progress can start to be made on these conditions that affect so many people in their everyday lives.

Today’s announcement is that we found a strong association between Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy, which independent studies published in established journals also confirm. In graphical form:
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CureTogether members who report Fibromyalgia are 7x more likely to report Neuropathy than members with no Fibromyalgia. This comes from a study of 763 people sharing data online for the past year.

For details on this finding and how it matches up with other studies, read on…

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Details of the CureTogether Fibromyalgia-Neuropathy Finding

Among 128 people reporting Fibromyalgia in this study, 57 (44.5%) reported also having Neuropathy, and the remaining 71 specifically reported not having Neuropathy.

Among 635 people reporting “No Fibromyalgia” in this study, 43 (6.8%) reported having Neuropathy, and the remaining 592 people specifically reported not having Neuropathy.

This 44.5% vs. 6.8% difference represents a statistically significant relative risk of 6.5, with a 99% confidence interval of 4.6 – 9.2.

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Other Fibromyalgia-Neuropathy Research

The importance of this finding is that using only self-reported data, we have found an association between fibromyalgia and neuropathy that has previously been explored only in clinical studies such as the following:

1. Depression, fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain have high co-morbidity rates – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19482616

2. Fibromyalgia was considered as a possible neuropathic pain syndrome but it most likely its own syndrome – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16078360

3. The same kinds of treatments can often work for both fibromyalgia and neuropathy – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12490826

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Self-Reported Data at CureTogether

CureTogether has been called “Yelp for health.” It is a collaboration of people from around the world volunteering to solve real problems in chronic conditions.

People self-report and rate symptoms and treatments for over 410 conditions. The top conditions at CureTogether are depression, anxiety, migraine, back pain, and vulvodynia.

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Related Links:

- Migraine-Fibromyalgia Link Reported at CureTogether

- Top-Rated Fibromyalgia Treatments


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10 Responses to “Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy Are Friends”

  1. ChristianKl Says:

    You can’t really say that people tagged with a particular illness in CureTogether actually report that illness.

    If someone ask themselves whether they have an illness and go through the symptoms of that illness and answer that they don’t have any symptoms CureTogether will mark that person with that illness and that person doesn’t have any chance to say that he doesn’t have the illness.

  2. Very in an original way.

  3. I start with nodules in my thyroid and the endocrinologis order to burn my nodules with Radio-iondine, them a became a Graves desease patient having problem with my both eyes, and have pain and dry eyes, pain in my lower back and the right side of my body all the time, this a big problem because all most all the doctors say that a patient who has pain all the time suffer deppression, that is not my case Im clear about what is happening with me. Im not going to use narcotic peel to control the pain because this not going to resolve my problem. I need to attack the root cause of my problem, graves desease.

  4. Interesting comment, Christian. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, that some people may be using CureTogether as a diagnostic check rather than as a report of what they have. We are changing our system to allow people to say more clearly that they don’t have an illness. Much appreciated!

  5. Linda, have similiar symptoms that you list above. Do you also have Endometriosis? For the last 2 years my back, leg pain have been horrible. Also have a thyroid nodule that is not big enough to biopsy yet and have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s which I think is in the Grave’s Disease Department i.e. Thyroid problem. I am just curious as am going to talk to my doctor about this again – so tired of the pain!! Thanks for any info!

  6. very interesting . . its amazing that so many people are affected by Fibromyalgia yet its so little understood

  7. This was very interesting and helpful in the same note. Thanks for this great article.

  8. There is recent evidence that both fibromyalgia and small fiber neuropathy may be associated with increased numbers of mast cells in the skin. That might explain the overlapping symptoms.

  9. I have tried to find the root of my problems, and today my dr said I have fibro and neuropathy. Interesting to see it may be linked. However, I feel there is something amiss. I will push on for more answers.

  10. citizensue Says:

    I have both fibromyalgia and neuropathy. I was also have been found to have carpal tunnel in both arms (emg) Ortho Dr says he can do surgery but it won’t help the neuropathy.

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