This week, we released a new report (powered by 23andMe Research) on Fibromyalgia for 23andMe+ Premium members.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain and tenderness throughout the body. That pain can be intermittent and move to different parts of the body. Fibromyalgia symptoms can also include fatigue, problems sleeping, and difficulty concentrating.
Because of the pain, discomfort, and chronic nature of the condition, people with fibromyalgia often experience depression and anxiety as they cope with their symptoms.
The causes of fibromyalgia are not well understood, but genetics and other factors influence how likely an individual is to develop the condition.
Researchers believe people with fibromyalgia have higher pain sensitivity. That may reflect differences in the nervous system for these individuals, especially in the brain and spinal cord.
While the exact causes are not understood, certain non-genetic factors are associated with a higher likelihood of developing the condition. A family history of the condition also increases the odds of developing it. It’s also associated with other health conditions, like depression, viral infection, arthritis, and lupus. Stress or trauma also is associated with higher chances of developing fibromyalgia.
While the condition can affect people of any age, it tends to develop in middle age. It’s estimated that as many as five million people in the U.S. live with fibromyalgia, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but it’s also believed that the condition is under-diagnosed, especially in men.
A New Report
Our new report is powered by data from people who have consented to participate in 23andMe research and uses machine learning techniques to estimate an individual’s likelihood of developing fibromyalgia.
This estimate is made using a statistical model that includes 13,040 genetic markers and information on an individual’s ethnicity and birth sex. In this white paper, you can learn more about the science and methodology behind our new report.
Managing and Treating Fibromyalgia
Although it’s not life-threatening, fibromyalgia can make day-to-day life difficult.
Beyond the symptoms already described like chronic pain and fatigue, people with the condition also may deal with headaches, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, or even a painful bladder.
Often those with the condition benefit from counseling or participate in support groups as part of a broader effort to manage their fibromyalgia.
In addition, many experts agree that lifestyle habits may help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for those with fibromyalgia. Regular exercise, good sleep and sleep habits, and stress-reduction or mindfulness techniques have been shown to help manage symptoms.
23andMe’s new Fibromyalgia report (powered by 23andMe Research) is available to all 23andMe+ Premium members. To view your report, go here.
Not a 23andMe+ Premium member? To become a 23andMe+ Premium member, or to find out more go here.