Saturday, 19 November 2011

Fibromyalgia in the Amish?

Critics of fibromyalgia have called fibro a lot of nasty things, including 'a common non-entity', 'an illusionary entity', 'the syndrome of feeling out of sorts', and 'a useful illness'. It also has been called 'a fabrication of the North American court system' and 'big business for plaintiff lawyers', strongly implying that it only exists in rich industrialized countries that have generous disability and injury compensation plans.  But did you know that fibro is twice as common in Bangladesh and Pakistan than almost anywhere in the West?

Not all that long ago, Dr. John Thompson and I published the results of a study we did looking at whether fibromyalgia existed at all in the Amish of southwestern Ontario. If, as the critics claim, fibro is a compensation-driven illness, then it shouldn't exist at all in the Amish, who refuse all such programs.

Guess what? Not only did we find fibro, but it was MORE COMMON in the Amish than in their non-Amish neighbours.  Why? As I discuss in my book BREAKING THRU THE FIBRO FOG: SCIENTIFIC PROOF FIBROMYALGIA IS REAL - almost certainly the reason is genetics, since another research group already has identified a genetic defect to explain pain in families in which fibro is especially common.

So any critic who says that fibro is just a manifestation of our rich Western insurance systems doesn't have a scientific or legal leg to stand on.

Kevin White, MD, PhD

No comments:

Post a Comment