Thursday, 2 August 2012

Results of Latest Poll: Does Fibro EVER Get Better?

The latest poll results are in and the people have spoken.  To be honest, the results are not what I personally would have hoped, but perhaps it was because the question was interpreted differently than I intended. The question was - Do you believe that the pain and fatigue of fibro can and often do get better?  What I meant was - do you think these symptoms ever improve; NOT do you think these symptoms ever completely go away?  I may be wrong, but I SUSPECT that many interpreted the question in the latter way.

Nonetheless, here are the results:

 In fact,  research has shown the following things:

(1) Roughly 20% of those with fibro will go into complete remission (their symptoms mostly if not completely go away) over a decade; this result stems from my own 3-year follow-up study of 100 adults with fibro who I identified in the London Fibromyalgia Epidemiology Study (LFES), during which 6 of 100 went into complete remission.

(2) Up to 70% of children with fibro will outgrow their fibro before adulthood(this is based upon an Australian study that was published about 10 years ago)

(3) Roughly 50% of patients with fibro respond to treatment in most clinical trials testing various drugs for fibro. (I reviewed a large number of clinical trials for fibro about ten years ago, and all had roughly 50% response rates)

(4) The percentage of people who have fibro steadily declines after age 65 (this also was shown in my LFES study) suggesting that, as the most likely possibility, fibro tends to go into at least relative remission after this age.

The message is - DON'T LOSE HOPE!  I have had patients who've had terrible fibro for 20 or even 30 years who suddenly started doing much better, either because of some treatment they tried that just worked (where nothing else had), or because they'd finally discovered how to best manage their own symptoms.


Now that I've been all serious, let me lighten up the next poll by asking about the Olympics... specifically, WHAT FIBROMYALGIA-SPECIFIC EVENT WOULD YOU LIKE INCLUDED IN THE NEXT OLYMPICS? This poll is fun (and funny), so be sure to check it out.

Kevin White, MD, PhD
Award winning author, researcher, teacher and speaker

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