Breakthrough could help relieve fibromyalgia pain

(KPRC) Millions of Americans, mostly women, are suffering from fibromyalgia. Patients often endure years of surgeries and medications like opioids without much relief to their full-body pain symptoms. Therefore, there’s been a big push to help identify and cure the illness.

A University of Texas Medical Branch doctor thinks he’s made a discovery that could treat it.

UTMB Dr. Miguel Pappolla, a professor of Neurology, says fibromyalgia pain is often associated with some neuropathy pain. Neuropathy pain is also commonly found in patients with a high Hemoglobin A1c.

Hemoglobin A1c is how pre-diabetes and diabetes are determined. It is treated with insulin resistant drugs like Metformin. Pappolla noticed his patients with fibromyalgia had improvements with pain when taking that same drug.

“People with insulin resistance can develop a form of neuropathy called small fiber neuropathy. Small fiber neuropathy independent of our finding has also been related to fibromyalgia and some research teams think that this form of neuropathy may contribute to the pain that people with fibromyalgia have” Pappolla explains.

He says when his patients with a high Hemoglobin A1c are given metformin, they have decreased pain.

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