Fibromyalgia And Probiotics: How Are They Related?

Studies have shown that probiotics can help patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Taking probiotics can help with their physical pain as well as other symptoms.
Fibromyalgia and probiotics: How are they related?

A study from the University of Almería has analyzed the relationship between fibromyalgia and probiotics. Their analyzes showed that patients with fibromyalgia who ingest certain bacteria can significantly improve their quality of life.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease of unknown etiology, characterized by general and diffuse movement pain. In addition to physical pain, people with fibromyalgia also have psychological and emotional problems. The global presence of this disease is estimated at 2.7%.

Psychological therapy and exercises such as meditation often help patients cope with the various problems they may have. However, according to new knowledge, it also seems that probiotics are an alternative. In this article, we take a closer look at how they are related to fibromyalgia.

Probiotics enhance complex cognitive functions

Probiotics are living bacteria that help your body. This help includes balancing our gut flora, strengthening the immune system and improving digestion. The study from the University of Almería isolated the effects of four probiotic species on people with fibromyalgia.

After conducting the clinical experiments, they found that these probiotic compositions, given in appropriate amounts, improved complex cognitive functions. Patients with fibromyalgia often suffer from a change in these functions. This study is an excellent complement to other studies on eating habits in people with fibromyalgia.

Probiotics are bacteria that benefit the body in different ways

The experts worked from an initial hypothesis to determine a number of benefits of these probiotics. Most of them were related to the mental functions of the patients as well as the physical and emotional level.

According to Pablo Román, one of the university’s researchers, they started the study with the goal of seeing if bacteria helped reduce both the intensity of the pain and the anxiety and depression that fibromyalgia causes. In addition, they wanted to see if there were any cognitive improvements in the patients.

The researchers used questionnaires and experimental tasks that patients had to perform as self-evaluation. They collected useful information through indicators such as pain level, quality of life and sleep, the frequency and degree of symptoms, as well as the emotional symptoms and anxiety.

The results of the study

The results indicated that intake of probiotics does not affect the area of ​​the brain responsible for motor functions. On the other hand, it affected the part that stands for the ability to adapt to certain tasks. It even happened without any signs of fatigue.

The researchers found that patients taking probiotics acted less impulsively and spent less time making decisions.

Placebo effect in the study of fibromyalgia and probiotics

Before reaching these conclusions about the relationship between fibromyalgia and probiotics, the researchers performed clinical trials on about 60 patients. The patients were mainly women, as the disease most often affects women.

First, the researchers evaluated each patient before treatment. During the evaluation, they recorded, using questionnaires and tasks, the patients’ cognitive capacity, as well as other factors regarding their physical and emotional state. The researchers measured patients’ pain levels for two days. They also measured anxiety and other depressive symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is pain in the body's musculoskeletal system

The group of patients was divided into two. The first group took probiotics orally for eight weeks, while the second group took a placebo during the same time period. The researchers gave them a dose of four pills a day. The probiotic pill and the pill with a harmless substance were identical in appearance, taste and smell.

After treatment, the researchers interviewed patients again to evaluate and compare the results from both before and after treatment. The patients who had taken the placebo pill had not shown any development. On the other hand, the patients who had taken probiotics had in several impulse samples shown that their cognitive flexibility was greater than what they had shown before the experiment. Therefore, the placebo effect was excluded in this study.

After this first attempt, and with financial support from the university, the same team of nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and neuroscience experts can now continue the studies of probiotics that can improve other diseases. So far, the positive effects of the relationship between fibromyalgia and probiotics seem to be proven.

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