Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
April 1, 2024 ·  2 min read

Blood Test May Be Able to Diagnose Fibromyalgia

This article was originally published on March 26, 2019 and has since been updated

Fibromyalgia is a misunderstood medical condition. For quite some time a legitimate question was whether this syndrome was even real. Our medical community has no clear understanding of the processes that lead to this syndrome.

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a long-term condition which causes pain throughout the body. While a concrete understanding of this disease does not currently exist, scientists from Ohio State University are discovering a potential pathway to diagnose this condition.

Patients with fibromyalgia are often misdiagnosed, they often go years living with excruciating pain and fatigue. Fibromyalgia can cause increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue and muscle stiffness. Sufferers may also have difficulty sleeping, as well as memory loss, poor concentration, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome [1].

Currently doctors rely on symptoms that patients report in order to diagnose the condition, however, Dr. Kevin Hawkshaw, a professor at the Ohio State University has discovered clear reproducible metabolic patterns in the blood of patients with fibromyalgia. This may mean that a new blood test is to come, with the potential of diagnosing the condition.

In this study, 121 participants provided blood samples, this included 50 people with fibromyalgia, 29 with rheumatoid arthritis, 19 suffering with osteoarthritis and 23 with lupus. Their blood samples were examined and measured using “vibrational spectroscopy,” a technique which measures the chemical bonds and energy levels of molecules [2].

A clear pattern was found in the blood of patients with fibromyalgia, which made them distinct from the other disorders.

While there is no clear treatment for fibromyalgia, speeding up this diagnosis can change a patient’s outlook completely. It’s better to know the name of your condition, then to be stuck not knowing what kind of disease you have. With this new blood test, a quicker diagnosis will allow these patients to seek conventional and natural treatment.

These scientists are looking to conduct a study on a larger scale, to see if their findings are still correct with a bigger group. It is currently estimated that nearly one in 20 people may have fibromyalgia to some degree, and these sufferers have faced years of misdiagnosis due to the lack of reliable testing. These findings may revolutionize diagnosis and treatment and create a testing method for the condition.


  1. Fibromyalgia Overview https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/fibromyalgia/
  2. Metabolic fingerprinting for diagnosis of fibromyalgia and other rheumatologic disorders https://www.jbc.org/content/early/2018/12/06/jbc.RA118.005816.abstract
  3. Vibrational Spectroscopy https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/vibrational-spectroscopy
  4. Genetics Home Reference https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/fibromyalgia#statistics
  5. Kevin Hackshaw, MD https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/find-a-doctor/kevin-hackshaw-md-1833