The FIDGIT Study – investigating the Fibromyalgia GIT link

The topic for today, which I am really excited about and shamelessly promoting is the FIDGIT Study. I am participating in this as someone with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). If you or someone you know has fibro, please read on and feel free to share this article with them.

The cause of Fibromyalgia Syndrome has been elusive for years. We literally can’t have enough research in this area.

“There are nearly forty-six miles of nerves in the human body, and fibromyalgia, you get on every single inch of them. “

– Author unkown

Over the last couple of years, there have been studies that have shown that people with FMS have inflammation in the microglial cells in the brain. One has discovered auto-immune antibodies that bind to satellite glial cells that live in the dorsal root ganglia which are alongside our spinal columns. Pain and brain fog anyone?

For a long time people have wondered whether fibro is an auto-Immune condition. This is because of the way it presents and the effect it has on people – well, it looks increasingly like it could be!

Those of us with fibro know that what we eat plays a huge part in our symptoms and how we feel. There is also increasing evidence in general that what goes on in our gut and microbiome has a direct effect on our brains and nervous systems.

The study that I have participated in aims to look at this relationship.

The FIDGIT Study in a nutshell

The FIDGIT study – aims to investigate the link between Fibromyalgia, Digestion and the microbiome of the Gastro-Intestinal Tract.

It is being run by Sydney University PhD candidate Sharon Erdrich, who is a Naturopath and Medical Herbalist. Sharon runs the Auckland Gut Clinic at the House of Health in Mt Albert, Auckland, New Zealand.

Sharon was originally going to run this study in Australia, but due to COVID restricting travel, she is now running it here in NZ. This is particularly awesome because us Kiwis have the chance to participate and contribute to research that will hopefully benefit everyone with Fibromyalgia Syndrome in the future.

Sharon is looking for 100 female candidates who have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia for the study. Plus 100 healthy female control candidates who are preferably either closely related or close friends and have shared the same environments. This is so that they have had similar exposure to the bugs that make up our gut microbiomes over the years.

This is a really thorough study. People complete an online survey first to see if they are suitable candidates.

Once accepted, you will need to go into the House of Health in Mt Albert at least twice for tests that include blood and breath tests. These measure things like inflammation, blood glucose and chemistry. The breath tests measure how you digest different types of sugars, which gives a good indication of the state your microbiome.

Other test samples can be taken in the comfort of your own home. These include urine, stool and saliva samples to look at things like metabolism and microbiome. And lastly, swabs to be taken of mould in different places in your house.

Everyone receives a personal report on the results of your baseline measures, blood chemistry, free radicals and the sugar challenges quite quickly after doing them.

How can I participate in or support the study?

If you have Fibromyalgia or know someone who does have it and you can get to Auckland to participate, I really encourage you to do it, it is time well spent and a great way to contribute!

Here is the link to the study website where you can find out more information. When you scroll to the end of the page there is a button to click on to “Take the Questionnaire”.

If you cannot get to Auckland, but would still like to support this important study, there is give a little page to help Sharon cover the costs that have not been sponsored. Any contributions would be greatly received! There is a “Support the FIDGIT Study” button on the web page.

Many thanks!

If you would like support to manage fibromyalgia, feel free to get in touch with me to book a consultation.

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