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Female fibromyalgia patients: Lower resting metabolic rates than matched healthy controls

John Lowe, Jackie Yellin, et al.: Female fibromyalgia patients: Lower resting
metabolic rates than matched healthy controls. Medical Science Monitor.
12(7):CR282-289, 2006.

Background: Many features of fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism are virtually the
same, and thyroid hormone treatment trials have reduced or eliminated fibromyalgia
symptoms. These findings led the authors to test the hypothesis that fibromyalgia
patients are hypometabolic compared to matched controls.

Material/Methods: Resting metabolic rate (RMR) was measured by indirect
calorimetry and body composition by bioelectrical impedance for 15 fibromyalgia
patients and 15 healthy matched controls. Measured resting metabolic rate (mRMR)
was compared to percentages of predicted RMR (pRMR) by fat-free weight (FFW)
(Sterling-Passmore: SP) and by sex, age, height, and weight (Harris-Benedict: HB).
Results: Patients had a lower mRMR (4,306.31+/-1077.66 kJ vs 5,411.59+/-695.95 kJ,
p=0.0028) and lower percentages of pRMRs (SP: -28.42+/-15.82% vs -6.83+/-12.55%, p3 (FT3) accounted for 30% of the variance in pressure-pain threshold.

Conclusions: Patients had lower mRMR and percentages of pRMRs. The lower
RMRs were not due to calorie restriction or low FFW. Patients’ normal FFW argues
against low physical activity as the mechanism. TSH,FT4, and FT3 levels did not
correlate with RMRs in either group. This does not rule out inadequate thyroid
hormone regulation because studies show these laboratory values do not reliably
predict RMR.


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