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Fibromyalgia 103

Fibromyalgia 103

Part 3 of the Fibromyalgia Blog Series

 In the previous two parts of the fibromyalgia blog series, we have talked about what fibromyalgia is, it's symptoms, and how it is diagnosed.

 Today we will discuss the possible causes of fibromyalgia.

 Although the exact causes unknown, fibromyalgia has been strongly linked to several factors that contribute to its prevalence.

 

  1. Chemical Imbalances

 In Fibromyalgia 101, we discussed that fibromyalgia is commonly described as a condition which produces widespread pain throughout the body. This widespread pain can be related to low levels of serotonin and dopamine, both of which are neural transmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters regulate mood, appetite, sleep, and perceived levels of pain. They are also very much affected by stress levels. The link between fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety is thought to be related to these neurotransmitters.

 

  1. Genetics

 

Why are some people more prone to fibromyalgia than others? 

No definitive genetic markers which can predict fibromyalgia have been found yet but there appears to be a strong prevalence of fibromyalgia in families, making a genetic component of fibromyalgia possible. We need more studies on the genetic makeup of patients with fibromyalgia to actually call it a hereditary disease.

 

  1. The role of triggers

 

In addition to the above, fibromyalgia exacerbations have been linked to certain common triggers. Anything that can produce a stress response can trigger an episode or exacerbation of fibromyalgia. This might be an injury, a viral infection, or any kind of significant event that causes a mental hardship. Grief, for example, or the sudden loss of a loved one, can exacerbate fibromyalgia.

 

This is partly why mental health treatment, or work with a psychologist or mental health counselor, is often prescribed in patients with fibromyalgia. If we know that stress is a common cause or aggravating event, then learning coping mechanisms on how to deal with stress can help to reduce both the severity and length of fibromyalgia episodes.

 

Call Pain Medicine Group to find out if you have fibromyalgia and what your treatment options are today!

 

 

Author
Mauna Radahd, MD

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