First and foremost, fibromyalgia is not a rheumatologic disease in the strict sense. There is nothing wrong with the muscles, the irritable bowel does not signal a major organ problem, and you are not "inflamed." It is very common for those that suffer from fibromyalgia also have other problems such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, or even a history of injury. Some claimed that an infection started at all. That could be possible as well.

There is a common thread that binds the fibromyalgia syndrome, and it is unlikely to be just one thing. The progressive array of symptoms suggests that some type of inflammatory response is occurring, most likely in the central nervous system. We will call that central sensitization. This is where chemicals that are processed in nervous tissue are either creating problems, or not behaving in a normal physiologic way. The process of central sensitization was discussed on this page over a decade ago. Unfortunately, not much research available to better understand how to turn off this process. It is an active center of scientific interest, however.

 

Most Recent Articles

  • Part 3 - Vaccinations and Infections      The National Fibromyalgia Association’s 2006 Internet survey of 2596 individuals found that 26.7% of those who could trace the origin of their FMS to a specific event reported that event to be an illness and 45% felt that infections worsened their FMS symptoms. …
    Read more...
  • Part 2 - Emotionally Traumatic Events      Emotionally traumatic events have long been considered a cause of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). However, it has been difficult to attempt to do research in this area primarily because of a statistical peculiarity called Berkson’s bias. If you have read some of the other…
    Read more...
  • Part 1 - Physically Traumatic Events      The role of physical trauma in the development of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) continues to be deliberated in the literature. A major difficulty has been the reliance on someone’s ability to recall events that may have occurred thirty years prior. Post-traumatic fibromyalgia is also…
    Read more...
  • Or, Cyto-What?      Cytokines are small molecules that do not stay around very long in the body before they are either taken up or degraded. They act as chemical messengers to affect immune responses, tissue repair, or cell growth.  Their production is influenced by both the central nervous system and…
    Read more...
  • More Than Just a "Bad Hormone" Day - Part 2      The first part of this series described some basics about the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in FMS and came to the conclusion, in 2004, that nobody quite knew what was going on. The bottom line seemed to be that there was…
Go to top