For those who suffer from fibromyalgia, they often ask, why me? What is it that made them develop this illness that they will battle for potentially the rest of their lives?
These are the questions that these sufferers are asking, as they deal with the day to day pain that is known as fibromyalgia.
On top of the pain, there are often other issues that come with this illness. These issues can be stomach issues, even lapses in memory, inability to sleep peacefully, and overall just feeling awful for much of the day. It can make enjoying life more difficult…in fact, nearly impossible.
However, thankfully medicine has advanced significantly since this condition has been found.
Thus, with the proper treatment, changes in diet and lifestyle, along with an exercise routine, a person can get back to normal!
So, what causes fibromyalgia? Unfortunately, there are no known causes that have been identified by science.
There are some causes that professionals have been leaning towards as they see this in more patients. These causes include:
- Physical trauma
- Emotional trauma
- Abnormal pain response
- Sleep disturbances
- Infections or Immunity Issues
- Muscle Abnormalities
How Could Physical Trauma Cause Fibromyalgia?
Physical trauma is more than just leading a physically active life. These are trauma, such as car accidents or a serious injury that causes trauma to the central nervous system.
Research has shown that those who suffer from a whiplash injury are often more likely to develop fibromyalgia than those who have received a broken leg.
Studies also show that around 20 to 25% of people who have fibromyalgia have been involved in some type of accident right before they started to see the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Emotional Trauma and Fibromyalgia
For those who deal with a lot of emotional issues, they are more likely to have fibromyalgia when compared to someone who has no emotional issues they deal with on a day to day basis.
Emotional trauma can be the sudden loss of a loved one, or even dealing with a lot of stress on a day to day basis.
Emotional trauma such as suffering from emotional abuse from a partner can also trigger the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
In these cases, a person may find that they are simply tired from dealing with these emotions and the situations that have caused them. In return, their bodies start to perceive the pain differently, resulting in fibromyalgia.
Abnormal Pain Response: The Main Culprit
The main culprit for causing fibromyalgia is having an abnormal pain response. This is the response that your body has when it is in pain. For fibromyalgia sufferers, their brain is not working in the same manner.
With these people, they often feel pain worse than your average person. There is some misfire in their brain that is causing this pain to be experiencing even more.
This does not mean that the pain is not there…it is. It only means that how they perceive this pain is higher than normal.
Fibromyalgia and Sleep Disturbances
Sleep disturbances are classified as any type of sleep disorder that a person may have. So how is this causing fibromyalgia?
There are several stages of sleep in which a person goes through on a nightly basis.
At stage four, otherwise known as deep sleep, the somatomedin-C, a hormone, is released into the body.
Those who have sleep disorders most often do not get this hormone release that is responsible for nerve and muscle health. Thus, over time, the person develops fibromyalgia.
Another hormone that is released in deep sleep is insulin growth factors. Those who have sleep disorders have less of this in their system.
And, those who have fibromyalgia are often found to have reduced levels of this growth hormone, showing a possible connection between sleep and fibromyalgia.
In addition, those who do not get enough sleep are going to see a lowered immune system, which is another possible cause of fibromyalgia.
Sleep is the body’s way of regenerating and taking on the new day. When you have sleep disturbances, the body is not getting what it needs to function properly.
Immunity Issues Causing Fibromyalgia
For those who have ever had the flu, they know the feeling of having aches throughout the entire body. This is comparable to what fibromyalgia patients feel daily.
However, these patients do not have the flu. But, many researchers are looking at the link between fibromyalgia and a low immune system or having some sort of chronic infection.
For example, rheumatic illnesses such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are seen in more patients who also have fibromyalgia. The idea is that these immune illnesses are causing fibromyalgia in the person.
When studying fibromyalgia, there are several researchers who have found muscle abnormalities in those patients that suffer from this illness.
In many of these cases, there have been patients who have been unable to have normal muscle function, which could affect how this disease is affecting them.
In addition, other studies have found that patients have a lower level of muscle-cell chemicals in their bodies.
With these lower levels of chemicals, it can affect how much calcium the body is using, which results in muscle contractions that can be super painful.
Other times, researchers have found that blood flow is restricted in these muscles. Many patients have been found to have tiny blood vessels in the muscle.
This produces lower levels of muscle function and reduces the oxygen to these muscles. It is just one other cause that researchers are considering.
While fibromyalgia is one of those illnesses that is still being studied, these are just a few of the causes that have been tossed around throughout the research community.
It will take several years of continued research to determine if fibromyalgia is being specifically caused by these issues or if there are even more issues that could be linked to this disease.
Until this time, it is imperative that people take care of themselves, and if they do suffer from fibromyalgia, they need to talk with a doctor about a plan of care.