Is Fibromyalgia Hereditary

Is Fibromyalgia Hereditary? Discover the Truth Behind Your Pain

Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder affecting millions of individuals globally, is marked by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and mood disturbances. 

Although the uncertainty surrounding the precise cause of fibromyalgia is still unclear, it is hypothesized that genetic factors could be involved in its development.

Evidence suggests that fibromyalgia can be passed down through families, with having a relative with the disorder significantly increasing one’s risk. 

However, it’s essential to recognize that not everyone with a family history of fibromyalgia will necessarily develop the condition themselves. Environmental triggers and lifestyle choices may also contribute to the development of this disorder.

Gaining insight into the hereditary aspect of fibromyalgia is vital for those with a family history of the condition, as it enables them to make well-informed decisions about their health and implement strategies to manage their risk. 

In this article, we’ll explore the potential of hereditary fibromyalgia and discuss the latest research discoveries related to this topic.

Is Fibromyalgia Hereditary?

Many people wonder if fibromyalgia is hereditary. Research shows that fibromyalgia can be found in families, and having a family history of the disorder is a significant risk factor for getting it.

Genes might play a part in causing fibromyalgia. Studies found that specific genes might be connected to a higher chance of getting the condition. But it’s important to know that genes alone don’t decide if someone will have fibromyalgia. Physical injuries, infections, brain chemicals, and stress can also play a part.

First-degree relatives of people with fibromyalgia, such as parents, siblings, and children, have a higher risk of developing the condition. However, the risk is still relatively low, and most people with a family history of fibromyalgia do not produce the condition.

Other things that might make the chances of getting fibromyalgia higher include being a woman, being middle-aged, and having other joint and muscle problems like ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep problems, or migraines.

In the end, even though fibromyalgia can be found in families, genes alone don’t decide if someone will get the condition. Things in the environment can also play a part, and other factors like age, gender, and other joint and muscle problems can make the risk higher. 

If you or your relatives are experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms, seeking advice from a healthcare expert for the correct diagnosis and suitable treatment is vital.

Genetic Factors

Research shows that genetics can influence the development of fibromyalgia. The condition often appears in families, and close relatives of those with fibromyalgia are more likely to get it too.

Several genes related to pain control, inflammation, and stress response have been connected to fibromyalgia. However, there isn’t just one gene responsible for the condition. It’s thought that many genes work together with environmental factors to increase the risk of fibromyalgia.

Besides genetics, other things like trauma, infection, and stress can also trigger fibromyalgia. These factors can change the nervous and immune systems, leading to widespread pain and other symptoms.

Remember that just because your family has a history of fibromyalgia doesn’t mean you’ll have it. Similarly, if there’s no family history, it doesn’t guarantee you’re entirely protected from it.

Knowing about the genetic factors related to fibromyalgia can help people understand their risk and find ways to manage their symptoms.

Environmental Factors

Fibromyalgia can be linked to genetics, but surroundings also matter. These include physical injuries, getting sick, brain chemicals, and stress.

Physical injuries, such as those from car accidents or falls, might lead to fibromyalgia. These injuries can affect the body’s nervous system and potentially cause fibromyalgia. Many people with this condition (up to half) mention that an injury occurred before they noticed any symptoms.

Getting sick can also cause fibromyalgia. It is believed that the body’s response to the sickness can change the nervous system, leading to fibromyalgia. Some viruses, like the Epstein-Barr virus, have been connected to it.

Brain chemicals, like serotonin and dopamine, may also play a role in fibromyalgia. These chemicals assist in regulating pain, mood, and sleep. Alterations in the concentrations of these chemicals can result in fibromyalgia.

Feeling stressed can also cause fibromyalgia. Long-term stress can change the nervous system, which can then cause fibromyalgia. People with this condition often feel very anxious and depressed.

Genetics can be a part of fibromyalgia, but other things like surroundings also matter. Physical injuries, getting sick, brain chemicals, and stress can cause fibromyalgia.

Risk Factors

Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder with no known cause, but researchers have identified several risk factors that may increase a person’s likelihood of developing the condition. These risk factors include age, sex, family history, rheumatic diseases, sleep disorders, and migraine.

Age plays a significant role in fibromyalgia. It’s usually found in middle-aged grown-ups, with most getting it between 30 and 50 years old, But it may happen at any stage of life, even in the young and the elderly.

In fact, Women are up to 9 times more likely to have it than men. We don’t know why, but it might concern hormones and genes.

A family history of fibromyalgia may increase your chances of developing the condition, suggesting a genetic component. This means it could be in your genes, but we don’t know which ones yet.

Some other health issues can make you more likely to have fibromyalgia. These include ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, osteoarthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. They all share some symptoms of fibromyalgia, like pain and tiredness.

Sleep problems like sleep apnea, parasomnias, and restless leg syndrome can worsen fibromyalgia. Insufficient sleep can make the pain and tiredness even worse. Migraines are also linked to fibromyalgia, but we don’t know why.

We are uncertain about the exact cause of fibromyalgia; however, understanding its risk factors enables doctors to identify and manage the condition in their patients more effectively.

Is Fibromyalgia Hereditary

Diagnosis and Treatment


Unfortunately, there is no specific test for diagnosing fibromyalgia, and it can often take years to receive a proper diagnosis.

Usually, diagnosing fibromyalgia involves looking at symptoms, medical history, and a physical exam. A rheumatologist is often the expert who identifies this condition.

Fibromyalgia’s main signs are widespread pain, sensitivity, and tiredness. Other signs can be trouble sleeping, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and feeling down. 

For a fibromyalgia diagnosis, an individual must experience persistent, widespread pain for at least three months and exhibit sensitivity in specific body regions.

Is There a Genetic Test for Fibromyalgia?

There is no genetic test for fibromyalgia, but research has shown that fibromyalgia can run in families. If a family member has fibromyalgia, there is an increased risk of developing the condition. However, having a family member with fibromyalgia does not surely mean a person will develop the condition.


There isn’t a cure for fibromyalgia, but you can find different ways to handle the symptoms. Usually, treatment includes a mix of medicine, exercise, and changes in your daily life.

Some medicines for fibromyalgia are painkillers, antidepressants, and drugs for stopping seizures. Exercise such as walking, swimming, or yoga can help lessen pain and make sleep better. Changing your life, like having less stress and sleeping enough, can also help you deal with the symptoms.


Fibromyalgia is a long-lasting pain issue that impacts many individuals globally. While fibromyalgia has no known cure, various approaches exist to alleviate its symptoms.

To diagnose it, doctors examine the patient’s symptoms and personal history and conduct a physical examination. Having a family member with fibromyalgia may increase your risk, but it doesn’t guarantee that you will develop the condition.

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