A Answers (14)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredNo one knows exactly what causes fibromyalgia. You feel like you’ve gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson, but your doctor’s telling you your tests look just dandy. But we do have some clues. Genes play a role. Some people with fibro have been shown to have certain genes that make them respond more acutely to stimuli that other people may not perceive as painful. But heredity doesn’t deserve all the blame. It can take more than genes to trigger fibromyalgia. An accident such as a car crash can awaken it. Emotional trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can also bring it on. So can a physical illness. Sometimes, though, fibromyalgia just develops without any immediate cause you can point to.
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Pfizer LYRICA™ (pregabalin) Team answered
Fibromyalgia is not a psychological condition. Fibromyalgia is a real disorder. While the exact cause is still not known, it is believed to have a biological cause. Recent research suggests that changes in the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) may be responsible.
It is believed that there may be a number of factors working together:
- Trauma—physical and emotional trauma have been linked to fibromyalgia
- Family history—the genes you inherit from your parents may increase the likelihood of developing fibromyalgia
- Infections—there is some evidence to suggest that certain illnesses can act as a trigger
- Autoimmune diseases—people with disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia
In recent years, there has been progress in the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. But there are still many aspects of fibromyalgia that are not understood. Because of the complexity of the condition, it can be difficult to diagnose.
If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Prescription treatment, such as LYRICA, is one option you and your doctor may consider. LYRICA was the first treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of fibromyalgia.
This answer is sponsored by Pfizer. Any other answer is the responsibility of the party posting it. Any product information provided is intended only for residents of the U.S. Products may have different labeling in different countries.Please scroll for LYRICA™ indication.
Important Safety Information (ISI)
LYRICA is not for everyone. LYRICA may cause serious, even life threatening, allergic reactions. Stop taking LYRICA and call your doctor right away if you have any signs of a serious allergic reaction. Some signs are swelling of your face, mouth, lips, gums, tongue, throat or neck, or if you have any trouble breathing, or have a rash, hives or blisters.
Drugs used to treat seizures increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. LYRICA may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Patients, family members or caregivers should call the doctor right away if they notice suicidal thoughts or actions, thoughts of self harm, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. These changes may include new or worsening depression, anxiety, restlessness, trouble sleeping, panic attacks, anger, irritability, agitation, aggression, dangerous impulses or violence, or extreme increases in activity or talking. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, do not stop LYRICA without first talking to your doctor.
LYRICA may cause swelling of your hands, legs and feet, which can be serious for people with heart problems. LYRICA may cause dizziness and sleepiness. You should not drive or work with machines until you know how LYRICA affects you. Also, tell your doctor right away about muscle pain or problems along with feeling sick and feverish, or any changes in your eyesight including blurry vision, or if you have any kidney problems or get dialysis.
Some of the most common side effects of LYRICA are dizziness, blurry vision, weight gain, sleepiness, trouble concentrating, swelling of your hands and feet, dry mouth, and feeling “high.” If you have diabetes, tell your doctor about any skin sores.
You may have a higher chance for swelling and hives if you are also taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors so tell your doctor if you are taking these medications. You may have a higher chance of swelling of your hands or feet or gaining weight if you are also taking certain diabetes medicines. Do not drink alcohol while on LYRICA. You may have a higher chance for dizziness and sleepiness if you take LYRICA with alcohol, narcotic pain medicines, or medicines for anxiety.
Before you start LYRICA, tell your doctor if you are planning to father a child, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you have had a drug or alcohol problem, you may be more likely to misuse LYRICA.
In studies, a specific type of blood vessel tumor was seen in mice, but not in rats. The meaning of these findings in humans is not known.
Do not stop taking LYRICA without talking to your doctor. If you stop suddenly you may have headaches, nausea, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or you may feel anxious. If you have epilepsy, you may have seizures more often.
LYRICA is indicated to treat fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, spinal cord injury nerve pain, and pain after shingles. LYRICA is also indicated to treat partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy who take 1 or more drugs for seizures.
Piedmont Heart Institute answered
The causes of FM are not known. Researchers think a number of factors might be involved. FM has been linked to:Having a family history of fibromyalgia (i.e. genetics) Being exposed to stressful or traumatic events, such as Car accidents Injuries to the body caused by performing the same action over and over again Infections or illnesses Being deployed to war
This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
For the most part, the cause of fibromyalgia is a mystery, but research has been able to shed a little light on the subject. It is very common for people to develop fibromyalgia following some type of physical or emotional trauma and stress seems to play a big role in that. However, exactly how stress affects fibromyalgia remains unclear. The condition has also been linked to certain infections and tends to run in families, leading researchers to believe that genetics are involved. This theory is further supported by the evidence of certain genes occurring more frequently in those suffering from fibromyalgia.Helpful? 3 people found this helpful.
Celeste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered
We are not absolutely certain as to what causes FM, however, there is mounting evidence that FM is due to a dysfunction of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in the brain, which helps explain immune problems, particularly with the thyroid, and autonomic effects. (You can find newer research at http://thesethree.com/FM_Research.html)
There is also evidence that fibromyalgia is connected to other health problems, such as myofascial pain syndrome, (http://thesethree.com/Myofascial_Pain.html), heart rate variability and autonomic effects.
Just as important is knowing if you have a common comorbid condition with FM, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Sjögren’s, Raynaud’s, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, hypothyroidism, bruxism, disordered sleep, interstitial cystitis, and the many others we discuss in our book. The treatment for primary FM will not affect the myofascial trigger point of myofascial pain syndrome or treat insulin resistance, postural orthostatic tachycardia, TMD, neurally mediated hypotension, restless leg syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis or many of the overlapping conditions of which many have a centralization and myofascial component.
All blogs, posts and answers are based on the work in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD. 2010, Vermont: Healing Arts press and are not meant to replace medical advice. http://www.thesethree.com
Author of Chapter Five, Living with and Coping Effectively Through Fibromyalgia: Detecting Barriers, Understanding the Clues, in Fibromyalgia Insider Secrets: 10 Top Experts, 2nd Ed. Ebook complied by Deirdre Rawlings, ND, PhD
Find out more about this book:Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection
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Harris McIlwain, Pain Medicine, answered
Although the cause is unknown, some researchers think fibromyalgia may be the result of a genetic tendency, therefore, it may be passed on from generation to generation. When a person who has this tendency is exposed to certain emotional or physical stressors (like in an illness), there is a change in their body’s response to stress. This can result in a higher sensitivity of the entire body to pain. Scientists theorize that one of these body changes is a low level of a hormone, CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone), resulting in higher sensitivity to pain and more fatigue, including the fatigue experienced after exercise.
This hypersensitivity to pain may in part be from low levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with a calming, anxiety reducing reaction. Lower levels of serotonin cause a lower pain threshold. The end result may be the chronic widespread pain of fibromyalgia.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Michael Breus, PhD, Psychology, answeredFibromyalgia has a history that’s both contentious and mysterious. For a long time, there was no consensus in the medical community about whether it even existed, whether it was a “real” disorder or an “imagined” one. This has changed, and the medical establishment now overwhelmingly accepts that fibromyalgia exists as a very real disorder. But much about the syndrome -- including and especially what causes it -- remains unknown. For this reason, and because there is no single test that can positively identify fibromyalgia, it remains difficult to diagnose. Since it can’t be tested for, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia comes by way of eliminating other possible conditions.
There are signs of possible genetic and environmental links, since fibromyalgia seems to sometimes run in families. Researchers have explored links between fibromyalgia and other diseases and disorders, including arthritis, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and restless leg syndrome, but have found no conclusive evidence to demonstrate a causal link between fibromyalgia and these conditions. That said, all of these disorders are found more often in people with fibromyalgia than in the general population.
Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answeredIn most cases, people don't know why their fibromyalgia started. The symptoms of fibromyalgia begin for approximately two in five people after an injury or trauma. A report published in the journal Rheumatology linked trauma from surgery and work injuries with fibromyalgia. Interestingly, fibromyalgia beginning after an injury tends to cause greater pain, disability, and emotional distress than fibromyalgia that begins with no obvious causal link.
Fibromyalgia may have been passed to you through your family. Recent studies suggest a strong family link with fibromyalgia.
Find out more about this book:The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome--a set of symptoms that occur together. Experts have ideas about what may cause it, but there is not enough evidence to support any one idea. Some ideas include:
- Nerve cells may be too sensitive.
- Chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) may be out of balance.
- The deep phase of sleep may be disrupted and affect the amount of hormones that your body releases.
Many people connect the beginning of their symptoms to a certain event, such as the flu, an injury or surgery or emotional trauma and stress. An event of this type combined with other things, such as increased sensitivity to pain and sleep problems, may lead to fibromyalgia in some people.
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While the underlying cause or causes of fibromyalgia (FM) still remain a mystery, research findings continue to bring scientists closer to understanding the basic mechanisms of fibromyalgia. Most researchers agree that FM is a disorder of central processing with neuroendocrine and neurotransmitter dysregulation. The person with FM experiences pain amplification due to abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system. An increasing number of scientific studies show multiple physiological abnormalities in the person with FM, including: increased levels of substance P in the spinal cord, low levels of blood flow to the thalamus region of the brain, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hypofunction, low levels of serotonin and tryptophan and abnormalities in cytokine function.
Studies show that genetic factors may predispose individuals to a genetic susceptibility to FM. For some, the onset of FM is slow; however, in a large percentage of people the onset is triggered by an illness or injury that causes trauma to the body. These events may act to incite an undetected physiological problem already present.
Exciting research has also begun in the areas of brain imaging and neurosurgery. Ongoing research will test the hypothesis that FM is caused by an interpretative defect in the central nervous system that brings about abnormal pain perception. Scientific researchers have just begun to untangle the truths about this life-altering disease.
Debra Fulghum Bruce PhD, Healthcare, answered
While there are many theories on what causes fibromyalgia, the truth remains that scientists do not know. For many years it was thought that the disease was caused by a disorder of the muscles or was a psychological problem. Some researchers believe that this mystery syndrome may have a genetic disposition as it can run in families. The most recent research suggests that the muscles themselves are more likely not the source of the pain, but that the pain may be a response to changes in the brain. All of these explanations remain uncertain, but research is continuing.
No single theory seems to explain all of the problems in fibromyalgia. Whatever the cause, the vicious cycle of pain and disturbed sleep leads to less activity and depression, then to more pain. This pain cycle creates a situation that can become disabling and incapacitating for months and possibly years unless the proper treatment is administered to control the symptoms. While there is no cure, the symptoms can be successfully treated.Helpful? 3 people found this helpful.
The causes of fibromyalgia remain unknown. The most current hypothesis is that fibromyalgia is the result of central nervous system malfunction, resulting in amplification (increase) of pain transmission and detection. Researchers believe that several factors, including sleep disturbances, stress, family history of fibromyalgia, infection, injury, abnormalities in the nervous system, and changes in muscle metabolism, may lead to the development of fibromyalgia. These events, however, may or may not be present in individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Abnormal pain transmission: There is some evidence that fibromyalgia patients have abnormal pain transmission responses caused by defects in the central nervous system. According to the central sensitization theory, patients with fibromyalgia may have a lower pain threshold (the point at which pain begins to be felt) because of increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals. Possible causes for this include: abnormally high levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain and/ or an increased sensitivity of the brain to pain signals. Abnormal pain processing may also be responsible for symptoms experienced in several chronic pain disorders that many fibromyalgia patients also experience, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), chronic low back pain, and other chronic pain disorders.You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.
Jacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered
Chronic fatigue syndrome and its painful cousin fibromyalgia represent an energy crisis where the body is spending more energy than it is able to make. When this occurs, the person "blows a fuse" called the hypothalamus - a major control center in the brain which regulates sleep, hormonal function, temperature, and other critical functions. Decreased energy in the muscles also results in chronic muscle shortening and pain (think writer’s cramp or even rigor mortis).Helpful? 7 people found this helpful.
Bill Salt, MD, Gastroenterology, answered
Fibromyalgia is one of many functional symptom syndromes, composed of medically unexplained symptoms, which are “caused” by dysfunction involving the mind/brain—body connection.
To explain the unexplainable and cause, look at the terms used here and then “see the big picture.”
LOOK AT TERMS
• Functional refers to how the body works.
• Symptoms of fibromyalgia include chronic widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.
• Symptom Syndromes are collections of medically unexplained symptoms. They are also known as functional somatic syndromes and chronic multisymptom illnesses. Nearly every specialty defines at least one syndrome. Examples include RHEUMATOLOGY (fibromyalgia), UROLOGY (interstitial cystitis/painful bladder and chronic prostatitis/painful prostate), and GASTROENTEROLOGY (irritable bowel syndrome).
• Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) cannot be explained by medical tests, such as x-rays, endoscopies, and blood tests, because they are caused by dysfunction.
• Dysfunction is disturbance or “malfunction” of how the body works.
• Mind/Brain-Body Connection refers to how the mind/brain and body communicate and talk with one another.
SEE THE BIG PICTURE
MUS and symptom syndromes frequently overlap with one another and are commonly associated with and often attributed to stress, depression, anxiety, and/or panic. Medical and scientific research is showing how the mind/brain and body communicate and both how and why symptoms are generated. One of the most important discoveries is that the "central" mind/brain can become "sensitized" to "peripheral" body pain and symptom signals. So these symptom syndromes are now being called, central sensitivity syndromes.
A new book, Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH!, written by this author with Thomas L Hudson, MDiv JD, (StillHurtingFINDHEALTH.com), proposes a new unifying and holistic medical model of medically unexplained symptoms and their related symptom syndromes as chronic disease, explains both how and why they occur, and shows what people can do to help themselves and work effectively with their caregivers.
DISEASE IS DYSFUNCTION, AND SYMPTOMS ARE THE EXPRESSION. The cause of medically unexplained symptoms and pain can be understood as disease/dysfunction, regardless of whether the symptoms are widespread (e.g., the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia) or localized to a specific area of the body (e.g., the abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction of irritable bowel syndrome).Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.