Your chances for developing fibromyalgia can be increased by several risk factors. One of the most common is experiencing some type of physical or emotional trauma. High stress levels and not sleeping well are also associated with developing fibromyalgia, although it remains unclear exactly how they affect the condition. Age, sex, and family history can increase your risk as well. Fibromyalgia most often occurs in early to middle adulthood, and if anyone else in your family has the condition, you're at a higher risk of developing it, too. Women have seven times more risk than men. Those suffering from some other type of rheumatic disease, like lupus, or an infection like Lyme disease, also have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.
A Answers (5)
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Celeste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered
“Often identified as triggers are virus, trauma (accidental or surgical), chemical exposure, abuse (emotional or physical), a prior debilitating illness, or any of these in combination.” (Cooper & Miller, 2010)
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
Find out more about this book:Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection
Although the cause of fibromyalgia is not entirely clear, there are some factors that may predispose an individual to developing fibromyalgia or its symptoms. These main risk factors include: middle age, female gender, family history of fibromyalgia, stress, rheumatic disease, and sleep disorders.
- Age: Individuals between the ages of 20 and 60 are at the highest risk of developing fibromyalgia, although it may occur at any age.
- Gender: Although fibromyalgia may develop in men or women, statistics indicate that women are seven times more likely to develop the condition than men. Nine of 10 fibromyalgia patients are women. An estimated 3.4% of American women have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia during menopause than any other time. Generally, a woman's symptoms are more severe than a man's symptoms.
- Genetic factors: There is some indication that genetic factors may be involved in the development of fibromyalgia. Studies have shown that individuals with family members who have fibromyalgia are at a higher risk of developing it themselves.
- Psychiatric illness: While the majority of individuals with fibromyalgia report a history of psychiatric symptoms, such as depression or anxiety, many patients do not. There is no clear evidence that psychiatric illness causes fibromyalgia.
- Rheumatic disease: Patients with rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis), or lupus may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
- Sleep disorders: Patients with sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep), may have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.
- Stress: People who have recently experienced a stressful physical or emotional event (such as a divorce, car accident, or death of a family member) may be at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.
- Other: Changes in weather, cold or drafty environments, infections, allergies, and hormonal fluctuations (premenstrual and menopausal states) may all contribute to the development of fibromyalgia.
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Certain things may make you more likely to have fibromyalgia. Things that increase your risk (risk factors) include:
- Being female.
- Having certain health problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Lyme disease, mononucleosis, or depression.
- Having been through a traumatic event (such as a car accident).
- Having a family history of fibromyalgia.
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Jacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered
Anything that excessively decreases energy production or increases energy demands.