Fibromyalgia Causes

Fibromyalgia Causes

Fibromyalgia Causes
One of the most common risk factors for fibromyalgia is experiencing some type of physical or emotional trauma, and there is some indication that genetic factors also may play a role. Patients with sleep disorders have increased risk, and poor sleep habits are related to fibromyalgia flares.

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    While much more remains to be learned about fibromyalgia, there is evidence that links this condition to low levels of growth hormone. Some studies have found that people with fibromyalgia have low levels of human growth hormone, which is produced by the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain. Scientists have noted that the symptoms of fibromyalgia -- such as widespread body pain, fatigue, and sleep problems -- are similar to those of some other conditions caused by hormone deficiencies. This area of research could eventually provide new insights into the causes of fibromyalgia.
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    Generally, menopause does not increase your risk for developing fibromyalgia. However, as you go through menopause, your estrogen levels begin to drop and may cause symptoms that are sometimes similar to those of fibromyalgia. If you begin to experience sleep disruption and daytime fatigue, then these symptoms could be attributed to either menopause or fibromyalgia.

    You will have a clearer understanding of the issues if you and your doctor review all of your symptoms instead of focusing on a select few. For example, symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and hot flashes are normally not symptoms of fibromyalgia. Likewise, symptoms of fibromyalgia such as muscle pain and morning stiffness are normally not symptoms of menopause.

    If you have new symptoms that affect your quality of life, talk to your doctor so that your symptoms can be accurately diagnosed. Only with an accurate diagnosis can you begin to treat the specific issues based on the specific condition.
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    Anyone can be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. However, this syndrome is much more common in women. Approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of the 5 million Americans who have fibromyalgia are female. Still, men and children can develop fibromyalgia, too.

    Other risk factors for fibromyalgia include:
    • being middle aged
    • having a family member who has fibromyalgia
    • having certain medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and  ankylosing spondylitis
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    A , Neurology, answered
    A survey of 100 women with fibromyalgia found that the average woman started experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms at age 46, and menopause had already occurred before fibromyalgia started in two of three women. (In Westernized cultures, menopause is generally expected to occur around age 51.) Although doctors don't know why, studies consistently show that menopause tends to occur nearly 10 years earlier than average in women with fibromyalgia -- around age 42.
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    Women account for the vast majority of fibromyalgia cases, but no one is certain why because the exact cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown. Some researchers believe that many more men have fibromyalgia than are diagnosed. They believe that some men suffer the symptoms of fibromyalgia but do not seek medical care.

    Also, women may have more symptoms of fibromyalgia than men, such as pelvic pain, painful periods or painful intercourse.

    It is important to understand that significant progress is being made in the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about this condition.
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    Some scientists suspect that fibromyalgia may be related to aberrant, or abnormal, behavior in the body's immune system. Normally, a healthy immune system protects the body against germs and other invaders that can cause illness and disease. But some scientists are studying the possibility that certain changes in the immune system could activate nerve cells, resulting in pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. Much more remains to be learned about the relationship between fibromyalgia and the immune system.
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    A Rheumatology, answered on behalf of
    A number of things are believed to trigger fibromyalgia symptoms, but doctors don't know exactly how. Experts think there is a possible link between the body’s immune system, endocrine system and neurological system.
     
    Some things that could trigger fibromyalgia are:
    • certain infections
    • trauma, including physical assault
    • sexual abuse
    • obesity
    • sleep disorders
    • depression
    • pain from another cause
    Pain from childhood hospital procedures may also be a fibromyalgia trigger. Researchers studied kids who had many tests done during a previous stay a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). They found that the children later became hypersensitive to pain. The body’s natural ability to block pain did not develop the same way it did in other people. As a result, they developed fibromyalgia. The same thing that would not cause another person to feel much pain caused these kids a lot of physical pain in early childhood.
     
    Scientists think your genes may also play a role in fibromyalgia, but studies are still in the early phase. It's difficult to separate out environmental triggers and genes, because a lot of times when people from the same family have fibromyalgia, they've been exposed to the same things. For example, if somebody grows up in a poor neighborhood where there's more violence and more stress, you may see more fibromyalgia in the family. But that doesn't necessarily mean that everybody in the family has the gene for fibromyalgia. 
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    Fibromyalgia is not contagious. You can't develop it as a result of coming in contact with someone else who has it. Although the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, it does tend to run in families, which means genetics are likely to play a role. If someone in your family has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you have a higher risk for developing the condition as well.

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    A , Integrative Medicine, answered

    Many different processes can trigger fibromyalgia, including injuries, after pregnancies, hormonal deficiencies, infections, sleep disorders, chronic stress, nutritional deficiencies, and many, many more. Because of this, sometimes the fibromyalgia is missed because of the initial disease (for example, in women with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis where these illnesses have been effectively treated but the severe symptoms persist because of a secondary fibromyalgia – which requires a different treatment). A helpful question to ask yourself is "Can I get a good night’s sleep?" If the answer is no, and you have widespread pain, ask your physician to consider whether you might have a secondary fibromyalgia which also needs treatment.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    While it's not set in stone, some researchers believe that fibromyalgia is the result of a genetic tendency; therefore, just like you inherit your mother's blue eyes or your father's black hair, you can inherit the tendency to have fibromyalgia. These researchers believe that when someone with a genetic tendency to fibromyalgia is exposed to emotional or physical stress like an illness, accident or emotional crisis, there is a change in the body's response to stress. This change may cause a higher sensitivity of the entire body to pain. 
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