Advertisement

How does fibromyalgia affect my endocrine system?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You could just as easily flip the question  and ask: How does my endocrine system affect my fibromyalgia? There are clues from studies that fibromyalgia and the endocrine system may be linked. But how is still unclear.

The endocrine system is made up of various glands, which are organs that produce hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that make things happen in the body. Studies show that people with fibromyalgia often (though not always) have low levels of certain hormones, including those produced by the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands. Also, some women with fibromyalgia experience a worsening of symptoms at times when their hormone levels fluctuate, such as before having their periods and as they enter menopause.

So does this mean low hormone levels cause fibromyalgia? Or does having fibromyalgia dampen activity in certain glands? Nobody knows, but research continues.
In fibromyalgia, disturbance of the endocrine system has been shown. Special glands throughout the body help control and release hormones that help the body adapt to stressful situations and other body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, and energy storage and usage. Normally, under stressful conditions, these glands will stimulate the body to release stress hormones to help our bodies adapt. In fibromyalgia, it appears that these glands do not sufficiently activate and may help explain the symptoms of fatigue, muscle stiffness, and poor sleep.

Continue Learning about Physical Effects of Fibromyalgia

How does fibromyalgia affect my musculoskeletal system?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Muscle pain is one of the main symptoms of fibromyalgia. But that doesn't mean you have fibromyalgia...
More Answers
What effect does fibromyalgia have on my immune system?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Scientists are studying whether fibromyalgia has any effect on the immune system. This much is known...
More Answers
How does fibromyalgia affect the body?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Fibromyalgia affects the body in various ways. People with fibromyalgia experience chronic, widespre...
More Answers
Can fibromyalgia cause weight gain?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
In short, no, fibromyalgia does not directly cause weight gain; however, weight change is a comm...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.