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What is the relationship between post-traumatic stress and fibromyalgia?

Dr. Dede Bonner
Health Education Specialist
You may be a war veteran and suffer from posttraumatic stress (characterized by intense fear, helplessness, or horror after a terrifying event; also called the Gulf War Syndrome). Several studies have linked combat-related posttraumatic stress with the pain characteristic of fibromyalgia. One study concluded that almost half of the study’s posttraumatic sufferers also met the criteria for a fibromyalgia diagnosis.
The 10 Best Questions for Living with Fibromyalgia: The Script You Need to Take Control of Your Health

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The 10 Best Questions for Living with Fibromyalgia: The Script You Need to Take Control of Your Health

A good mind knows the right answers...but a great mind knows the right questions. And never are the Best Questions more important than after the life-altering diagnosis of fibromyalgia -- or when you...
Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
Some experts believe that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and fibromyalgia may be related. PTSD is a chronic anxiety disorder that some people develop after a traumatic event, such as engaging in combat or suffering childhood abuse. Fibromyalgia is a common condition that produces chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, depression, and other symptoms. Doctors have observed that severe emotional trauma can trigger symptoms of fibromyalgia. There is some speculation that PTSD causes changes in the brain that may produce physical symptoms, including those of fibromyalgia.

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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.