Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common chronic pain condition — it affects millions of people in the United States. It’s far more common in females than males and can start when kids are in their teen years or even younger, although it’s most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50. There’s a lot of disagreement among doctors when it comes to fibromyalgia. Theories differ as to what causes it and how best to treat it. There’s even disagreement about what to call it — some call it a syndrome, others a disorder, still others a chronic condition.
The National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association define Fibromyalgia as “a complex chronic pain disorder which appears to involve disordered central afferent processing. This processing includes neuroplasticity (a physical change in the brain) that engages regions of the brain abnormally in processing external stimuli. FM is a disorder of central processing with neuroendocrine and neurotransmitter dysregulation. The FM patient experiences pain amplification due to abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system. An increasing number of scientific studies now show multiple physiological abnormalities in the FM patient, including increased levels of substance P in the spinal cord, low levels of blood flow to the thalamus region of the brain, HPA axis hypofunction, low levels of serotonin and tryptophan and abnormalities in cytokine function.
Recent studies show that genetic factors may predispose individuals to genetic susceptibility to FM. For some, the onset of FM is slow; however, in a large percentage of patients, 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.”
- anxiety and depression
- belly pain
- bladder pain
- depression or anxiety
- diarrhea and/or constipation
- excess sweating
- food allergy symptoms like a stuffed nose, wheezing, diarrhea, or vomiting
- Intense and constant pain
- irritable bowel syndrome
- itching, burning, and other skin problems
- lack of energy
- memory problems and trouble concentrating (“fibro fog”)
- muscle twitches or cramps
- numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- trouble sleeping
- urinary frequency
Fibromyalgia has an inflammatory component, as elevated serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers are associated with its diagnosis. Whatever you label it, and whatever its origins, fibromyalgia presents a challenge to those coping with its symptoms each day. Our quality Lifestyle protocols and procedures help women with the FM symptoms listed above so they can lead a productive, healthy and happy life.