This Article is About
brain chemicals
irritable bowel syndrome
pain sensations
genetic predisposition
hormone cortisol
pain signals
american adults
rheumatoid arthritis
chronic condition
Fibromyalgia And The Role Of Brain Chemicals: Are Chemical Imbalances Making Your Symptoms Worse?
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Fibromyalgia And the Role Of Brain Chemicals: Are Chemical Imbalances Making Your Symptoms Worse?

It is estimated that some five million American adults have fibromyalgia. Most of those people are women. Now experts have started to give some explanations to this frustrating often complex condition, believing that the symptoms are likely to be rooted in the way that the brain processes pain sensations. In those patients with fibromyalgia there is a marked decrease in certain brain chemicals, especially those that are in charge of inhibiting pain signals. Serotonin and norepinephrine are released by the brain to counteract the effects of other chemicals which increase the sensations of pain, including substance P and glutamate.

People who have fibromyalgis typically have problems with common things like changes in temperature, light or in sensations of pressure, finding these changes unbearably painful in many cases. Fibromyalgia may also cause an increase in the body's stress response which increases the release of the hormone, cortisol. Cortisol, which is directly responsible for an increase in abdominally centered weight gain is processed differently by the people who have fibromyalgia. That excess weight may also increase the severity of their symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is increased in certain people including those who have other physical and mental conditions. People with depression, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and lupus are more likely to also be affected by fibromyalgia. Other conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome, tempormandibular joint disorder or TMJ hae also been linked to the chronic condition.

Nearly ninety percent of the people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are female making gender one of the major risk factors. Others include a genetic predisposition to the condition, trauma whether it is physical or mental, ongoing sleep issues and stress. Some symptoms are more difficult to manage or relieve and may affect daily living activities in many cases. Some people with fibromyalgia are often unable to work or to get around on their own without extreme pain.

Age is another risk factor. Fibromyalgia affects between three and six percent of the entire world population in general but affects those who are eighty years old or older at a much higher rate. Nearly ten percent of that age group are affected by some level of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia symptoms include chronic muscle pain or spasms, moderate to severe fatigue, insomnia or restless sleep, concentration or memory problems, abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, tension headaches or an increased number of migraine headaches. Because the symptoms are so diverse, patients may need to see several doctors before getting a diagnosis.


Street Talk

Amie, my mother has this too. Thanks for the info!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Wow, sounds like a very yucky disease. Thanks for the info Amie

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Amie, my mother has this. Thanks for writing this article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Barbara9  

excellent article

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Hello Amie great article as usual. This is a subject that can not be talked about enough.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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