Causes of Fibromyalgia
The cause of fibromyalgia is not well known. Research suggests that the brain of fibromyalgic patients is extremely sensitive to pain due to a disturbance in pain perception in them.
There maybe multiple inter-related causes for Fibromyalgia. In summary they maybe classifieds under-
- Malfunctioning of the autonomous nervous system
- Malfunctioning of the immune or endocrine system
- Upper spinal cord trauma
The trigger for the above maybe related to
- Persisting sleep problems
- Psychological strain trauma
- Viral / bacterial infection
Stress is a major factor that can precipitate Fibromyalgia. Medically it is known that stress can affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (link between the brain and our hormonal glands) axis and bring about changes in the cortisol level, triggering pain.
- According to EEG studies, there is an impairment in the non-Rapid-Eye-Movement, or non-REM sleep in individuals with FM.
- Any condition that hampers stage 4 sleep,such as depression or certain medications may aggravate the situation.
- There is a low level of dopamine reported in patients with fibromyalgia. Dopamine inhibits pain perception; in FM patients, low levels of dopamine are released in response to pain, thereby, heightening their ability to sense pain.
- The level of serotonin in the brain is also relatively low in patients with fibromyalgia.
- Researchers have found elevated levels of a sensory neurotransmitter, called substance P, in the spinal fluid of FM patients. This nerve chemical is involved in the transmission of message involving pain, touch and temperature from the body to the brain.