Describe the factors that make this particular Population Vulnerable to the Fibromyalgia?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Investigators are constantly looking at various explanations for the occurrence of fibromyalgia. Some, for example, are exploring hormonal disturbances and chemical imbalances that affect nerve signaling. Other experts believe fibromyalgia with its deep muscle pain is linked to stress, illness, or trauma. Still others think there is a hereditary cause or say there is no explanation at all. But while there is no clear consensus about what causes fibromyalgia, most researchers believe fibromyalgia results not from a single event but from a combination of many physical and emotional stressors.

    What causes fibromyalgia?

    Some have speculated that lower levels of serotonin in the blood leads to lowered pain thresholds or an increased sensitivity to pain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain. It's associated with a calming, anxiety-reducing reaction. The lowered pain thresholds may be caused by the reduced effectiveness of the body's natural endorphin painkillers and the increased presence of a chemical called "substance P." Substance P amplifies pain signals.

    There have been some studies that link fibromyalgia to sudden trauma to the central nervous system. Keep in mind, though, theories about what causes fibromyalgia are merely speculative.

    Who gets fibromyalgia?

    Fibromyalgia is far more common in women than in men. Some interesting studies show that women have approximately seven times less serotonin in the brain. That may explain why fibromyalgia syndrome, or FMS, is more prevalent in women.

    Another theory states that fibromyalgia is caused by biochemical changes in the body and may be related to hormonal changes or menopause. In addition, some (but not all) people with fibromyalgia have low levels of human growth hormone, which may contribute to the muscle pain.

    Does stress cause fibromyalgia?

    Some researchers theorize that stress or poor physical conditioning are factors in the cause of fibromyalgia. Another theory suggests that muscle "microtrauma" (very slight damage) leads to an ongoing cycle of pain and fatigue. This mechanism, like all the others, is still unproven for fibromyalgia.

    Do insomnia or sleep disorders cause fibromyalgia?

    Most people with FMS experience insomnia or non-restorative sleep -- sleep that is light and not refreshing. Disordered sleep might lead to the lower levels of serotonin, which results in increased pain sensitivity. Researchers have created a lower pain threshold in women by depriving them of sleep, possibly simulating fibromyalgia.

    Is depression linked to fibromyalgia?

    Some scientists used to believe that because fibromyalgia was accompanied by low-grade depression, there may be a link between the two illnesses. Today, mental health issues are no longer thought to cause fibromyalgia. However, chronic pain can cause feelings of anxiety and depression, which may worsen fibromyalgia symptoms.

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