Numerous popular medical reporting sites have released headlines proclaiming that the cause of fibromyalgia has finally been discovered. While I applaud any and all research to fully understand and help those with fibromyalgia, it doesn’t change my opinion that a disruption in the HPA-axis, due to chronic or acute stress, is the real trigger for fibromyalgia.
Interestingly this new discovery helps explain why changes in weather affect the pain levels of those with the illness. Research sometimes clouds the picture as a recent article reported that changes in weather don’t negatively affect those with fibromyalgia. Like many of you I would disagree. I find that changes in weather, most definitely affects fibromyalgia symptoms.
About the New Research
Researchers were surprised to find an extremely excessive amount of a particular type of nerve fiber called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts in those with fibromyalgia. Up until this point scientists had thought that these fibers were only responsible for regulating blood flow, and did not play any role in pain sensation, but now they’ve discovered that there is a direct link between these nerves and the widespread body pain that Fibromyalgia sufferers feel.
The breakthrough also could solve the lingering question of why many sufferers have extremely painful hands as well as other “tender points” throughout the body, and why cold weather seems to aggravate the symptoms. In addition to feeling widespread deep tissue pain, many Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from debilitating fatigue.
Neuroscientist, Dr. Frank L. Rice, explained: “We previously thought that these nerve endings were only involved in regulating blood flow at a subconscious level, yet here we had evidences that the blood vessel endings could also contribute to our conscious sense of touch… and also pain,” Rice said. “This mismanaged blood flow could be the source of muscular pain and achiness, and the sense of fatigue which are thought to be due to a build-up of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation fibromyalgia patients. This, in turn, could contribute to the hyperactivity in the brain.”
I’m not sure we will ever know the true cause or cause(s) of fibromyalgia. I don’t think it is that simple. However, I do know from 18 years specializing in fibro, stress is the catalyst for the disease. And that the only way to reverse the symptoms is to build up your stress coping chemicals and stress coping glands in order for your stress coping self-regulating mechanisms to work correctly.
The first step in regulating your stress coping mechanisms is to get deep restorative sleep. I’ve prepared an in-depth sleep video and step-by-step sleep report for helping you get a good night’s sleep.