Sleep, Where Art Thou
Fibromyalgia and pain are often simultaneous and the fibromyalgia patient struggles on a daily basis with symptoms like: muscle spasms, muscle weakness, nerve pain, twitching and even occasional palpations along. The frustrating part about fibromyalgia is that the symptoms are only one painful aspect of this condition. Fibromyalgia comes with other life complications that have been known to leave serious and even permanent effects on the body.
An individual that has been diagnosed with this miserable condition wakes up every morning feeling stiff and finds it difficult to move his or her limbs this makes mobility throughout the day difficult until the pain lessens and limbs become more flexible. Because pain is the common denominator of fibromyalgia other areas of life become complicated such as an individual’s ability to sleep. Sleep disturbance is only one area where life becomes complicated, the aching of the muscles can prevent the patient from being able to physically relax and allow sleep to sweep over him or her.
The lack of sleep results in the patient waking feeling extremely fatigued and as if he or she has not rested even though the patient may have spent eight or more hours in his or her bed. Studies have shown that fibromyalgia patient tend to be at a higher risk for developing or are already having sleeping problems like restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea. Sleep or the lack of sleep is a big deal to most individuals but for the fibromyalgia patients the lack of sleep is only the icing on the cake and the start of further coexisting life complications.
What Could Be Causing This Misery?
While the cause of fibromyalgia is not exactly known, researchers have some ideas about it. Everything from hormonal disturbances to stress has been thought to cause fibromyalgia. To this day, doctors will say that the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown because it acts differently for every sufferer. Though they cannot pinpoint an exact cause medical professionals do have several theories and hypothesis regarding the topic.
- Central Sensitization
- Physical or emotional trauma
- Sleep disturbances
- Genetic predisposition
- Dopamine dysfunction (hypodopaminergia)
- Abnormal serotonin metabolism
- Deficient growth hormone (GH) secretion
- Psychological factors
Fibromyalgia caused by hormonal disturbances?
There are several different hormonal imbalances that have been greatly researched. Some theories have not even really gotten off the ground. Three prime hormones have been researched extensively: thyroid, insulin, progesterone.
- The first is a possibility of low thyroid hormone function. After extensive research, it is common to find a thyroid deficiency in fibromyalgia patients.
- Another common hormonal disturbance thought to cause fibromyalgia is insulin. Very many fibromyalgia sufferers have hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is when the body reacts by supplying too much insulin when too much sugar is eaten. When the body supplies too much insulin, it destroys most of the sugar in the blood just a few hours after eating. The results of low blood pressure include the mind becoming fuzzy and the person becoming disoriented.
- A third chemical imbalance has to do with progesterone. Both men and women’s body produce progesterone. Its highest concentration is in the brain because it’s a necessity for nerve health and function. Progesterone works throughout the body from women’s reproductive organs to peripheral nerves. Several fibromyalgia sufferers have taken a progesterone supplement and many of their health issues have gotten much better. It is also referred to as the happy hormone because it helps to even out mood swings and lift spirits.
Fibromyalgia caused by stress?
Other researchers have focused their studies on the possibility that stress causes fibromyalgia. During periods of prolonged stress, the body is in a constant state of emergency which can cause the adrenal gland to be strained. Add to the already stressed body an actual stressful event and the gland can cause a body that is dominated by estrogen for women and a compromise of testosterone production in men.
Fibromyalgia caused by a combination?
Upon looking at all of the facts, it appears that the cause of fibromyalgia is no one given thing. Usually, it is caused by a combination of several factors.