The Heart Of The Condition
As a diagnosis is in the process of being made, it is typical for an individual to start wondering why them and what was or is at the heart of the development of this condition. Fibromyalgia is one of those mysterious conditions that can leave an individual grasping for answers. There are so many unanswered questions when it comes to a condition such as fibromyalgia and one of the most common questions left unanswered about this condition has to do with what is at the heart of the condition.
What causes fibromyalgia? This is the millions dollar question. Medical professionals have many thoughts and theories on the topic. While the cause of fibromyalgia is not exactly known, medical researchers have some ideas regarding possible causes and underlying health concerns. 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.
Stress And Fibromyalgia
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.
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.
Genetic Factors To Consider
Fibromyalgia precursors are found in both genetics and hormones. Certain genes make people more susceptible to pain. Some even say that it is hereditary. And on top of that, women are more susceptible to pain because estrogen brings down the pain threshold. It is thought the reduction in the pain threshold may be why women are more likely to have fibromyalgia symptoms than men.
It is also thought that men may be more likely to not respond to the tender points test. This is where a doctor applies pressure to 18 different tender points. Eleven of these 18 tender points need to be reacted to for a positive diagnosis. Since women are tenderer and more likely to tell a doctor about pain, men may not react to enough if any tender points.
Another theory is that men are too proud to admit that they are in pain. Because men are more likely to be the primary earner in the family, they may fear that if they are diagnosed with fibromyalgia they cannot function as usual.