By Deanna Couras Goodson
Fibromyalgia Syndrome is generally an elusive disease. I know from personal experience that not many people seem to understand much about it. I include many medical professionals in that group.
There are several theories on that. First, there seems to be a prevailing belief that a trauma such as a car accident triggers the disease. Other traumatic events that may lead one to develop this disease include sexual or physical abuse and alcoholism. In my case, I had a car wreck in May of 2001 and started exhibiting symptoms almost immediately afterwards. I believe that one led to the other for me.
Secondly, other illnesses or disorders lead one to become fibromyalgic. This makes it seem as though Fibromyalgia may have its roots in a virus or a bacteria of some sort. Other illnesses that may cause FMS might be: the Flu, Epstein-Barr virus and a several autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases attack the body’s immune system.
People with FMS tend to have weakened immune systems and may be prone to one or more of these illnesses, specifically, but not limited to: Hypothyroidism, Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am also hypothyroid, but I am not sure which occurred first. It’s a chicken-and-egg kind of thing to me, so I can’t say for sure. FMS patients have to be tested for other disorders first because a diagnosis of FMS is basically one of exclusion.
That means, to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a person would have to test negative for other disorders and still have pain in specific areas, called pressure points. It’s usually a long and dragged out process. Therefore, one could be fibromyalgic long before they are hypothyroid, for example, and wait longer for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Another possibility mentions that FMS is caused by a parasite. The body has parasites in its body naturally. However, there are good parasites and bad ones. When the body makes too much of a good parasite or has a bad parasite, the immune system attacks. If a chronic parasitic flare-up like Candida Albicans—yeast overgrowth—occurs, then, a person could be weakened enough to become susceptible to developing Fibromyalgia.
Perhaps, people who become Fibromyalgic have a physiological abnormality pertaining to the neurotransmitters that regulate serotonin. Serotonin is the feel-good chemical. When it is out of whack, a person can feel, among other things, depressed.
Finally, genes may play a role in a person’s propensity for developing Fibromyalgia. (Say that last sentence five times fast. I dare you!) Many of its related conditions such as: depression, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis do have a genetic component, so why not Fibromyalgia?