Is Fibromyalgia Linked To Changes In Brain Molecule?
Recent studies into how Fibromyalgia is affected by - and indeed affects the brain -has shown that there are abnormalities in the release of hormones, metabolic rates and also chemical activity in the brain.
These studies would appear to indicate that these factors are contributing factors as to how the pain and stress of Fibromyalgia manifest themselves within the brain of the sufferer.
HeadachesOne distinct indication that there are changes happening within the brain relating to the release of chemicals and chemical activity are headaches. Many sufferers of Fibromyalgia find that they are more susceptible to so-called 'stress headaches' and indeed Migraine than they were before they contracted the condition.
So-called 'cluster headaches' (headaches which happen in batches of more than two or three) can be the first sign of a change within the mid brain region.
HypothalamusThe Hypothalamus gland is directly attached to the pituitary gland and abnormalities caused by Fibromyalgia can cause these two glands to work incorrectly and sometimes against each other. The Hypothalamus gland's main purpose is to regulate body temperature, heart beat, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and also metabolism; all of which are factors that are common with both the conditions of Fibromyalgia and also M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).
Also the Hypothalamus and Pituitary glands connect to the Thalamus which itself is responsible for the controlling of sensory stimulants as well as emotions and the sleep cycle; this explains why many Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) sufferers often suffer from Insomnia and irregular sleep patterns.
HormonesAll of the aforementioned glands are interconnected and as a result of a sufferer contracting either Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) they may also find that they suffer from either increased or decrease hormone levels. Such hormones as those responsible for growth which effect muscles and joints can have an adverse effect on the mobility of the sufferer.
In addition such hormones as Substance P, Serotonin and Melatonin can be affected the results of which often are increased pain sensitivity and the feeling of pain in parts of the body where pain has not normally been encountered.
StressThe HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal gland) triangle as it is known also causes much higher levels of stress in a sufferer of either Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). The results of this are often varied but commonly include many of the problems we have already mentioned such as increased headaches, less sleep, problems with blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
TreatmentsCommonly the treatments for such ailments - although neither Fibromyalgia nor M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) themselves can be cured - are the prescribing of anti-depressants which also double as muscle relaxants. Such medications can only be prescribed by your doctor but often provide the sufferer with a modicum of relief and at least go some way to helping to restore sleep patterns.
Again it is important to note that the conditions of Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) have no cures and that doctors are simply able to help treat the overlapping conditions with medications as and when they arise.
As there would appear to be a vicious cycle of stress causing pain which in turn causes more pain the main aim of any medical treatment by your doctor will be to reduce stress and hopefully reduce pain as a direct result.
As always it is imperative to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor and to do so sooner rather than later.