Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. The condition is characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and tenderness in specific areas of the body. Other symptoms are sleep disorders, headaches, and cognitive difficulties.
Despite advances in medical research, the exact causes of fibromyalgia are still not known. However, experts have identified a number of factors that appear to contribute to the development of this condition. In this article, we will explore ten of the most commonly cited root causes of fibromyalgia.
List: Ten Root Causes Of Fibromyalgia
1. Fibromyalgia and Genetics
To begin our list of ten root causes for fibromyalgia, we’ll start with genetics, as it’s one of the most important components in our body. So, does fibromyalgia run in families?
Well according to studies it does, suggesting that there is a genetic reasoning for the condition.
Several genetic variations have been associated with fibromyalgia. Such as genes related to the regulation of pain, immune system, and the neurotransmitters.
Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia are more likely to have variations in certain genes. often those that are involved in the regulation of pain, such as the serotonin receptor gene HTR2A.
Other studies have identified genetic variations in genes that are involved in the immune system. One of them being the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) gene, which may be the cause of fibromyalgia.
2. Mental and Physical Trauma
It is possible that traumatic events such as physical or emotional injuries, surgeries, or emotional stress can trigger fibromyalgia. The theory is that these events can cause changes in the way the brain and the spinal cord process pain signals, leading to chronic pain.
Also, traumatic experiences can lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychological stress disorders that can lead to the development of fibromyalgia.
Infections may trigger fibromyalgia by causing inflammation and activating the immune system. Which can lead to chronic pain and fatigue.
For example, certain viral infections such as lyme disease or parvovirus have been linked to the development of fibromyalgia.
Studies have also shown that people with fibromyalgia are more likely to have had a history of infections. Such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which causes mononucleosis. And also, infection-triggered fibromyalgia may be more likely to occur in people who have a genetic predisposition to the condition.
4. Hormonal Imbalances
A well known fact is that fibromyalgia is more common in women than men. Which suggests that hormonal changes may play a role in the development of the condition. Hormonal imbalances can affect the way the body processes pain, leading to chronic pain.
A lot of researches have shown that people with fibromyalgia often have very high levels of certain hormones. Especially those related to stress and the sleep-wake cycle, such as cortisol and melatonin.
However, it is not clear if these hormonal imbalances are a cause or a result of fibromyalgia. It is possible that the abnormal levels of hormones may be a result of changes in the central nervous system caused by fibromyalgia.
5. Sleep Disturbances
Sleep plays an important role in fibromyalgia as it can affect the symptoms of the condition and its severity. People with fibromyalgia often have difficulty sleeping. Which can lead to a number of problems, including fatigue, widespread pain, and mood changes.
Fibromyalgia often leads to disturbed sleep, characterized by light and fragmented sleep, which often results in poor sleep quality. This can lead to increased fatigue and pain during the day, which can further escalate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
6. Nutritional Deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies may be linked to fibromyalgia. They can affect pain perception, mood, and overall health.
People that suffer from fibromyalgia may have deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, magnesium and B vitamins. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to chronic pain and fatigue, both common symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Magnesium is important for muscle function and a deficiency can lead to muscle cramps, weakness, and fatigue. B vitamins, particularly B12 and folate, are important for energy metabolism, and deficiencies can lead to fatigue, weakness, and difficulty in concentration.
7. Exposure to Toxins
Exposure to toxins may trigger fibromyalgia by causing inflammation and disrupting the normal functioning of the body’s systems. Because of fibromyalgia, a lot of people develop higher sensitivity to pain and certain toxins and chemicals in the environment.
For example, exposure to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium has been linked to the development of fibromyalgia. These toxins can cause inflammation, disrupt the immune system, and affect the nervous system, leading to chronic pain and fatigue.
8. Psychological Factors
Psychological factors may play a role in the development of fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia often have a history of psychological distress. Particularly attributed to one or more episodes of stressful events early in life.
These experiences can lead to changes in the brain and the way it processes pain. Leading to abnormal neuroendocrine function, which may contribute to the development of fibromyalgia.
9. Immunological Factors
Some researchers believe that fibromyalgia may be caused by an immune system dysfunction. So people with fibromyalgia often have an altered immune response.
These are characterized by an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are molecules that play a heavy role in inflammation. This chronic low-grade inflammation may be a cause to the development of fibromyalgia symptoms.
With this being said, fibromyalgia may also be associated with increased levels of certain antibodies. Some being antinuclear antibodies (ANA) or rheumatoid factor (RF) which are typically associated with autoimmune disorders, suggesting that fibromyalgia may have an autoimmune component.
10. Environmental Factors
The environment around us can have a significant impact on our health, fibromyalgia is no exception.
Polluted areas are more likely to develop fibromyalgia in people. Air pollution contains various toxins such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. These can cause inflammation and damage to the body’s systems, leading to chronic pain and fatigue.
Additionally, exposure to pollutants such as pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents have been linked to the development of fibromyalgia.
These toxins can cause inflammation and disrupt the normal functioning of the body’s systems, leading to chronic pain and fatigue.
To conclude our ten root causes of fibromyalgia, it’s important to mention that fibromyalgia is a complex condition with multiple root causes. While more research is needed to fully understand the causes of fibromyalgia, the above-listed factors are commonly cited as contributing to the development of this chronic pain disorder.