Monday, July 14, 2008

Fibromyalgia Pain and Fatigue

Photo by Brisa
Many people with rheumatic disorders, such as Sjogren's Syndrome, also unfortunately have to deal with fibromyalgia. Fibro is not considered an autoimmune disease. It's symptoms include widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body. WebMD defines it this way:
Fibromyalgia is a non-life-threatening, chronic disorder of the muscles and related soft tissue, including ligaments and tendons.  Its main symptoms are muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points at certain parts of the body.  Many people describe fibromyalgia as feeling like a persistent flu.
It's bad enough to deal with Sjogren's but fibromyalgia, too? Not fair. 

For those of us with this double whammy, you may be interested in a study which explored a biological link between pain and fatigue similar to that seen in fibro.  This article describes a recent study at the University of Iowa:
ScienceDaily (Apr. 9, 2008) — A recent University of Iowa study reveals a biological link between pain and fatigue and may help explain why more women than men are diagnosed with chronic pain and fatigue conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The study, which was published in the Feb. 28 issue of the American Journal of Physiology -- Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, indicates that muscle pain and fatigue are not independent conditions and may share a common pathway that is disrupted in chronic muscle pain conditions. The team plans to continue their studies and investigate whether pain enhances fatigue more in females than males.

"Our long-term goal is to come up with better treatments for chronic musculoskeletal pain," Sluka said. "But the fatigue that is typically associated with chronic, widespread pain is also a big clinical problem -- it leaves people unable to work or engage in social activities. If we could find a way to reduce fatigue, we could really improve quality of life for these patients."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fibromyalgia is a terrible disease, and aprt from the pain, the patients also suffer from peoples reactions, saying that it is all just an idea, that is all just in the head. We should start changing these reactions to this fairly unknown disease.