Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Unknown Facts of Fibromyalgia

By Christian Goodman

There are so many unknowns with fibromyalgia. Experts are not sure what causes it. They don't know what might cure it, if anything. They don't know why it seems to affect women more than men. They often don't even know you have it, and missed diagnoses are common.

So what do we know about fibromyalgia? It's not arthritis, because arthritis involves the skeletal system, while fibromyalgia affects the muscular system. It's a chronic condition, and it can last a long time, possibly even afflict you for your entire life.

People between the ages of 20 and 50 are prone to developing it. Four to six million Americans are afflicted with it. It keeps you from getting a good night's sleep. Luckily, we also know that it's a progressive disease.

There is hope on the horizon though, for the millions who live every day with constant pain and muscle stiffness. Research continues to find a cause for fibromyalgia and the hope is, once a caused has been identified, work can begin to find a cure.

Some experts are beginning to believe the underlying cause of fibromyalgia is related to disturbances in the endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system. More specifically, the stress response of both those systems.

The crossing over of the nervous system with the endocrine system, referred to as 'neuroendocrine axis', has been studied closely in relation to the sleep disturbances found in most fibromyalgia patients. Studies have shown that fibromyalgia patients have their non-REM sleep phase disturbed by alpha waves that shouldn't be there, often keeping them from moving to stage 3 and stage 4 of sleep.

During those stages, insulin growth factor is released. Since fibromyalgia sufferers often don't reach those stages, they often have low levels of that hormone.

Studies where disturbed non-REM sleep was artificially created have shown that they can actually produce some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. With alpha waves intruding when they shouldn't, it is no wonder that so many fibromyalgia patients are experiencing 'non-refreshing' sleep night after night.

Other endocrine and neurological abnormalities they've found include elevated levels of certain neurotransmitters in the cerebrospinal fluid that enhance pain perception, up to three times higher than normal levels. Fibromyalgia patients also tend to have lower than normal cortisol production.

While everything sounds scientific, the bottom line is that they are slowly finding out why people are suffering from fibromyalgia. No one knows how long it may take to pinpoint the cause exactly, but it should give hope to those suffering from it. Of course, then they can start looking for a cure.

You are on the right page if you are suffering from fibromyalgia. You don't have to continue suffering while waiting for the experts to find a cure. You can join the ever growing number of people who were already helped by my fibromyalgia program.

The fibromyalgia program is not complicated, and does not entail complicated exercises. Only a few simples techniques are needed and it only takes a few minutes a day to perform. Fibromyalgia sufferers have been able to reclaim their lives, and you can too!

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