also called fibrositis

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a chronic disorder which is characterized by widespread pain, tenderness and fatigue.


Pain: in the muscles, elbow, back, neck, or abdomen, can occur at night, can be chronic, throbbing, sharp, or diffuse, severe

Sleep: sleep disturbances, difficulty falling asleep, or sleepiness

Sensory: pins and needles, sensitivity to cold, or sensitivity to pain

Muscular: muscle tenderness, delayed onset muscle soreness, or muscle spasms

Hand: tingling or sensation of coldness

Gastrointestinal: bloating or constipation

Psychological: anxiety or depression

Mood: mood swings or nervousness

Cognitive: lack of concentration or forgetfulness

Whole body: feeling tired, nausea, fatigue, or malaise

Also common: acute episodes, irritability, joint stiffness, tingling feet, headache, or painful menstruation

Often it is also accompanied by depression.

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Doctors do not know what causes fibromyalgia (at this time), but they believe that it most likely involves a variety of factors working together. These could be Genetics, Infections or Physical/Emotional Trauma.

  • Genetics. Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.
  • Infections. Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
  • Physical or emotional trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder has been linked to fibromyalgia.


Can be treated by medication and self-treatment.


Muscle relaxant: Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril )

SSRI: Paroxetine (Paxil), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft)

Other treatments: Milnacipran (Savella), Pregabalin (Lyrica), Amitriptyline, Gabapentin (Neurontin), Venlafaxine (Effexor), Duloxetine (Cymbalta)


Anti-inflammatory: Naproxen (Aleve)

Other treatments: Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Also common

Lifestyle: Physical exercise, Relaxation techniques, Stretching, Stress management

Therapies: Support group, Acupuncture, Massage, Graded exercise therapy, Biofeedback, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Hydrotherapy

Other treatments: Chiropractic treatment techniques

Why Does Fibromyalgia Hurt?

Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain. The brain's pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals.

What gene or chromosome is affected by this disorder?

The X chromosome

What population is affected?

2% of people get Fibromyalgia.

That's roughly around 5 million people.

Are there prenatal tests for fibromyalgia?


Could this disorder have been prevented?

No because doctors and scientists do not know what causes fibromyalgia.

How Is Fibromyalgia Inherited?

Families and Fibromyalgia

  • Studies of DNA from family members of people with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes have turned up a number of genes that could help explain why these disorders seem to run in families.
  • The odds of developing fibromyalgia are several times higher in the immediate families of people with fibromyalgia than in families in which no one has fibromyalgia.

Is there a cure/new treatment coming soon?

Scientists and doctors are creating more treatments for fibromyalgia. Since they do not know what causes it they cannot find a cure.

What is the current status of research on fibromyalgia?

Scientists are still looking for new information on fibromyalgia, a cure, and causes it.

What Gene Or Chromosome Is Affected By Fibromyalgia?

Predominantly affects woman or the XX Chromosome. 90 percent of cases are diagnosed in females.

Women w/ fibromyalgia

Women typically experience tenderness or pain in at least 11 of 18 tender points, men may have only six places in the body that are tender, and they aren't as painful as those in women patients.

Fibromyalgia peaks in women during the reproductive years, female hormones are believed to play a role in the higher incidence and severity of the disorder.

  • Many women complain that fibromyalgia pain is worse just before and during their periods.

Men w/ fibromyalgia

Men get the disorder too, but they experience it very differently. Males tend to get fewer and milder symptoms than women. Their discomfort also lasts for shorter periods of time and occurs less often.

Men have a small amount of estrogen, but it doesn't fluctuate throughout the month the way it does in menstruating women. "It's the changes in estrogen levels that seem to trigger a higher sensitivity to pain,"

Children And Fibromyalgia

Children and Fibromyalgia

  • Fibromyalgia isn't passed directly from parents to children, but the disorder does appear to cluster within families.
  • Can be hard to spot in children because it's much more common in adults.
  • Children of a parent with fibromyalgia syndrome won't necessarily develop the syndrome themselves – however, they may be more likely to develop the disorder than other people may if something triggers it, such as an accident, infection or stress.

What kind of medical assistance will the affected child need?

  • They will need the basic treatment.

Can this individual have children in the future? What is the long-term outlook for the child?

  • Yes they can still have children and the child could end up having fibromyalgia at some point in their life time. They still do not know if parents can pass it to their children

Will further assistance be needed, as the child grows older?

  • The child will need treatment their entire life if they get it as a child, the treatment will change throughout their life time.

Who Can Be A Candidate For Fibromyalgia?


Adults more likely than children.

Fibromyalgia Diet

Foods That Help

Foods low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals.

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Omega-3s (nuts and cold water fish)
  • Lean Protein

Foods that Hurt ~ Foods To Avoid

  • Caffeine
  • Simple Carbs
  • Artificial Sweeteners


Rheumatologist: Specializes in arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.

Pain management: Eases suffering and improves quality of life for those in pain.

Clinical psychologist: Treats psychological disorders.

Physical medicine and rehabilitation: Restores function and quality of life to those with physical disabilities.

Physical therapist: Restores muscle strength and function through exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is fibromyalgia?
  2. Is there a cure?
  3. How is fibromyalgia treated?
  4. How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
  5. Can I still work with How is fibromyalgia?
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