Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What Causes Fibromyalgia

I have been researching the web again this morning looking for the very first diagnosed case of fibromyalgia. Of course, it leads you to website after website of non-related information so I thought I would throw this out there for you to see.

I came across one site that states several possible causes of this chronic illness. Everything from relationship troubles to consuming too many pesticides, hormones, and by-products of prescription drugs.

I have my own theory based on my own case and I would love to get your take on what you think brought about your fibromyalgia or CFS.

Here's my thoughts:

I think living a highly stressed life (especially one that you feel you can't control the outcome) combined with certain personality types (the nurturers, the people pleasers, the empathetic, the fearful, etc) along with the man made chemicals such as pesticides, hormones, food enhancers causes a breakdown in the body that comes on very gradually. Each crisis that comes along in your life sets you further back and eventually comes out in a physical way from overload.
I learned the hard way that each time something traumatic happened in my life that my neck and back got considerably worse. I never really related this because I was never stress free and it didn't always happen right away. I believe the body reacts to the mental stress and eventually you feel it physically.

Too much stress will deplete your adrenal glands which leaves you vulnerable to many other problems such as insomnia, fatigue, depression, cravings for sweets and low blood pressure or low blood sugar.

Our adrenal glands are essential to our lives as they secrete the hormones necessary to help the body deal with stress. The adrenal hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, activate the body's "fight or flight" response. If overused it can get stuck. Think of a pendulum that swings back and forth and suddenly gets stuck to one side. That is what happens when you experience panic attacks. Your body senses danger and is reacting, but your mind doesn't understand as there is no eminent danger and it can be scary and confusing. You hyperventilate and feel like you might die as you have no control over what is happening.

Excessive stress, an important cause of adrenal burnout, can be from many sources. Chemical toxicity(over the counter and prescription drugs, for one) and nutritional depletion are among the physical causes. Mental, emotional or spiritual stress may be a major factor. Financial, family or other stress may also contribute to burnout. Any excessive stress can deplete the adrenals, especially when weakened by poor nutrition. Working too much or emotional stress are two common causes. Excessive stimulation, especially for children, is another cause. Fast-paced, high-stress, fear-based lifestyles are a sure prescription for adrenal burnout.

I truly believe that it takes time and determination to put your mind and body back together. It takes eating the right foods, regular exercise, a deeper spiritual life, a forgiving attitude (this is a tough one and takes time) ridding your life of bad relationships, taking daily "time" for yourself,
adequate sleep, and a mindset that "you can do it".

This is not an easy task and could take a lifetime of working on it, but at least we will be heading in the right direction.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Hi Christine,

I really enjoy your blog, and have a little something for you to pick up at Chronic Connection.

I'm hoping it will add a little sunshine to your day!

(((gentle hugs)))


At Home on the Rock... said...

Hi Christine,

I just stumbled across your blog and have just read this post "What Causes Fibromyalgia". I feel you are right on with everything you have said here.

Everything you mention here, describes me to a "T". Years of using artifical sweeteners, combined with a high stress life (which contained a couple of extremely stressful situations ongoing for months and happened just before the onset of of my CFS) contributed to my CFS/Fibro. I am sure of it.

My reading/research has led me to the same conclusions...about the adrenal glands...the whole bit.

Looking forward to reading through your blog.

~ Linda