Monday, June 27, 2011

Are You At Risk?

I AM :)

Are You at Risk for Fibromyalgia?

About 5 million Americans, most of whom are women, live with fibromyalgia. And while the root causes of the disorder haven't yet been clearly identified, research has turned up some differences in how people with fibromyalgia experience pain — which may help to shed light on who is more likely to develop it.

Fibromyalgia symptoms are rooted in a dysfunction in the way pain is processed in the brain. "Fibromyalgia patients have been shown to have lower levels of brain chemicals that inhibit pain signals, including serotonin and norepinephrine, as well as higher levels of brain chemicals that cause pain signals, including substance P and glutamate," explains rheumatologist Chad S. Boomershine, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the division of rheumatology and immunology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. These chemical imbalances may explain why people with fibromyalgia find changes in temperature, light, and pressure on their skin painful while others do not.

Another avenue of exploration is the impaired stress response that appears to characterize fibromyalgia. Researchers are looking at the ways in which the stress hormone cortisol is processed differently by people with fibromyalgia, as well as other health factors, such as difficulty regulating blood pressure.

Fibromyalgia can occur along with many other conditions. This makes it hard to get a final diagnosis and can also confuse patients about whether one condition causes the other, or whether both are related to an overlapping symptom, such as disturbed sleep.

More of the article here.

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