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Brain Dysfunction may Explain Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Has 18 years experience. Specializes in ER, PACU, Med-Surg, Hospice, LTC.

Brain Dysfunction: An Explanation for Fibromyalgia

Article:

"Dysfunction in a portion of the brain may explain some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome, researchers suggest in a paper published in the Journal of Rheumatology"

"Because the hippocampus has a critical role in maintaining cognitive functions, sleep regulation, and pain perception, the researchers suggest that metabolic dysfunction of hippocampus may be implicated in the symptoms of this puzzling syndrome".

SOURCE: Journal of Rheumatology, July, 2008.

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Progress, progress, progress............

Well, for patients who are suffering from Fibromyalgia, this is a huge step, in my opinion.

Hopefully, with more research, there will be a standardized diagnostic test for Fibromyalgia.

There are so many people that do not believe in it because there are no lab tests, scans, etc., to "prove" a person has it.

This could be a step towards an answer..................

Finally, validation! I wonder, however, if these chemicals (NAA and choline) can be manipulated or is the hippocampus permanently altered. As sufferers already know, there are genetic risks, as well. My mother, two sisters, and one brother have fibromyalgia, too. Now, we think my 19 yr old son may have symptoms. I read in a journal that fibromyalgia not only runs in families, and tends to effect women more than men, but patients are typically intelligent individuals. Wow, chalk one up for us! Thanks for the posting. Hope may be on the horizon.

i have fibromyalgia and i also have tourettes sx i wonder if these might be connected

thank you for posting this i am going to try and follow

imanedrn

Has 7 years experience. Specializes in ED/trauma.

Fantastic, thank you!

I suffer from fibromyalgia, though not nearly as severely as I've seen others. It would be fantastic to find an true "treatment" instead of just treating us with meds that cover the problems.

Studies have shown that fibromyalgia is not a progressive syndrome. It is also not a fatal one. This is good news for those of us with mild to moderate cases. I get by with just Tylenol if I really need it before hours of sleep. Otherwise, my quality mattress (with memory foam) seems like a rock. Personally, I have found that healthy foods (lots of veggies, fish, skinless chicken, small portions, and vitamin supplementation) benefits my overall health along with consistent, moderate exercise of 60 minutes/day, keeping the same sleep schedule of no more than 8 hrs/day, warm showers at the beginning and end of the day, and finding ways at minimizing stress really helps, too. My monthly cycles and high stress moments definitely aggravate my symptoms. Believe it or not, laughter along with love and belonging from persons who mean most to me is a big time analgesic. I want to try accupuncture next. Nevertheless, there will always be my good days with the occassional not so good days. Unfortunately, fibromyalgia is chronic...until they find a cure.

lyceeboo

Specializes in med/surg, ortho, rehab, ltc.

Wow. Thanks for sharing this interesting link.

Simba&NalasMom, LPN

Has 14 years experience.

I have fibro and my mom has RA (genetic link strikes again). Her rheumo tested her D3 levels and said they were way low. I've also read other articles about D3 deficiencies contributing to a wealth of health problems, lots of them immuno-related.

Has anybody here tried D3 supplements to help his/her fibro? I just started taking them, along with cal-mag and tons of B-vites for energy and sleep. Curious to know if anybody has personal experience with supplements and if they actually do help. I hate the side effects of Elavil, and Lyrica sounds kind of scary (not to mention expensive).

Thanks for the link. :)

For years there was a group of seemingly non related problems that were pegged as purely pyscological simply because they did not show up on scans. Now with the new supersensitive scaners we are learning that there are physical changes in the brains of persons suffering from PTSD, migraines and fibromyalgia. This is great, not only because with actually evidence they can start to look for treatments but also because medical establishment will finally stop treating people like they are mentally ill.

I wonder why brain changes happened in the first place, oramar? I mean...recently, I saw a documetary on TV stating that children of abuse or severe neglect have actual changes in their brain compared to a child absent from these environments during critical developmental stages in their young lives. What about possible brief exposures of oxygen deprivation during childbirth...? Or is it the imbalance of chemicals (NAA and choline as mentioned above) that can cause brain changes? Just curious...need to do some research on these...unless someone has any other knowledge on why brain changes occur with these conditions (PTSD, migraines, fibromyalgia as mentioned above).

Quickbeam, BSN, RN

Specializes in Government.

Curious to know if anybody has personal experience with supplements and if they actually do help.

I have RA and obvious joint deterioration. In addition to that, I had a wide range of arthralgias that didn't seem RA related. I found a decent rheumatologist (and I went through a few really awful ones) who drew a lot of blood work and found my Vitamin D levels were almost non-existent. It has taken months of large doses of Vitamin D to get me back to normal. In that time, my arthralgias disappeared. I am left with the very clear and specific pain from my RA which I medicate for.

Re: the D supplements....I do this under an MD supervision and with periodic lab work. I take scary-big doses and it is not recommended for people to do this on their own. At least I don't feel bad about neglecting my health...no way I could have gotten this much D on my own with diet/sun.

Amazing testimony, quickbeam...thanks for sharing it with us. Did any one specialist ever say you have or had fibromyalgia? Or are you just saying that vitamin D may help with the dominant muscle pain, that fibro sufferers have, the same way it did for your joint pain?

Quickbeam, BSN, RN

Specializes in Government.

I was never told (never) that I had fibromyalgia. The RA damage was pretty advanced when I was diagnosed. I'd had it since childhood. It was when my rheumatologist pressed on my sternum and that hurt that she had the Vit D drawn. Now, nothing hurts except the RA damaged joints. But no, I'd want to be clear that I was never told I had fibromyalgia. She called it "Vitamin D deficit arthralgia".

Simba&NalasMom, LPN

Has 14 years experience.

I have RA and obvious joint deterioration. In addition to that, I had a wide range of arthralgias that didn't seem RA related. I found a decent rheumatologist (and I went through a few really awful ones) who drew a lot of blood work and found my Vitamin D levels were almost non-existent. It has taken months of large doses of Vitamin D to get me back to normal. In that time, my arthralgias disappeared. I am left with the very clear and specific pain from my RA which I medicate for.

Re: the D supplements....I do this under an MD supervision and with periodic lab work. I take scary-big doses and it is not recommended for people to do this on their own. At least I don't feel bad about neglecting my health...no way I could have gotten this much D on my own with diet/sun.

Thanks...that's good to know! I'm reading that up to 5000 iUs per day are safe, but yeah, since it's fat-soluble I know I need to get levels checked soon along with liver function, etc.

I'm so happy for you that it has worked!!! :D :yeah:

I love my cat!

Has 18 years experience. Specializes in ER, PACU, Med-Surg, Hospice, LTC.

There is also this article (posted in this thread because I am assuming that only people suffering from Fibro or are interested in the possible causes will be following it anyway):

Sleep Linked to Fibromyalgia

I know there have been many hypotheses regarding the sleep/Fibro connection in the past, but this is just further validation that it exists.

lori_alexis

Specializes in ICU, CCU, Travel Nursing.

My primary diagnosis is Ehlers Danlos: Hypermobility type. However I have Narcolepsy, Seizures, Fibromyalgia... interesting how they could all be linked together. No matter how many times I asked the different specialists, no one wants to say one way or another. It is very obvious I have a collagen defect, and you have collagen all over you body...

Thanks for the info guys!!

Hey "lori alexis"...thanks for sharing your info with us. When I looked up Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, it states that it is an inherited disorder of the elastic connective tissue. Do you have chronic pain because of this syndrome or do you have pain because of the fibromyalgia only? What do you mean by hypermobility? I read about hyperextensibility of joints, is this the same? Also, how did you conclude that narcolepsy, seizures, and fibromyalgia may be linked? How do you still work as a nurse with all these things going on?...just curious. Sorry to hear so much is going on, but, I admire your courage. How bad is your fibromyalgia and how do you get around the pain? My interventions are listed above and I'm always open to suggestions. Obviously these questions may be private, and I don't mean to intrude, but, nevertheless...thank you for sharing your testimony. My future goal is nursing research. :thnkg:

lori_alexis

Specializes in ICU, CCU, Travel Nursing.

I don't mind sharing at all!

With Ehlers Danlos (and other "syndromes") each person can have their own set of symptoms. For example, my daughter got her defective gene from me (its autosomal dominant) but she and I have different problems. Originally we thought we had Marfans Syndrome, went through genetic testing/counseling and such and Ehlers Danlos was the diagnosis.

Yes, by hypermobility I mean hyperextensibility. My skin is also loose, my gums are loose (I can't tell that, but the hygienist always says things about it), etc.

I have chronic hip and leg pain. My hips easily dislocate and usually go back on their own. I've always had problems with sprained ankles, jaw pain, etc. I also have chronic headaches and migraines. I have a "floppy" (as the cardiologist calls it) Mitral Valve, causing chest pain from time to time... for 26, Im a mess :)

However, at times I'll have leg pain with no injury. Sometimes it feels like nerve pain (pins and needles kind of effect) but as the days go on it can be better or worse. My mom has had similar problems for a lot of years. She has had all kinds of testing done, MRI's, nerve testing, CT's, etc and everything is negative. I used to hear ppl talk about the weather with it effecting their joints, I thought they were crazy... I know what they mean now!

From talking with other ppl with ED pain management is a huge issue. Different things work for different ppl, and it takes a doc who knows what ED is and is willing to try different things. I can't take a lot of meds d/t my seizure meds, however d/t slow healing NSAIDS are bad b/c of the multiple esophageal ulcers Ive had.

Pain management. Ibuprofen helps, but I try to take it minimally. Biofreeze is wonderful. Lidocaine patches help with the pins and needles kind of pain. I have darvocet, but it doesn't do much for me.

I take Carbatrol 300 BID for seizures, Adderall 15mg as needed for narcolepsy (Im suppose to take 15mg TID, but working nights is a tricky thing, telling your body when to sleep and when to be awake at totally different times on different days).

When going through the genetic work up. They suggested PT & OT. PT like 3 times a week to start with. However, my co-pays are $25 each time :( Theres no way I can afford that for my daughter and I. My daughter also has orthotics, which seem to help her leg pain. I wear Dansco's to work. They feel really good most of the time, other days it doesn't matter what I wear, I feel like Im walking on rocks.

I do think it is all somehow related. My defect is collagen ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collagen ). Its the most abundant protein in mammals. Its all through our body's. Fibromyalgia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia). As I said, I can't get any doctor to say yes or no. But... the cardiologist has said over and over the reason my valves are floppy is of the connective tissue disorder (ED), obviously its the reason my joints dislocate so easily... I could go on and on... :)

How do I work? Ive always had pain leg pain as far back as I cant remember. I can't say Im used to it, you learn to deal with it. However, Im young. I know I can't work on the floor as an RN my whole life. My mom is in her mid 40's and has a hard time getting around. She as been a stay at home mom most of her life. Im not saying thats always an easy job, but its not running caring for pts for 12-14 hrs a day 3-4 days a week either. Im working on finishing a bachelors, then onto CRNA school. Im 26, a single mom to a ten year old, who has ED as well. I am her role model. I want her to know that we all have problems, however you do the absolute best with what you have.

Okie Dokie. I wrote a book. As I said, don't mind answering your questions at all.

I'm so amazed at your courage and strength to go on no matter what life tosses your way... I can especially relate to being "under close observation" at all times with children watching. I have three of my own and want them to surmount life's obstacles should, God forbid, they inherit any of my crazy genes. I am hearing impaired, had renal cell carcinoma with a radical right nephrectomy, and radical neck surgery to remove tumors. Like you, I decided to press on. I am sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. You are truly brave and I so appreciate your response. :wshgrt:

FranEMTnurse, CNA, LPN, EMT-I

Has 23 years experience. Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor..

My PCP agreed with me when I told him I had fibromyalgia. I know my skin is sore to the touch most of the time, so when a BP is taken it hurts a lot. However, since I am finally on the meds that work for this body, I do have decreased episodes of the horrible total body pain that kept me in bed for two days.:rolleyes:

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