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What Causes Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia pain

Fibromyalgia is a complex and often misunderstood condition, affecting millions worldwide. Hence, it’s crucial to understand the underlying causes of this chronic pain disorder.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at this often puzzling condition that affects so many people worldwide. We believe understanding the causes of fibromyalgia is necessary, and we’re here to break it down for you.

What is Fibromyalgia

Before we dive into what causes fibromyalgia, let’s take a moment to understand what it is. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness. People with fibromyalgia often feel tired and have trouble sleeping, which can make it tough to get through the day. Fibromyalgia is a bit of a medical enigma, and its exact cause remains unknown. That’s where functional medicine comes in!

Functional medicine is a holistic approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of health issues rather than just treating the symptoms.

Potential Causes of Fibromyalgia

Now that we know what fibromyalgia is let’s talk about what might cause it. To be honest, the exact cause is still a bit of a mystery. But hey, that’s what makes it interesting, right? Researchers have some ideas about what might be going on, so let’s explore those together.

Genetic Factors and Predisposition

Alright, let’s take a closer look at how your family tree might play a role in fibromyalgia. Do you know how you might have your dad’s nose or your mom’s laugh? Well, it turns out that you can inherit more than just physical traits from your family – you might also inherit a predisposition to fibromyalgia.

Researchers have found that some people with fibromyalgia have specific genes that make them more likely to develop the condition. It’s like having a genetic “recipe” that makes you more sensitive to pain. But don’t freak out! Just because you have these genes doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get fibromyalgia. It’s like having a family history of high blood pressure – it’s something to be aware of, but it’s not a sure thing.

So, what does this mean for you? If you have a close relative with fibromyalgia, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your health and be aware of any symptoms that might pop up. And remember, even if you do have a genetic predisposition, there are still plenty of things you can do to manage your symptoms and live a healthy, happy life.


Now, let’s discuss how infections and inflammation might be involved in fibromyalgia. Some experts believe that certain infections or illnesses can trigger fibromyalgia. It’s like your immune system is trying to fight off the bad guys (the germs). Still, in the process, it accidentally goes a little haywire and starts causing pain and inflammation throughout your body.

Here’s the deal: when you get an infection, your immune system kicks into high gear to protect you. But sometimes, it can get a bit overzealous and cause inflammation in places it shouldn’t. This inflammation can lead to widespread pain, a key symptom of fibromyalgia.

But wait, there’s more! Some researchers also think that people with fibromyalgia might have a harder time fighting off infections in the first place. It’s like their immune system isn’t quite as strong as it should be, which could make them more prone to developing the condition.

Neurotransmitter Imbalances

Let’s move on to another piece of the fibromyalgia puzzle: neurotransmitter imbalances. Now, don’t let that fancy term scare you off – we’re going to break it down in a way that’s easy to understand.

So, neurotransmitters are basically little chemical messengers in your brain that help control things like mood, sleep, and – you guessed it – pain. When everything’s working as it should, these neurotransmitters keep your pain signals in check. But with fibromyalgia, there might be a bit of a mix-up in the brain’s chemistry.

Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia often have imbalances in certain neurotransmitters, like serotonin and norepinephrine. It’s like the volume knob on your pain signals is turned up too high, so even small aches and pains feel much worse than they should.

Central Sensitization

Let’s talk about a pretty important aspect of fibromyalgia: central sensitization. Now, don’t worry if that sounds a bit complicated.

In simple terms, central sensitization is a condition where our nervous system goes into overdrive. It’s like our body’s alarm system gets stuck in the “on” position. This means that our brain and spinal cord become more sensitive to pain signals, even when there’s no real threat or injury. Imagine your body reacting to a gentle touch like a bee sting – ouch!

Researchers believe that central sensitization plays a major role in fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia often experience widespread pain and tenderness, even without obvious cause. This is because their nervous system is extra sensitive, making them more susceptible to feeling pain.

central sensitization

Sleep Disturbances

Now, we’re going to explore another aspect of fibromyalgia that you might not have considered before sleep disturbances. We all know that a good night’s sleep is essential for our overall well-being, but let’s dive into how it’s connected to fibromyalgia.

First, let’s talk about why sleep is so important. When we sleep, our body gets to work on repairing and rejuvenating itself. It’s like hitting the “reset” button on our system. Without enough quality sleep, we can feel groggy, irritable, and even experience more pain. And that’s where fibromyalgia comes in!

Here’s the deal: many people with fibromyalgia have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. They might have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling refreshed. This lack of quality sleep can worsen their fibromyalgia symptoms, creating a vicious cycle.

Research has shown that people with fibromyalgia often experience a specific type of sleep disturbance called non-restorative sleep. This means that even if they get enough hours of sleep, they don’t feel rested or rejuvenated when they wake up. It’s like their body never got the chance to hit that “reset” button we talked about earlier.

Trauma and Stress

Next, let’s talk about how trauma and stress can play a role in fibromyalgia. Sometimes, fibromyalgia can be triggered by a traumatic event, such as a car accident, surgery, or even emotional stress. When your body goes through something intense like this, it can cause a chain reaction that leads to fibromyalgia symptoms.

For instance, imagine you’ve been in a car crash. Your body goes into “fight or flight” mode, releasing stress hormones and causing muscle tension. This response is normal, but for some people, it can lead to long-lasting pain and sensitivity, which are classic fibromyalgia symptoms.

Now, let’s talk about chronic stress. You know, the kind that just doesn’t seem to go away. It could be from work, family issues, or just life in general. When you’re constantly stressed, your body is in a continuous state of “high alert.” Over time, this can take a toll on your body, making you more susceptible to developing fibromyalgia. Chronic stress can mess with your body’s natural pain response, causing you to feel pain more intensely.

Hormonal Imbalances

Let’s dive into another factor that might contribute to fibromyalgia: hormonal imbalances. Don’t worry; we’ll keep it simple and easy to understand, so you can see how these imbalances might be connected to this puzzling condition.

Our bodies are pretty amazing, and hormones play a huge role in keeping everything running smoothly. They’re like little chemical messengers, helping to regulate everything from our mood to our metabolism. But when these hormones get out of whack, it can lead to many issues, including fibromyalgia.

Two hormones that are often linked to fibromyalgia are serotonin and cortisol. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Serotonin: The Feel-Good Hormone

Serotonin is often called the “feel-good” hormone because it helps regulate our mood, sleep, and even pain perception. People with fibromyalgia tend to have lower serotonin levels, which might explain some symptoms they experience, like widespread pain, fatigue, and mood issues.

Low serotonin levels can also lead to sleep problems, a common complaint among fibromyalgia sufferers. And we all know that when we don’t get enough sleep, it can make everything else feel worse, right?

Cortisol: The Stress Hormone

Cortisol is another hormone that might be involved in fibromyalgia. It’s often called the “stress hormone” because it’s released when our bodies are under stress (both physical and emotional). Cortisol helps regulate our immune system, metabolism, and blood sugar levels, among other things.

Research has shown that people with fibromyalgia often have abnormal cortisol levels, which can contribute to their symptoms. For example, if your cortisol levels are too high, it can lead to increased inflammation and pain sensitivity. On the other hand, if your cortisol levels are too low, it can cause fatigue and difficulty coping with stress.

functional medicine

Finding Relief Through Functional Medicine

Fibromyalgia is a complex and often misunderstood condition with a wide range of potential causes. By taking a functional medicine approach, we can better understand the unique factors contributing to each individual’s experience of fibromyalgia. This personalized approach allows for more effective treatments and lasting relief.

Functional medicine works to identify and address the root causes of fibromyalgia, such as inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and gut issues. Moreover, functional medicine offers a more comprehensive and sustainable solution for those living with fibromyalgia by focusing on the whole person and addressing these underlying issues.

So, if you’re struggling with fibromyalgia, consider exploring functional medicine to manage your symptoms and uncover and address the root causes of your condition. Remember, you don’t have to suffer in silence – there is hope for a better, pain-free future through functional medicine.

Hi! I’m Dr. E, The NP with a PHD. Several years ago, my wife was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and the only options given to us were heavy duty medications.

We KNEW there had to be a better way. After a long search, we discovered functional medicine.

With functional medicine we found alternative ways we were able to manage her disease and get her back to feeling like her old self.

We discovered that this way of life not only helps people with various issues, including autoimmune, chronic issues and “I-don’t-feel-good-itis.”

Functional medicine drastically changed our lives and using it I developed The KNEW Method to help others who are suffering or not feeling optimal.

Let’s work together to get you to feeling like your old self again.

Are You Tired of Being Tired?

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If you are suffering from one (or more) of these issues – chronic pain, high blood pressure, mental fog, fatigue, low energy, poor sleep, lack of focus, loss of libido, aches, pains, or general “I-don’t-feel-good-itis”… YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE