It is found that every year; five percent of Americans suffer from fibromyalgia. Men and teenagers also suffer from it but most of the affected ones are women. Fibromyalgia is considered to be a very mysterious disease, as it causes massive pain, anxiety, depression, and fatigue, but a lot of its symptoms are same as the symptoms of other diseases. So, it gets difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia. It is also very difficult to know the actual cause of fibromyalgia. Very few doctors have experience of treating fibromyalgia, so it also gets difficult to spend months to find the doctor who understands your condition and give you right answers and treatment.
Recently, some discoveries have been made in the field of fibromyalgia and our knowledge about fibromyalgia is increasing.
History of fibromyalgia
As we have already mentioned that fibromyalgia has been a mysterious disease for a very long time and it hasn’t had any actual cause found yet. Previously, doctors told their patients that they are making up the pain due to a lot of symptoms. For a long time, doctors even believed that fibromyalgia is just a mental or psychological disease.
But recent studies have shifted this viewpoint and some discoveries have been made by a researcher from Albany Medical College, which many people think that it could be a cause of fibromyalgia.
Cause of fibromyalgia
A unique neurovascular system is found in fibromyalgia patients (a unique blood flow to the nerves). People who are not suffering from fibromyalgia don’t have this unique blood flow to nerves, so doctors believe that this could be a cause of fibromyalgia.
Blood vessel structures in hands are found to have these nerve fibers. Nerves control the tightening of the blood vessels. Patients having fibromyalgia contains a high number of these nerve fibers that surround the blood vessels. This is relatively a new discovery in fibromyalgia field. It can be a bridge to finding more and more real causes of fibromyalgia. It could be a good way to diagnose the disease officially.
Sometimes these nerve fibers are not present in people since they were born and these people were perfectly living their lives. These people do have nerve endings near the blood vessels in the skin, while it was believed that nerve fibers are important in touching and physically feeling things. So, we found from this that the sense of feeling pain and touching things can be helped by blood vessels also.
A lot of drugs are made that work in the brain for treating fibromyalgia. But now, there have to be some drugs that will work on nerve fibers and blood vessels on the skin. Some drugs that we are using should have the ability to work on skin. It was also suspected by many researchers that there had a link between fibromyalgia and nerve fibers and blood vessels in the skin since the molecules were involved both in the brain and the nerve fibers as well as blood vessels. It turns out that researchers are in right direction.
The researchers of Albany Medical College clarify their theory by looking at skin samples of patients with fibromyalgia and found that there is a huge increase in nerve fibers in blood vessels in the skin. The blood flow in the blood vessels inside the skin is controlled but when nerve fibers block this blood flow, a huge pain arises that is similar to some of the symptoms in fibromyalgia, that people reports. The link between these two is getting clearer.
This point can give clarification about the extreme tenderness, soreness, and softness of skin, especially around the pressure points of the body. This link can also give us a clarification about why people with fibromyalgia do not respond to the drastic changes in temperature. The blood flow in the muscles also gets blocked by the nerve fibers which cause a severe pain in fibromyalgia patients.
When the blood is not needed in other body parts, a large portion of blood is sent to feet and hands. It is sent to these areas to act as a reserve of blood. This blood is also sent in other body parts as needed like when we are doing exercise or other activities. The interruption in the blood flow causes severe pain in the muscles where there is a need of blood. A feeling of fatigue and inflammation can also arise. As a result, a higher level of activities in the brain starts that lead towards sleepless nights and individual feels exhausted and tired throughout the day.
This shows that we are getting closer towards finding the root cause of fibromyalgia. It is a positive discovery in fibromyalgia field. People suffering from it can get relieved by seeing progress in their disease. It will take time but at the end, researchers will be finding more and more.
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