Have you ever been told there is no physical explanation for your body aches, pains, and sensitivity? Lots of people who are told this are given a diagnosis of “fibromyalgia” but no real explanation of what that means. I know your symptoms are real.
There are researchers working to better understand what underlies fibromyalgia, and some have found a physical link. Here’s what they think might be happening:
- A physical or emotional stressor acts as a triggering event
- The stress response disrupts function in the nerve centers associated with sensation (called the dorsal root ganglia)
- There is heightened transmission of pain to the brain (this is called neuropathic pain)
Basically, scientists are saying that fibromyalgia is triggered by stress, but it has a physical explanation.
Does that ring true to you?
There is one more thing. The mechanisms of fibromyalgia might be more pronounced in women because prolactin, estrogen, and progesterone alter dorsal root ganglia function. These hormones can contribute to abnormal connections between the stress response system and pain pathways.
We definitely see more women than men with fibromyalgia, so these mechanisms appear to play out in real life. Conditions that may seem like “medical mysteries” are perfect for functional and naturopathic medicine because we look beyond the diagnosis to find dysfunction in the body that can be corrected.
It’s an approach that considers each person as an individual and helps you heal from the inside out. If that makes sense to you, or if you have any questions about your unique situation, please reach out to our office. We are here to help!
Committed to Your Health,
Martínez-Lavín M. Fibromyalgia in women: somatisation or stress-evoked, sex-dimorphic neuropathic pain. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2021; 39: 422-425. [link]