So, what does medical science really know about fibromyalgia? I can tell you that over the past decade researches have established dysfunction in sleep, pain, and the stress response. Yet, even with all the current objective evidence, you may still land a doctor who does not believe it is real. Should this happen, move on quickly to another practitioner!
Yet here are the major milestones that have been studied
- Abnormalities of the stress response in the nervous system. There are various ways our CNS responds to stimuli. It is believed that fibromyalgia is stuck in the "fight-or-flight" mode and can't flip the switch off.
- Disrupted sleep patterns have been noted in sleep disorders associated with fibromyalgia. The major abnormality studied is a reduction in the amount and quality of deep sleep. Abnormal brain waves frequently interrupt deep sleep in fibromyalgia patients, resulting in poor sleep that is non-restorative.
- Low growth hormone levels in adulthood is responsible for regulating the repair and maintenance of muscle and is primarily secreted during deep sleep and after exercise. Multiple studies have shown that patients with fibromyalgia have inadequate growth hormone release.
- Pain processing dysfunction is noted in fibromyalgia. Studies show that the nervous system is hyper-reactive to stimuli. This means pain hurts more - hot is hotter, loud is louder, and so on. This process is called central sensitization. This means that the nervous system turns up the volume on any input it receives.
This is a very basic overview of what is happening in your body. In this blog you'll find ways of being proactive working with the core that is processing these signals rather than masking them. Getting active, restorative sleep is one of the first benefits you can give yourself. System checks throughout the day keep your body in check not allowing the heighten overwhelming feeling that can accompany you at the end of the day. Check back through past archives to see how to combat this constant stress we are often unaware of that batters us daily.