Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, a group of symptoms that consistently occur together; but what causes fibromyalgia still remains a mystery. There is no clear agreement amongst researchers as to its exact cause. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, “The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, but there are probably a number of factors involved. Some people associate the development of fibromyalgia with a physically or emotionally stressful or traumatic event, such as an automobile accident. Some connect it to repetitive injuries. others link it to an illness. People with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, are particularly likely to develop fibromyalgia. For others, fibromyalgia seems to occur spontaneously”.
So while there is no clear agreement about what causes fibromyalgia, most researchers believe fibromyalgia results not from a single event but from a combination of many physical and emotional stressors.
Below are just a few of the speculative causes of the Fibromyalgia Syndrome.
Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disease but many persons who suffer from fibromyalgia also have associated autoimmune diseases.
There are those who seem to develop fibromyalgia shortly after some sort of physical trauma such as an episode of flu-like symptoms, a car accident, or even an emotional trauma etc….this list of causative factors is extensive and varied.
Epstein Barr Syndrome
For a time, it was believed that fibromyalgia was caused solely as a result of a serious flare-up of the Epstein Barr Syndrome. This caused many to fear that fibromyalgia was transmittable.
It would seem that some research is suggesting that the major concern here is sleep deprivation, but many believe sleep deprivation is not so much a cause, as it is a problematic symptom.
Brain Chemical Imbalance
For some reason, in the case of fibromyalgia sufferers, there seems to be a problem with brain chemical imbalance. The input from the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and other “natural brain opioids” is not as readily available as needed in order to modify pain signals.
Dr. Patrick Wood, a senior medical advisor to the National Fibromyalgia Association. put it this way: “Dopamine is a natural analgesic. So here you have a brain which, when your hurt the individual, the pain reliever is not released.”
Low Serotonin Levels
In this search for a common cause, some have alluded to the fact that low serotonin levels are common in individuals with fibromyalgia. So are low serotonin levels a cause or just a result of the cause?
At this time, research does not appear to conclude that there is just one common cause. What the root cause is for one person is not necessarily the same thing that causes fibromyalgia for another person, but one thing that they do have in common is that they both have Fibromyalgia.