What Role Does Stress and Heredity Play in Fibromyalgia?

Although the exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, underlying conditions may contribute to the disorder. Many doctors believe that a lack of truly restful sleep could be a major underlying cause of fibromyalgia. Our bodies were designed to sleep in stages, with stage four being the time when the body is meant to be in a deep, healing sleep. When studying the sleep cycles of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it was noted that this stage four healing sleep was chronically interrupted. To prove this, researchers interrupted the stage four sleep cycles of people who had never had symptoms of fibromyalgia before, and found that these people also began showing signs of the disorder. During these sleep studies it was also found that there could be a link between fibromyalgia and a growth hormone deficiency, which is very important in muscle maintenance and repair-and is secreted during the stage four sleep cycle.

Hereditary Causes

Among the many other possible causes of fibromyalgia, there is some indication that fibromyalgia can be hereditary as it has been noted that it tends to run in families. Studies have shown that sleep disorders, blood sugar difficulties, headaches, migraines, joint problems and food allergies may be common denominators among the families of those with fibromyalgia symptoms. Researchers are not yet certain how these conditions interact with one another, or really, what causes what, but generally fibromyalgia patients report that several of these conditions seem to pile one upon another. It has also been noted through extensive study of those with fibromyalgia that the onset of the disease often follows an especially stressful event or episode in a person's life. Whether that stress was psychological in nature or was experienced when trauma occurred due to a serious accident or injury, it has been noted to trigger fibromyalgia symptoms, or worsening the degree to which those symptoms are felt. Physical stress brought on by extreme physical exertion is a factor as well as the emotional stress experienced. While stress is a factor in our busy lives that cannot be totally eliminated, you can lessen your symptoms by decreasing the stress in your life to the extent possible.

Other Factors

Magnesium deficiency has also been shown to be an underlying factor which can cause muscle cramps upon physical exertion and upon wakening in the morning and an excess buildup of phosphorus can also exacerbate the symptoms. Other commonly believed causes of fibromyalgia include lack of oxygen in body tissues, muscular injury, digestion problems and mood disorders such as severe depression. Others believe that the onset of fibromyalgia is based on some sort of infection or viral exposure as more than half of fibromyalgia patients reported they had such an occurrence prior to the onset of their symptoms. These viruses or infections could include Lyme Disease, Coxsackie Virus, Epstein-Barr or even Streptococcus-strep throat in layman's terms. Oddly enough, at least thirty percent of fibromyalgia sufferers report having fairly severe "growing pains" in their childhood which disappeared around the time of puberty. Researchers are unsure whether this is coincidence or could be related to the later onset of fibromyalgia.

The Magic Cure For Fibro

It is important to provide your doctor with a full medical history, including your heredity and stress factors when dealing with fibromyalgia. One of the best things you can do for fibromyalgia symptoms is low-impact aerobic exercise such as swimming or water exercise, stationary bicycling or exercising on a ski machine. Begin at a low level-even five minutes per day-and continue to increase both the length and frequency until you are exercising from 30-60 minutes, three to four times per week. At this point, you might consider switching to a higher-impact exercise such as walking, jogging or tennis. Reduce your stress, and try to get as much sleep as you possibly can. All these lifestyle changes can significantly improve your day-to-day life when dealing with fibromyalgia.

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