Today, I would like to speak abut the the second set of 3 symptoms which are part of the big 6. In other words, these 6 are symptoms which almost everybody with Fibromyalgia complains of.
4 Gastro-Intestinal Problems. This usually manifests as Gastric Reflux syndrome, Irritable Bowell Symptom, generalized bloating, generalized gas or any type of pain in the stomach, colon or intestine. The pain can be present all the time or after eating. It may occur at night,. during the day and might come and go or be constant. One might also experience chronic constipation or chronic diarrhea, or these two might alternate. It will appear that there is no rhyme or reason. There might be a dull nagging pain in the gut or a constant sharp pain that can be quite debilitating.
Why the GI Pain? As I had mentioned in the previous post, the Autonomic (automatic) Nervous system is not functioning well. This is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. When the sympathetic nervous system is constantly working, the parasympathetic nervous system is off, when the parasympathetic is working the sympathetic is off. With Fibromyalgia, the sympathetic system is almost constantly on meaning the parasympathetic system is working very sluggishly at best. The parasympathetic controls digestion in the body. Thus when you eat, not all the food is being digested. The bacteria in the gut than digests the remainder of the food and the end product of bacterial metabolism is methane gas, thus you might experience much gas. Similarly, gastric juices not used are left in the stomach and reflux into the esophagus. Furthermore, food that stays in the gut accumulates, goes into the colon leading to irritation in the colon (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
5 Depression: It is natural to be depressed when you are dealing with a chronic illness. Emotionally, this can be quite devastating. On the other hand, there is another type of depression which is chemical or physiological in nature that is quite common with people suffering from Fibromyalgia. This is that feeling of utter uselessness, the feeling of not wanting to leave your bed, the frustration of not being about to find a solution to the illness. You have days where you feel like giving up, than you have better days. Chances are that you have been prescribed an anti-depressive medication at some time or other.
Why the Depression? As I had mentioned, your body is producing a huge amount of adrenalin (remember that this is what makes sleep so difficult). The excess adrenalin also passes through the blood brain barrier and attaches itself to serotonin, norepenephrin and dopamine receptors in the brain leading to a physiological depression. Remember that meds such as Prozac work with serotonin receptors while Wellbutrin work with norepinephrine receptors. This process is called Adrenal Syndrome.
6 Fibro Fog: This is that feeling when concentration becomes difficult to impossible. It also shows up as being very forgetful. Just balancing a checkbook becomes a chore. Sometimes you will panic and believe that you are developing dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, but this is not the case, it is just the Fibro Fog.
So why the Fog: This goes back to the over amount of adrenaline that you are producing. as the body can’t rid itself, some goes to the brain where it attaches to specific brain receptors, leading to a decrease in your ability to think clearly. Please understand that this is not a permanent state, and as Fibro can come and go, so does the Fibro Fog.
Next: Fibromyalgia Symptoms 101 Part 3
More Fibromyalgia symptoms