I’d like to continue speaking about some of the different symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
13 Low Sex Drive: Many with Fibromyalgia deal with low or loss of libido Some believe that it’s just due to age or that they are in too much pain to think of their sex drive. Others, just don’t think about sex. However, there is a bit more to the story.
Why the Low Sex Drive? DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone whew!) is a natural hormone produced by the Adrenal glands. If you’ll remember the two Adrenal glands are those triangular small glands that live atop the kidneys. One of the cardinal signs of Fibromyalgia is disruption and malfunction of the Adrenal glands. Now DHEA is a precursor hormone for Testosterone. (Yes, men and women both produce Testosterone.) Testosterone is important and controls your sex drive. When the Adrenals are not producing enough DHEA, you are producing too little testosterone, thus decreased Libido.Now, the fact is that it might not be pleasant yet, we can all live without a sex drive, however the lack or decrease in testosterone has other more serious effects. Muscle loss is one effect and perhaps more importantly is calcium being leached from the bones possibly leading to osteoporosis. Decreased mental performance is also an effect of low testosterone. The hormone system (endocrine) is a bit more complex, but this should give you an idea.
14 Restless Leg Syndrome: This is that urge to constantly move the legs. Perhaps when you’re sitting, your leg keeps bouncing up and down. They sometimes constantly seem to be in motion and don’t stop.
So what is Causing Restless Leg Syndrome? This is a controversial topic because many believe that Restless Leg Syndrome was unknown before the widespread use of Anti-Depressant medications which can lead to these symptoms. (specifically serotonin and norepinephrin re-uptake inhibitors i,e, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta etc) Others believe that Restless Leg Syndrome is a “made up illness” after some Pharmaceutical companies were about to have their patents expire on meds used for Parkinson’s Disease. This was a way of retaining exclusivity for another 17 years and charge higher prices. Still many other scientists and Docs do believe that this is a real illness with it’s own mechanism of pathology. The consensus is still out, but in regards to Fibromyalgia, things are a bit different. Basically, with Fibromyalgia, you are secreting so much adrenalin that it is very difficult to sit still. When lying in bed, you might have the urge to constantly move the arms and or legs, again due to so much adrenalin. Again, the Jury is out whether Restless Leg syndrome really does exist, but in the case of Fibromyalgia, it is once again a symptom of an overactive nervous system.
15 Personality Changes: Have you been moody, have sharp mood shifts, snap at others for no reason, feel irritable have difficulty relating to people or even to family members. Welcome to the Fibromyalgia world, you are certainly not alone!
I was such a nice person and now I’m a monster, what is going on? There are a number of reasons for the personality changes. Lets try to cover as many as we can. First, you are suffering from a chronic illness and this in itself is enough to make anybody moody and irritable. Going from Doctor to Doctor trying to find answers is extremely frustrating. Second, Fibromyalgia causes an increased secretion of Adrenalin which interferes with brain receptors leading to not only Fog and Depression, but changes in your personality. You will feel more agitated, have lower tolerance for mundane things and lose patience easily, thanks to increased Adrenalin. Third You might be taking certain medications which would have an effect on your personality. If you are taking Pain meds such as Vicodin or Using a Morphine Patch, by the time the drug begins to wear off, you begin to experience some withdrawal which is characterized by moodiness, and irritably, among other symptoms. Same for Valium, Atavan or other tranquilizers. In fact most meds will cause some time of personality change, and fibro meds tend to be very strong. Fourth, you are sleep deprived and this also is enough to cause personality changes. There are probably more reasons that are involved with your emotional state and how relationships are being effected and this we will leave for another blog.
Next: More Info on Fibromyalgia Drugs.