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Fibromyalgia: what is happening in your bodies!
Fibromyalgia causes a plethora of different symptoms. In fact there can be so many symptoms that many times patients will be diagnosed with different illnesses, not realizing that they’re all part of Fibromyalgia.
Today I’d like to trace the symptoms from the underlying cause which is a overactive nervous system. In other words, your nervous system is on overdrive.
1 Pain: We all have 24 cranial nerves, 12 on the right and 12 of the left side of the brain stem. We also have another 62 nerves, 31 on the right and 31 on the left side of the spinal cord. Generally pain and inflammation is the same thing, pain causes inflammation. Fibromyalgia is the exception to this rule. Since the nervous system is firing all the time, the nerves are firing all the time, including the pain component of the nerve, therefore causing the fibro pain. Fibro pain rarely responds to anti-inflammatory meds because, as I had said, this pain is not inflammatory in nature, just the nerves constantly firing. One reason doctors have no much difficulty diagnosing fibro is that there is no visible signs of inflammation, no blood chemistry tests showing the inflammation and thus, there doesn’t seem to be a cause, yet the nerves are still firing.
2 Insomnia: Because the nerves are constantly firing, the adrenal glands are affecting and you are always releasing amounts of adrenalin into the body. Adrenalin gives you that wired feeling and makes sleep impossible.
3 Fatigue: Because you are not sleeping, or at least not getting the deep restorative sleep you need, you are constantly fatigued. This can be at different varying degrees, but never the less you are fatigue, due to sleep deprivation.
The autonomic system is also always on which has two components, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic systems. The sympathetic part is the part causing the over activity of adrenalin. The way the autonomic system works is that when the sympathetic is on, the parasympathetic is of and when the parasympathetic is on, the sympathetic is off. People with Fibromyalgia have a sympathetic nervous which is on most of the time (hence the constant release of adrenalin). This is why you don’t sleep.
4 Depression: When the sympathetic is pumping out so much adrenalin, the excess adrenalin interferes with brain receptors, especially the serotonin and nor-epinephrine receptors leading to depress. Of course you are also depressed due to having this illness, so in essence, there are two overlapping depression. (Situational, caused by the thought of being sick, and chemical due to the interference I the brain’s receptors).
5 Fibro Fog: this is, again caused by interference with dopamine receptors in the brain leading to that interference in your thinking patterns. It can be memory problems, difficulty following conversations and a number of different manifestations.
6 Gastro-Intestinal problems: Because the sympathetic nervous system is constantly on, the parasympathetic is working very slowly leading to a host of digestive problems, the most commonly being Irritable Bowell Syndrome, but also a variety of others, from chronic diarrhea to pain to reflux. Food is sitting in the stomach and not being digested well, the leftover food, not digested, is than broken down by bacteria leading to methane gas, the reason for the gassy feeling. When it settles in the colon it irritates it leading to irritable bowel syndrome. The food half digested food in the stomach, mixed with the gastric juices that are irritating to the stomach lining and the body tries to reflux it, leading to the reflux up the esophagus. (G.E.R.D).
The above are the six most common symptoms that almost everybody with fibro has to one degree or another.
The next blog will cover some of the other symptoms and why they are occurring. Remember that it all boils down to a nervous system on overdrive.
Dr. Gene Martin, D.C.
Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Areas
520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520
San Mateo, Ca. 94402