Good news! The the pace of fibromyalgia research is accelerating.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia are the result of
abnormal functioning of many interrelated systems
of the body. The precise triggering event that starts
the process for most individuals is not known.
For each individual the entry point to the cycle of pain and fatigue
can be through different pathways.
Many of the concepts in this summary are further explained
and expanded in the DVD,
Living Well With Fibromyalgia: Finding Your Balance.
The entry point of stress.
Chronic stress causes an imbalance in the brain hormone regulation
as well as the brain-adrenal gland link. ( the HPA axis)
This results in pain system amplification called "central sensitisation".
Chronic pain disrupts the normal circadian rhythms of the body.
Disruption of the normal circadian rhythm results in poor sleep.
Poor sleep causes poor memory, fatigue, lowered resistance to infection
and increased pain.
An increase in pain further disrupts sleep and leads to depletion of brain
hormones such as serotonin.
Low serotonin levels leads to an increase in the central nervous system hormone,
substance P which in turn sensitises the pain system further.
Poor sleep and stress leads to increased fatigue and bowel dysfunctions
such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Chronic stress leads to depletion of adrenal gland hormones
and lowered immune function
Lowered adrenal gland function leads to lower blood pressure
and more fatigue.
There are treatment options for each area of dysfunction using
lifestyle practices, nutritional supplementation and
3 important steps in treatment
1. increase serotonin levels
2. restore the circadian rhythms.
3. manage stress.
Meditation is a simple effective lifestyle intervention that
addresses these 3 issues. It is a potent way to manage the
cycle of pain and fatigue.