7 Conditions Linked to Fibromyalgia
About 10 million Americans have fibromyalgia, which is characterized by painful, tender points along the body; fatigue; sleeplessness; and cognitive issues known as fibro fog.
Unfortunately, people with fibromyalgia are more likely than people in the general population to have certain other conditions too.
If you have fibromyalgia, here are seven other health concerns.
"An underlying disturbance in the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine plays a role in causing headaches and fibromyalgia," he says.
Antidepressants that target these brain chemicals may relieve migraine pain, he adds. Tension headache may also respond to biofeedback.
Fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory disease, but some research suggests that RA and other inflammatory diseases may somehow increase the risk for fibromyalgia.
Exactly how the two are linked is not fully understood, but many fibromyalgia treatments also improve restless legs, not to mention overall sleep quality.
Irritable bowel syndrome
"Like fibromyalgia, IBS is a pain syndrome," says Dr. Arnold.
More research is needed to understand how these pain conditions are related to fibromyalgia.
Depression and anxiety
A deficit of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine is involved in both mood and pain disorders, she says. Many medications used to treat fibromyalgia are also antidepressants.
Many people with fibromyalgia lead sedentary lives due to their chronic pain, and a lack of regular physical activity increases their risk of becoming overweight or obese.
"Being overweight places more mechanical stress on your joints, which can cause more pain and aggravate the fibromyalgia," Dr. Arnold says. Plus, fat stores are pro-inflammatory, which can also exacerbate pain.