Researchers find main source of chronic fibromyalgia pain in blood vessels

I just came across this article and had to share it immediately! Finally! Some real hope for a cure for this awful, invisible disease! Finally, some real proof that this is not all in our heads that surely will convince everyone in the medical community what we’ve all be shouting at them for ages. This made my week and it’s only Monday! Things can only go better from here!

 

Fibromyalgia Mystery Finally Solved!

Researchers Find Main Source of Pain in Blood Vessels

Researchers have found the main source of pain in Fibromyalgia patients, and contrary to what many believe, it does not stem from the brain. The findings mark the end of a decades-old mystery about the disease, which many doctors believed was conjured in patients’ imaginations. The mystery of Fibromyalgia has left millions of sufferers searching for hope in pain medications. Up until recently, many physicians thought that the disease was “imaginary” or psychological, but scientists have now revealed that the main source of pain stems from a most unlikely place- excess blood vessels in the hand.

The discovery may lead to new treatments and perhaps even a total cure in the future, bringing relief to as many as 5 million Americans thought to have the disease. To solve the Fibromyalgia mystery, researchers zeroed in on the skin from the hand of one patient who had a lack of the sensory nerve fibers, causing a reduced reaction to pain. They then took skin samples from the hands of Fibromyalgia patients and were surprised to find an extremely excessive amount of a particular type of nerve fiber called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts.

Body map

Up until this point scientists had thought that these fibers were only responsible for regulating blood flow, and did not play any role in pain sensation, but now they’ve discovered that there is a direct link between these nerves and the widespread body pain that Fibromyalgia sufferers feel.

The breakthrough also could solve the lingering question of why many sufferers have extremely painful hands as well as other “tender points” throughout the body, and why cold weather seems to aggravate the symptoms. In addition to feeling widespread deep tissue pain, many Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from debilitating fatigue.

Neuroscientist Dr. Frank L. Rice explained: “We previously thought that these nerve endings were only involved in regulating blood flow at a subconscious level, yet here we had evidences that the blood vessel endings could also contribute to our conscious sense of touch… and also pain,” Rice said. “This mismanaged blood flow could be the source of muscular pain and achiness, and the sense of fatigue which are thought to be due to a build-up of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation fibromyalgia patients. This, in turn, could contribute to the hyperactivity in the brain.”

Current treatments for the disease have not brought complete relief to the millions of sufferers. Therapies include narcotic pain medicines; anti-seizure drugs, anti-depressants and even simple advice such as “get more sleep and exercise regularly.” Now that the cause of Fibromyalgia has been pinpointed, patients are looking forward to an eventual cure. Other expressed frustration about how much they had suffered already:

“When are they ever going to figure out that things are never “all in your head?” said one commenter. “Whenever something doesn’t fit in their tiny little understanding, they belittle the patient and tell them they are crazy. People have suffered through this since they were invented. Prescribing SSRIs for everything is not the answer any more than a lobotomy or hysterectomy was.”

The announcement has the potential to unlock better future treatments and undoubtedly has patients all over the world rejoicing that the mystery of Fibromyalgia has finally been solved.

By: Rebecca Savastio, from The Guardian

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8 thoughts on “Researchers find main source of chronic fibromyalgia pain in blood vessels

  1. findingmyinnercourage says:

    Finally! It is NOT all in our heads! Thanks for sharing!

  2. saraannon says:

    This sounds very much like laminitis in horses, inflammation and disturbance of blood flow with pain in the extremities. (their hooves, our hands and feet). Unfortunately, the understanding of cause, prevention, and treatment for horses is the about same as for people- lots of ???, with rest and diet having the best results.

  3. fibee5 says:

    Thank you for the link 🙂

  4. Reblogged this on Mental Health Professional Combating Fibromyalgia and commented:
    The “get more sleep and exercise regularly.” is the worst advice you could ever give to someone with Fibro. Will be great to see what becomes of this.

  5. I knew it wasn’t in our heads the whole time, it’s about time the lame doctors caught up with us. anyone with FIBRO should see a Rheumatologist!

  6. Caryn says:

    This article brings hope to me and so many others who suffer so gravely each and every day! Thank you for sharing! My heart goes out to all the researchers, medical professionals, and people out there trying to find a cure!

  7. […] Researchers find main source of chronic fibromyalgia pain in blood vessels (painfighter.wordpress.com) […]

  8. […] Researchers find main source of chronic fibromyalgia pain in blood vessels (painfighter.wordpress.com) […]

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