Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition. Often referred to as “Life’s Intruder”, fibromyalgias impact on one’s quality of life is often devastating.

Until recently, fibromyalgia was misunderstood. The lack of understanding resulted in few effective treatments. However, the mysteries of fibromyalgia are unfolding, and effective treatments and management programs are being delivered in fibromyalgia focus clinics, such as Fibromyalgia Seattle.

The three primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Rarely, however, do FMS patients suffer from only these three symptoms.  In most cases, patients have other symptoms, such as headaches, anxiety, depression, poor memory, numbness and tingling in the extremities, cold hands and feet, irritable bowel syndrome, brain fog, lowered immune function, chemical sensitivities, muscle cramps, restless leg syndrome, trigeminal neuralgia, morning stiffness, and a variety of other symptoms.

Three systematic signs of fibromyalgia include hypoxia (decreased cellular oxygen), disruption of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (hormonal imbalances), and increased sympathetic tone (oversensitization).

Most fibromyalgia symptoms are due to imbalances in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis), and are ultimately hormonal disorders.

The HPA Axis and Fibromyalgia

Disruptions in the HPA axis are at the core of fibromyalgia.  Essentially, this refers to hormonal imbalances.  Women’s hormones fluctuate more than men’s.  This is predisposes women to hormone imbalances, and thus makes them more prone to fibromyalgia.

HPA stands for hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal.  These three glands work together to control hormone levels.  The hypothalamus is the ultimate controller.  The hypothalamus receives messages from the body, via the nervous system regarding hormone levels.  It then translates that message, deciphering whether the body needs more or less of a hormone.  It relays the message to the pituitary.  The pituitary then releases “hormone releasing factors”, which stimulate particular glands, such as the thyroid gland and adrenal gland to release the appropriate amount of hormone into the bloodstream.

The adrenal gland is the final gland in the mix and is responsible for releasing cortisol.  Cortisol is involved in many processes within the body and must be kept in perfect balance.  Cortisol then loops back up to the hypothalamus, starting a new cycle.  If this cycle is disrupted, nearly all hormones of the body are affected.

Fibromyalgia is a disruption of this cycle.  The continuous disruption of the cycle is referred to as the “Viscous Cycle of Fibromyalgia”.

There are several problems that can result in the disruption of the HPA axis.  These problems are the bases of the new fibromyalgia subtypes.

Fibromyalgia can be broken down into subtypes, which are based on the onset and underlying disorder. These subtypes are described in greater detail in attached pages.  To help narrow down your reading, we will attempt to direct you to the appropriate subtype you may be suffering from.

Below is a list of statements.  If a statement describes you, make note, and let the doctor know during your consultation to help diagnose the subtype of fibromyalgia you are suffering from and the appropriate treatment for it.

My symptoms began following an accident or injury.

My symptoms began following an illness.

My symptoms began following a stressful period in my life.

My symptoms began following traveling overseas or an outdoor activity (such as camping).

I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition.

I have a chronic infection (such as hepatitis).

My symptoms first began as only intestinal problems.

My symptoms began following pregnancy.

My symptoms began after menopause.

I do not know of any occurrence that could have caused my symptoms.

My symptoms began as chronic neck pain.

I have been diagnosed with another chronic condition (such as arthritis).

My symptoms began with a sensitivity to chemicals (such as perfumes).

My symptoms began with depression or anxiety.

If none of these symptoms describe you, don’t worry.  There are many other less common causes of fibromyalgia.  Our doctors will help determine what is causing your fibromyalgia.  Or you can explore the major subtypes by looking below.

Chemical Sensitivity/Toxic
Stress Induced
Sleep Disorder Related
Secondary Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is complex.  Each case is different and should be treated differently.  It is important that proper testing be performed.  Many fibromyalgia sufferers get passed from specialist to specialist without ever finding the underlying cause of their condition.

Fibromyalgia focus clinics, such as Fibromyalgia Seattle expedite the process of getting the appropriate treatment, and ensure the appropriate treatment is delivered.

If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, call Fibromyalgia Seattle or schedule a consultation online today!  The time to live again is now!