Fibromyalgia Mystery Solved (Again!?!)

So, I was sent a link to an article which once again extolled the virtues of the FM mystery’s latest research:

66. Invisible IllnessResearchers have found the main source of pain in FM 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. 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 (?) To solve the mystery, researchers zeroed in on the skin from the hand of one patient who had a lack of the sensory nerve fibres, causing a reduced reaction to pain. They then took skin samples from the hands of FM patients and were surprised to find an extremely excessive amount of a particular type of nerve fibre called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts.

Up until this point scientists had thought that these fibres 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 we 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, most of us 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. This, in turn, could contribute to the hyperactivity in the brain.”

216. capsulesCurrent 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 has been pinpointed, patients are looking forward to an eventual cure. Others 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.

So…how many times have they solved(?) this mystery so far?

TGIF…in some places

Because I forgot yesterday (when it was Friday in Australia): here is Six Word Friday
six word fridaysThe Six Word Friday prompt this week is HAND or HANDS – (Hand it over! Helping hands. Hand in hand. Hands down…on the other hand… Hand-me-down.)

The challenge with this kind of post? To keep each line I write to only SIX {6} WORDS!! (we don’t count the number of lines, syllables or letters…just the number of words!).

Examples have included:

  • Six word photo caption
  • A verse, each line composed of six words
  • A story, told six words at a time
  • A six word quote {or six words of a quote}
  • A wish {a musing, a lesson…anything at all!}

Now this one might be cheating (but I’m all about pushing boundaries!)

Cant-Keep-My-Hands-Off-You-Feat-Rivers-CuomoBy Simple Plan  ft. Rivers Cuomo.

You might want to turn your sound down slightly…