Thanks to Sarah for posting this on her FB …
Fibromyalgia Pronounced “Real Disease”
Neurological signs common with fibromyalgia
Last Updated: 2009-09-22 13:01:04 -0400 (Reuters Health)
By Michelle Rizzo
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Fibromyalgia isn’t all in your head, new research suggests.
In a study, researchers found that people with fibromyalgia were more likely than those without the chronic pain condition to have poor balance, tingling and weakness in the arms and legs, and other “neurological” signs and symptoms.
Fibromyalgia, a debilitating pain syndrome that affects 2 to 4 percent of the population, is characterized by chronic pain, fatigue and difficulty sleeping. It’s a somewhat mysterious condition with no clear-cut cause. Many people with fibromyalgia have faced the question of whether the condition is real.
The new findings, reported in the latest issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism, support a growing body
of literature suggesting that the condition is real and also support the possibility that a “neuroanatomical” cause may underlie fibromyalgia.
Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Institute at Harborview, Seattle, and colleagues studied 166 people with fibromyalgia and 66 pain-free controls.
All of them were examined by a neurologist who was unaware of their disease status. All study participants also completed a standard questionnaire on neurological symptoms.
In 27 of 29 neurological categories tested, significantly more neurological symptoms were seen in the fibromyalgia group than in the control group, Watson and colleagues found.
The greatest differences were found for light sensitivity, or “photophobia,” seen in 70 percent of fibromyalgia patients but in only 6 percent of pain-free controls; poor balance, which plagued 63 percent of fibromyalgia patients but only 4 percent of controls; and weakness and tingling in the arms or legs, seen in more than half of fibromyalgia patients but in only around 4 percent of controls.
In addition, those with fibromyalgia had greater dysfunction than controls in certain nerves in the brain. They also had more “sensory” problems, motor abnormalities and gait problems.
Within the fibromyalgia group, there were significant correlations between several neurological signs and symptoms. For example, numbness in any part of the body or tingling in the arms or legs correlated with neurological test findings. Poor balance, poor coordination and weakness in the arms or legs also correlated with objective findings on neurological tests.
These observations, Watson told Reuters Health, underscore the need for “careful neurological examinations in all fibromyalgia patients, particularly those with neurological complaints.”
Watson cautioned that this study does not confirm a neuroanatomical basis for fibromyalgia and that much more work is necessary before this can be known with certainty.
SOURCE: Arthritis and Rheumatism, September 2009.
This is something I have suspected for years. I fall a lot – I have no balance and very little coordination any more. I have chemical, audio and light sensitivity that can bring me to a full halt with a mere whisper or hint of a scent.
I have tingling in strange places and it travels. It will be in my lower back then the soles of my feet. Headaches, insomnia and unbelievable pain from things like the weight of the sheets on my skin at night. I bruise so easily and frequently I have stopped trying to figure out where they’ve come from.
I now believe that I have had Fibromyalgia all of my life – with minimal flare ups until after my parents death in 2002. I think it was all written off as “all in my head” or something else. Walking short Volksmarch trails could bring me to tears I was in so much pain. By the end of 6 km for a heathy 9 year old should NOT result in so much pain she can barely finish and so sore after she can barely move. Lifelong insomnia and strange tremors, tingles and twitches that before I had just written off because doctors never found anything wrong with me. Great heart, good numbers, “you’re healthy -just get off the couch” … Seriously one quack told me this. While I was running the house, helping LK run his business and working a full time high stress never sit down for a moment job. I guess I could have gotten off the exam table and exercised my legs by putting my size 9 foot in that guy’s ass. But who has that kind of energy with Fibromyalgia