7 serious diseases associated with fibromyalgia. You probably have not noticed.

Por Denise Mann

About 10 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, characterized by painful and painful points throughout the body; tired; insomnia; and cognitive problems known as fibro-fog.

Unfortunately, people with fibromyalgia are more likely than some people in the general population to contract certain other conditions.

If you have fibromyalgia, here are seven other health problems.


A significant number of people with fibromyalgia also have migraines and / or tension headaches, says Robert Duarte, MD, director of the North Coast Pain Institute of the Long Island Jewish Health System in Manhasset, New York.

“An underlying disruption of brain chemicals, serotonin and noradrenaline, plays a role in headaches and fibromyalgia,” he says.

Antidepressants that attack these chemicals in the brain can relieve migraines, he adds. Tension headaches can also respond to biofeedback.

Autoimmune diseases

Up to a quarter of people with autoimmune inflammatory diseases, which include rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis, also have symptoms of fibromyalgia. The precise nature of this connection is not yet understood.

Fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory disease, but some research suggests that RA and other inflammatory diseases can increase the risk of fibromyalgia.

Legs without rest

Insomnia and other sleep problems are common in patients with fibromyalgia, says Lesley Arnold MD, a psychiatrist at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. Restless legs, or the overwhelming need to move the legs at rest, can be up to 11 times more common in people with fibromyalgia than in those who do not. It is not clear exactly how these two factors are related, but many fibromyalgia treatments also improve restless legs, not to mention the overall quality of sleep.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by abdominal cramps and episodes of constipation and / or diarrhea. 30% to 70% of people with fibromyalgia also have IBS.

“Like fibromyalgia, IBS is a pain syndrome,” says Dr. Arnold.

Pelvic pain

People with fibromyalgia are more likely to report pelvic pain, bladder irritability and menstrual cramps, and some of the medications that relieve fibromyalgia symptoms can also relieve these other pains.

More research is needed to understand the link between these pain states and fibromyalgia.

Depression and anxiety

More than half of people with fibromyalgia also have mental or emotional problems, such as depression and anxiety, at some point in their lives. “It’s less a cause-effect relationship or an egg-chicken relationship,” says Dr. Arnold. “(But) they can share common and underlying causes.”

The lack of chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, is involved in both mood and pain disorders, he says. Many medications used to treat fibromyalgia are also antidepressants.


“Obesity and fibromyalgia share a complex relationship, and we can not ignore it,” says Dr. Arnold.

Many people with fibromyalgia lead a sedentary lifestyle due to their chronic pain and the lack of regular physical activity increases the risk of overweight or obesity.

“Being overweight creates more mechanical stress on the joints, which can cause more pain and aggravate fibromyalgia,” says Dr. Arnold. In addition, fat stores are proinflammatory, which can also exacerbate pain.


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