is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease

Is Fibromyalgia an Autoimmune Disease?

The human body is highly diverse, and with new diseases springing up everywhere, being vigilant is necessary.

Let us delve into this subject and get more information about whether fibromyalgia1 is an autoimmune disorder2, how people with fibromyalgia are, and how it affects your immune system.

Is Fibromyalgia an Autoimmune Disease?

Fibromyalgia affects millions of people all over the globe, and it causes not only emotional distress but also widespread pain in the body that leads to reduced movement. So, is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease?

Researchers injected mice with fibromyalgia antibodies3 recovered from fibromyalgia patients, and it showed patient antibodies caused the same in the mice injected with it.

is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease ? - Answered in this video

What is Fibromyalgia?

Let us get to know more about fibromyalgia before we find out if fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disorder.

Though fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation in the body, it can be termed an autoimmune disorder that causes fatigue, anxiety, nerve pain, and dysfunction in the body.

Since the symptoms of fibromyalgia 4are similar to that of many autoimmune diseases, and since it can occur along with an autoimmune disease, it is always difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia.5

Research suggests fibromyalgia patients with fibromyalgia symptoms will have a lot of pain in their body, and this chronic pain can cause damage to the body tissues though there is no sufficient evidence regarding the same.

Mice rapidly develop fibromyalgia syndrome when given antibodies of patients with fibromyalgia, and that could be the answer to the question of whether is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease.

University of Liverpool studies point towards antibody levels being the cause of fibromyalgia symptoms.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Let us have a look at the fibromyalgia symptoms and how they these devastating symptoms affect your immune system.

Fibromyalgia is said to cause long-lasting damage to the central nervous system. There will also be an issue with the brain and spinal cord if you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

1. Chronic Pain

There will be a dull ache and widespread pain in the body, and if it persists then it is better to go for a clinical investigation and find out the reason.

2. Fatigue

Patients with fibromyalgia might suffer from fatigue and might sleep for a long time. They might even find it hard to sleep properly due to the pain in the body and might wake up tired.

is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease
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3. Fibro Fog

While we are looking at whether fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease, one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be what is termed as fibro fog6 which means there will be cognitive difficulties.

There might be a noticeable difficulty when concentrating, focusing on tasks, and concentrating.

4. Problems with Sleeping

As we look into the topic, there are some pain symptoms and other symptoms associated with it. People with fibromyalgia are said to have sleeping disorders, which can make the patients incapable of dealing with the increased pain sensitivity.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

The causes of fibromyalgia are many, and it can come along with other autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Further research conducted at King’s College London on Fibromyalgia shows fibromyalgia syndrome causes aches and pains all over the body.

FIBROMYALGIA, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Fibromyalgia symptoms mimic many of the symptoms of other autoimmune diseases7, making it difficult to diagnose. Some of the causes of people affected with fibromyalgia are:

  1. Any Form of Infection in the Body

  2. Emotional Distress

  3. Family History

  4. Gender (Fibromyalgia syndrome is common in women)

  5. Other Autoimmune Disorders

  6. Physical Trauma

  7. Stress

What is the Connection?

Is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease? The Fibromyalgia study’s principal clinical investigator shows how fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases are interconnected and how they overlap each other.

It is better to seek professional medical advice and do blood-based tests to know exactly what the problem is if you are suffering from fibromyalgia-like symptoms.

1. Chronic Inflammation

The autoimmune disorder will fight the healthy cells in your body and that can lead to chronic inflammation.

This can lead to pain, muscle weakness, and inflammation in the body which happen to be the symptoms of fibromyalgia patients.

2. Estrogen

Women are more affected by fibromyalgia than men, and estrogen hormones could be one of the main reasons for this. Estrogen hormones have many effects on the immune system of women, and a high level of estrogen content is found in women with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus).

It is believed many of the women with SLE also have fibromyalgia symptoms, and that answers the question, is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease to a large extent?

3. Psychological Stress

Psychological Stress is one of the reasons the cortisol level in your body can get affected. It is this cortisol level that plays an important part when it comes to regulating the metabolism, immune system, and digestion in the body. 

is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease
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4. Thyroid

Fibromyalgia patients usually have a high level of anti-thyroid peroxidase or TPO. Patients with high TPO will have constant migraines and headaches that might require effective treatment.

This is one way of knowing the answer to whether is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease.

5. Vitamin D Deficiency

The role of vitamin D in the body is important, and vitamin D deficiency can lead to a lot of autoimmune diseases. It is said Vitamin D deficiency can lead to Crohn’s disease, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases.

Though vitamin D deficiency and fibromyalgia are not directly connected, a lack of vitamin D in the body can make your immune system go topsy-turvy and cause fibromyalgia symptoms.

is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disease
by Michele Blackwell / Unsplash
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There are ways to get relief from fibromyalgia pain, gentle aerobic exercises being one of them. Exercise, good sleep, antidepressants, physical therapy, acupuncture, and a balanced and healthy diet are effective treatments for fibromyalgia.

Such therapies will enhance your energy levels and make you feel better. If you are looking for ways to treat fibromyalgia, take the help of a healthcare professional and decide on the treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the root cause of fibromyalgia?

Since fibromyalgia runs in families, genetic factors are believed to play a role in the condition, although little can be determined for certain about the individual genes.

2. Where does fibromyalgia usually start?

Fibromyalgia is characterized by severe pain that may happen anywhere in the body. Fibromyalgia patients, in particular, frequently report pain and soreness in their backs and necks.

3. Will fibromyalgia go away?

There is no permanent remedy for fibromyalgia, however, there are therapies that can help you manage your symptoms. Your doctor will most likely put you on an exercise program and refer you to a physiologist.

In The End

With fibromyalgia becoming common, there are a lot of novel treatment strategies now using drug and psychological therapies for patients under the supervision of a medical professional.

These drug and psychological therapies designed by a healthcare professional give results that offer amazing hope to patients and help them manage pain effectively.

Stay safe and healthy!

  1. Clauw, Daniel J. “Fibromyalgia: a clinical review.” Jama 311.15 (2014): 1547-1555. ↩︎
  2. Alaedini, Armin, and Peter HR Green. “Narrative review: celiac disease: understanding a complex autoimmune disorder.” Annals of internal medicine 142.4 (2005): 289-298. ↩︎
  3. Onuora, Sarah. “Antibodies induce fibromyalgia symptoms.” Nature Reviews Rheumatology 17.9 (2021): 507-507. ↩︎
  4. Häuser, W., et al. “What are the key symptoms of fibromyalgia? Results of a survey of the German Fibromyalgia Association.” Der Schmerz 22 (2008): 176-183. ↩︎
  5. Arnold, Lesley M., Daniel J. Clauw, and Bill H. McCarberg. “Improving the recognition and diagnosis of fibromyalgia.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Vol. 86. No. 5. Elsevier, 2011. ↩︎
  6. Kravitz, Howard M., and Robert S. Katz. “Fibrofog and fibromyalgia: a narrative review and implications for clinical practice.” Rheumatology international 35 (2015): 1115-1125. ↩︎
  7. Wang, Lifeng, Fu‐Sheng Wang, and M. Eric Gershwin. “Human autoimmune diseases: a comprehensive update.” Journal of internal medicine 278.4 (2015): 369-395. ↩︎



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