Article Says Fibromyalgia Pain Is Real

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by joeb7th, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    Fibromyalgia Health Center Font SizeA A A Fibromyalgia

    Pain: It's for Real

    Researchers Say Chronic Pain Patients Don't Process Body's Natural Pain Relievers

    By Saylnn Boyles
    WebMD Medical NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDNov. 30, 2006 --

    There is now "overwhelming" scientific evidence showing that fibromyalgia and related chronic pain conditions are real, but their clinical management leaves much to be desired.

    That is the conclusion of two researchers from the University of Michigan who have studied fibromyalgia for several years.

    Because there has been no obvious physiological cause for the pain disorder, doctors still routinely dismiss fibromyalgia as being "in a patient's head."

    But after reviewing the research, Richard E. Harris, PhD, and Daniel J. Clauw, MD, write that it is increasingly clear that fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder and that patients experience hypersensitivity to pain. There also appears to be a fairly strong genetic component to fibromyalgia and related conditions.

    "It is time for us to move past the rhetoric about whether these conditions are real, and take these patients seriously as we endeavor to learn more about the causes and most effective treatments for these disorders," Harris and Clauw write in the December issue of the journal Current Pain and Headache Reports.

    Brain Imaging Studies
    As many as 10 million Americans may have fibromyalgia, according to The National Fibromyalgia Association.

    The disorder is characterized by chronic pain throughout the body, but symptoms may also include fatigue, headaches, and problems with memory and concentration.

    Brain imaging studies conducted at the University of Michigan and other research centers in recent years show clear differences in responses to pain stimulation among people with and without fibromyalgia.

    Compared to people without the disorder, fibromyalgia patients showed increased brain activity in response to pain.

    "These studies indicate that fibromyalgia patients have abnormalities within their central brain structures," Clauw says.

    Research by Harris, Clauw, and colleagues also suggests that fibromyalgia patients don't process the body's natural pain relievers as efficiently as people without the disorder.

    "We think that these may have both a heightened sensitivity to pain and this dysfunction in their analgesic [painkilling] mechanism," Harris tells WebMD. "It is not yet clear how this all fits together."

    National Fibromyalgia Association president and founder Lynne Matallana tells WebMD that the doctors who treat fibromyalgia patients face a unique challenge.

    "This is a new paradigm for medical professionals to understand," she says. "It isn't a virus, or bacteria or inflammation. It isn't a tumor or something else that you can see. It is a problem within the pain-processing center of the central nervous system."

    Treatment Options Still Few
    While the recent research has done much to improve the understanding of fibromyalgia and related chronic pain conditions, few advances have been made in the treatment of these disorders, Harris says.

    The use of medications such as antidepressants can help some patients with fibromyalgia. And regular exercise seems to help many patients.

    Acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain in some studies, but not others, he adds.

    Matallana says several drug companies are in the later stages of testing several new drugs designed specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia, which target the central nervous system.

    "We are really excited about this research," she says.
  2. olivian

    olivian New Member

    hi joe....suffered from fibro for over 10 years with increasingly difficult symptoms. through a fluke a blood test showed I had high calcium.....which is caused by a parathyroid benign tumor...the symptoms are amazingly identical....checked it out and am now cured....i think "some" cases of fibro like mine may have other causes. be sure to check out your blood calcium levels.
    you can read more educational material about this at parathyroid.com...good luck

    YES the pain is real!!!
    [This Message was Edited on 04/25/2007]
  3. obrnlc

    obrnlc New Member

    thanks joe,
    for validating my sanity for the day!
    we know it's real, and just to hear of someone with some medical clout agrees is always refreshing.
    hope you are feeling better--L
  4. harmony21

    harmony21 New Member

    yeah thank you Joe and as I mentioned elsewhere apparently if a biopsy is taken of a painful muscle in those with FM it shows a different chemical mix than those who have not, at least that is what doc says.......Am lucky to have a doc that believes in both types of medicine meds, mostly but had one doc who told me it was all in my head and could help me.....shame on him......

    in love n light
    connie

    ps please excuse ramble and wording but the fog wont lift, the words are there somewhere but seem out of reach....man......its sooooooo frustrating
  5. HELLO why do you think we are all complaining of pain, etc. When will these drs. get it!?
  6. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    Yes, the pain is real. Thank goodness for pain killers. They work!
    Mini
  7. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    I have so many entries in my local hosptial now about the psych ward people being consulted with my 12 to 15 visits to the ER in the last year...all because I was complaing too much for something the doctors there couldn't see.

    And this really does hurt your ER reputation and care when you go there again. I know this.

    The pain and weakness and feeling like you are going to die or at least pass out feelings were met with shaking heads by these docs and because I didn't actually faint or die 95% of the time, they probably still feel they were right on in their evaluation of me and my complaints as "anxiety" induced.

    How many of us here know that the anxiety comes from these shocking flares..not the other way around?

    I wish this article would be sent to every ER and posted for these people to see this.
  8. romanshopper

    romanshopper New Member

    I am mean sometimes and wish everyone that said it is in their heads would get it.

    My head is often the only thing that doesn't hurt. lol How could it be in my head? :)

    I absolutely reject that. I have a happy, if limited, life.

    Other times I wouldn't wish this on anyone...well...maybe just for a week. ;)
  9. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    These ER docs and others would understand why people with this complian more than the average patient. It is torture.

    Never in 54 years previous had I ever run to doctors as much and complained so much. Why? Because I wasn't feeling so tortured!
  10. bobbycat

    bobbycat New Member

    Geeze, and I thought it was all in my head, or should I say in my body
  11. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    It's all in our heads (brains)!

    Our brains are different - duh! ;<)

    Boy, it's good to get others informed about FMS and how the pain is real to all of us. The more information made public the better! YES! Thanks for sharing ...

    jaltair
  12. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    I've been telling these doctors that I felt something was wrong with my nervous sytem. These flares would be totally nerve related. I could feel things that I could only explain as "nerve" haywireness.

    But I was always looked at with complete scepticism and dismissal.

    Still am.

    But if I had a printer I would copy this article twenty times and send it to every doctor I have seen, especially the Emergency Room at my local hospital.

    Anything to not be referred to the psyche ward.
  13. kriket

    kriket New Member



    Thanks for posting this. It's nice to know that fibro. is being studied and looked into more seriously. I can't wait for the day when there is scientific evidence for all the people and doctors that just don't get it or say it's all in your head!!!!


    Kriket
  14. harmony21

    harmony21 New Member

    Am so glad we can validate our pains etc to each other on this site, thank god for that...... Just another chapter
    My husband has cerebral palsy, this affects the function of muscles not his brain, he is in wheelchair and cannot walk but is mobile in crawl sort of a thing. One day he went to the football and had a hotdog, because he cant chew he stuffed the hotdog down, he had no one with him as he is quite independent however on this day he choked and passed out, he went by ambulance to the hospital and there he promptly threw up the hotdog in big chunks, sorry for being graphic, the nurse with him got angry and told me I should teach him to chew, this is medical staff who should know better, also as his speech is quite different as he cant move his tongue and all his sound come from his voice box it is some thime difficult to understand but no different were you speaking with a heavy accent of any kind, the same with us most medical stay on the same spot and dont want to know or think they know it all......Oh well little do they know....... really
    hang in there all of you
    love and light
    Connie
  15. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    I can now understand why I was feeling my pains so much more than before I got one of these "fibro-CFS" or similar atuo-immune maladies.

    Docs would act as if I was a big baby for compaling so much about pains that I never felt so bad before. I would moan with these. Be anxious and scared with these. My GI pains would bring me to my knees. My shoulders and back and would be making me almost cry.

    But to these docs this just couldn't be without some clinically proven major damage that they could SEE. There "had" to be something wrong with me psychologically. There just had to be !

    Well if the damage is in the central nervous system, this cannot be seen!

    But it is there. And it does make us feel this pain much greater than other people without this.
    Now, quit down-playing me and my symptoms and humiliatingly telling me it's in my head and shocing me out fo this ER as a psychosomatic trouble maker and time waster.

    Yes, this kind of solidly reseached clinical research results should be taken to these docs.

    So you can finally say with the kind of proof they always claim they need, " see, I told you the pain was tortuorous and it wasn't emotionally enhanced by anxiety. It is enhanced by real physcial damage to a real physical part of my body. My central nervous system!"

    You mistreating, arrogant, cold hearted, closed minded ego-maniacs.
  16. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    I've read several of your posts and I feel so sympathetic because I (and probably most of us) certainly know that nightmare feeling of not being believed....and beyond THAT of being assigned a mental diagnosis.

    I saw a tv show the other night (medical mysteries) that made me think of your posts (because you're both men I suppose, and it stands out because I think doctors often afford men a little more credibility than us gals). The show featured a man who out-of-the blue was hit by painful, I'm-gonna-die episodes. For months (at least) he would go to doctors and sometimes the ER determined to find a cause for his increasingly disabling symptoms. When each time all tests would come back negative, his problems were finally labeled ANXIETY.

    When he began to have some symptoms which indicated inflamation of the heart area (sack?, can't remember exact), something clicked for one doctor, and he was sent to see a well-respected lyme doctor, which he tested positive for. I don't know if you have ruled that out, but your problems sound much like this man's. Fortunately for him, it was still early and he was able to recover with treatment.

    Whether or not you have lyme (and I think we all have nervous systems damaged in much the same way as lyme would do) I hope you are able to eventually find someone who can think beyond his narrow-med-school paradigm.

    If only doctors had the humility to at least say "I DON"T KNOW" without the knee-jerk instinct to slap a pyschological label on someone whose symptoms they don't understand.
    Best to you......sleepy
  17. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    Sleepy, exactly.

    I will ask for another Lyme test next time I can see my only doc now which is an endocrinologist.

    Suffering in Central Coast, CA

    JB