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

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kjfms, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    Someone may have posted this and if they did great but I am posting this great news. It is a small step in the right direction.

    It still amazes me when my own physician says to me "You know Karen there are just too many people who do not recognize Fibromyalgia as a "real" disease" -- speaks volumes doesn't it?

    Original page:

    Fibromyalgia Pain: It's for Real

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

    By Salynn Boyles

    WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
    on Thursday, November 30, 2006

    Nov. 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 fatiguefatigue, 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.


    SOURCES: Harris, R. and Clauw, D. Current Pain and Headache Reports, December 2006; online edition.

    Richard E. Harris, PhD, research investigator, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.

    Daniel J. Clauw, MD, department of medicine, division of rheumatology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.

    Lynne Matallana, president and founder, National Fibromyalgia Association.

    Thanks for reading,

    Karen :)

  2. fight4acure

    fight4acure Member

    Thanks Karen... Hugs!
  3. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    Thanks guys hope you both are as well as you can be :)

    Karen :)
  4. paulmack

    paulmack New Member

    Thanks for that post,it does give us hope for the future.I was most interested to read that several drugs companies are currently testing drugs to treat Fibro & in particular which targets the Central Nervous System.
    Hopefully an effective treatment is not too far off,
    Best Wishes,Paul.
  5. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    Good grief you better be careful. I saw all of that snow on the news it is headed my way :( but we won't get it until Sunday.

    You better get into a hot tub.

    Take care got to run to the bank,

    Karen :)
  6. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    So nice to meet you.

    Sorry for the delay. I had to get my house payment to the bank by a certain time -- always something isn't? :)

    I certainly agree with you and I too am waiting on the day they get a specific fibromyalgia drug won't that be great!?

    I am finding that my flares are getting worse with age unfortunately although I am only 45...LOL

    Thanks do much for reading,

    Karen :)
  7. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    You are making me jealous!!!

    I love the snow it is so beautiful. Have you seen the picture I posted in my profile it was taken here in WV although not where I live -- I am still looking for one of the lake that is close by.

    The only thing I hate about winter is getting cold...LOL I know silly but it comes with the snow.

    I love driving in the snow -- just put my Jeep in 4x wheel drive and off I go like an idiot -- just smiling ear to ear :)

    I still pray for snow days like when I was a kid...LOL but I do not get them now because I have 4x wheel drive :( go figure...LOL

    Stay warm,

    Karen :) Burrrrrrrrrrr

    The temperature is starting to drop a little here :) oooooo maybe it will snow tonight?????
  8. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    but I am bumping this very good article up for those who didn't get to read it :)


    Karen :)

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