Study of FMS shows 70.7 % of FMSers were abused!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jaltair, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    Abstract: Prevalence of Abuse in Fibromyalgia and Other Rheumatic Disorders at a Specialized Clinic in Rheumatic Diseases in Guatemala City


    J Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Jun;11(3):140-145.

    Castro I, Barrantes F, Tuna M, Cabrera G, Garcia C, Recinos M, Espinoza LR, Garcia-Kutzbach A.

    From the *Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana; and the daggerDepartment of Internal Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, University Francisco Marroguin, Guatemala City, Guatemala.

    BACKGROUND:: The importance of past adverse experiences is increasingly recognized in patients with rheumatic disease.

    OBJECTIVE:: The objective of this study was to study the association of physical, verbal, and sexual abuse in patients with rheumatic disorders as compared with healthy volunteers.

    METHODS:: In this case-control study, 500 new patients attending an outpatient rheumatic clinic were interviewed from September 1, 1999, to August 31, 2001. A total of 187 patients with 3 diagnoses were selected: 58 had fibromyalgia (FM), 74 rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and 55 patients with soft tissue rheumatic disease (STRD). All selected patients were asked to complete a questionnaire designed to obtain information regarding demographics and history of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. A group of 187 healthy control subjects were also included, matched for sex and age.

    RESULTS:: The prevalence of abuse was significantly more common in the rheumatic disease group than in the control group (48.1% versus 15%, P < 0.001). The prevalence of abuse among the groups was as follows: 70.7% of patients with FM reported abuse (24.3% verbal, 60.9% physical, and 14.8% sexual), 35.1% of patients with RA had a history of abuse (42.3% verbal, 30.7% physical, and 0% sexual), whereas 41.8% of patients with STRD reported abuse (43.4% verbal, 43.4% physical, and 0% sexual). When comparing the 3 groups, patients with FM showed a higher prevalence of abuse (P < 0.05). The abuse was usually longstanding (range, 1-10 years), and most abusers were close family members.

    CONCLUSION:: Abuse, both physical and psychologic, was significantly increased in our rheumatic disease population, especially in patients with FM. Further studies are needed to fully establish its role. Questions about abuse may provide important information relative to care of our patients.

    PMID: 16357732 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    * * * *

    Just wondering how many out there are or were involved in abuse situations? I was in an abusive marriage for 15 years and am thinking now there is a definite connection! Think I could go back to court and get "damages?" LOL Just kidding ... :<)


  2. dononagin

    dononagin New Member

    maybe like some kind of post traumatic shock syndrome..

    I always thought I dealt pretty well with my abusive childhood and 15 years of being married to an abuser too.. but maybe it does manifest itself in other ways..
  3. zonablues

    zonablues New Member

    Wow! Imagine that!All makes sense to me too. Lots of crap in my life too. I truly believe that in my case it was stress related. Now what?
  4. Empower

    Empower New Member

    I was physically and verbally abused as a child and suffered a series of traumatic events as an adult

    I now have FMS and CFS

    I am certain there is some sort of connection
  5. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    but i am one othse in the statistics of all of the abuses...

    trying to get past all of that..

  6. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    long term stress of any kind can cause rheumatic illnesses. The most of the ones I've read believe that it eventually breaks down our immune systems. Like others here, I've known lots of women who were abused and didn't develop FM/CFS etc.. It could have a contributing factor but it's not the whole answer.

    I think there are probably people who had stress "injuries" from playing heavy duty sports too or who have a low threshold to emotional stress period. SO WHAT though? It doesn't answer why some get these dd's and some don't and these studies surely don't show how to STOP our problems.

    I just get so angry at the millions of dollars wasted on study after study that are just replications of already done studies! I read one that had the "conclusion" that FM causes pain. Gee, does it really? And how much was spent to find that out? I don't remember if it said, but I do know they could have just taken a few dozen of us in a room and ASKED if we have pain and come out with the same results. Of COURSE it causes pain or these doctors wouldn't be being pursued for relief for that pain in the first place.

    I like to read any of the studies posted and it isn't your fault that it's just a repeat of so many like it before. It just irks me that they've once again spent valuable time and money on a subject that has already been pretty much across the board..settled.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/21/2005]
  7. sfrazier

    sfrazier New Member

    I'm one of those statics. Was married 8 years to a man that was physical and verbaly abusive. I was also raped as a teenager. I won't say that is what cause my fibro but I am begining to think that the way that I dealt with it might be part of the problem. Is it all in my mind this fibro definetly not. But our mind has a way of coping with things that normal people can't handle. Unfortunetly seems that my mind has decided that the stress that is in my past and present life is something that I have not dealt with in the right way and is giving me a wake up call by making my body sick. I was told today in therapy that my body is constantly on terror hold. Which means basicly that my body seems to think that I am in constant danger or threat so it is constantly tense. Add on to that the normal everyday stuff plus the phyical pain and the no sleep. Well I think we are all just lucky that we haven't all ended up in padded cells. lol. Anyways that's just my thought.
  8. minimonkey

    minimonkey New Member

    This is a connection that I am very interested in -- thanks for the article.

    Long term trauma, particularly early and repetitive trauma, can cause physical changes to the brain and body that are permanent. Among other things, it causes changes in the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal axis (due to the production of stress hormones like corisol and nor-epinephrine, eventually leading to adrenal and thyroid fatigue) as well as changes in the limbic system of the brain -- often these changes are lifelong, and removing the stressor doesn't reverse them. Many of the neurotransmitter pathways (including pain pathways) can be affected by prolonged trauma.

    So, it isn't a huge leap to think that abuse/trauma may be one factor in an illness that appears to be based in the central nervous studies are now indicating that FM may well be.

    This is a whole lot different than saying that the pain is "psychological" in nature --- just that the trauma may have played a role in the development of a physical condition.

    Yes, some folks survive traumatic backgrounds without developing physical illness -- trauma is only part of the equation. Some folks develop fm or other rheumatic conditions without identifiable trauma, too -- so there are clearly other factors in play here.

    But I think that the connection is worth additional study, to say the least.
  9. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    It is interesting but like someone else said, lots of people that were abused don`t have this. Look at Oprah, she was molested by various relatives. She finally ended up pregnant as 14 and give birth to a stillborn baby. That`s all pretty traumatic, how come she doesn`t have it.

    I had a rough childhood but I still don`t think an emotional thing could cause your whole body to break down like it does with Fm. There is just too much that goes wrong, there`s got to be a physical reason.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/21/2005]
  10. Sue50

    Sue50 New Member

    have been all my life in some form, emotional, physical, mental, suffer from PTSD, my sis also has fm, so yes I think FM does have a link to family abuse and continues as we age because of the men we marry due to the child abuse.
  11. Kacjac

    Kacjac New Member

    And so does some professional's I've talked too.
    I was abused for years, I think it's a direct result of many of my health issues.
    It goes back to the mind/body connection, I think!
  12. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    fight4acure, I appreciated your comments on how research studies can be skewed. As for whether abuse contributes to our getting DD, each one has an idea whether it was a factor in his/her own case.

    This particular study wasn't set up right to get a true reading of FM patients in general. Because of how it was done, we can't say that "70% have been abused" applies to US.

    Here's why: It was based on a small group of people in a particular town, who are going to a particular clinic. Why is this important? Because the abuse rate varies from place to place. PEOPLE vary from place to place. Some towns have more abuse in them, others less.

    Out of 500 new people who go to the this clinic, they selected 187 to be in the study - AFTER interviewing them for two years. They didn't give the straight statistics on everybody they looked at during that time, the whole 500. They CHOSE which data they wanted to use and which to throw out.

    Of the 187 who were chosen to be used, only 58 people had FM. This is a very small sample, too small to judge an entire population, deffinately not a whole country.

    The way that the data was collected was subjective. It was scooped out of questionaires, with no professionals involved. There is room for error.

    What this study proves is that of 58 specially selectied FM patentients in a particular town, 70% may have been abused.

    Personally though, I think there is a connection between trauma and illness. Certainly with myself.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/22/2005]
  13. Charleneyz1984

    Charleneyz1984 New Member

    I was abused physically and emotionally by my mother for many years when i was growing up and i also had an awful life due to men she married and the consequences of her screwed up life!
  14. puggymom

    puggymom New Member

    I came from a loving, 2 parent family. My 2 older brothers even treated me better than most brothers, taking me to concerts, theme parks, etc. We never wanted for anything. I have never been in an abusive relationship either. I have suffered with Fibro since High School and I am now 39.
  15. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    Myself and a friend of mine have it and we both were never abused! I would believe it if they worded it as 70% of abused people have FMS, but I find it hard to believe that 70% of us with FMS have been abused!

    Abuse can be a trigger for FMS, but so can trauma such as a car accident or in my case a hysterectomy. And I think even viruses can cause this.

    I don't know, maybe they need to do more studies.

    Take care, Sally
  16. minimonkey

    minimonkey New Member

    Shannon--- you do a great job of explaining why that particular study was biased -- certainly not a random sample. Sadly, this is the case with most research studies -- even with ones that are technically "methodolgically sound" it is possible to exclude data, skew the results, etc. Of the many studies I've looked at on this topic, the results are pretty inconclusive --- some find a correlation, others don't.

    I don't think anyone on this board would argue against these dds being real, medical conditions! The question is whether trauma may play a role (or not) in triggering their onset.

    In any case, it is important to do what one can to heal any emotional scars left over by abuse. It won't make the physical pain go away, but at least it will help with the emotional side of things.

  17. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    I have FM and Crohn's Disease. In my case, abuse might be ONE of the factors. I also have financial problems and a special needs child on top of that. So there's three factors. Now who's to say that if I only had one of those 3 things, say just verbal abuse to deal with, and I had enough money and my kid was normal, would I develop these diseases? Who knows?

    I think it comes on when we have just been saturated, and have too much put on us that we can't handle any more. It is kind of like that straw that broke the camel's back. And some of us are just more sensitive than others. I was always a very sensitive child. I was very protected in my childhood. Unfortunately I married someone who is passive/aggressive and has taken out his anger on me for over 20 years. After 3 years I knew I was in an impossible situation and wanted to get out. Then I began having children. I felt trapped. After 10 years of this I began not feeling well but no one knew what was wrong. After 15 years of marriage, I was diagnosed with FM. One month before my 20th wedding anniversary, my entire immune system went ballistic and I was diagnosed with metastatic Crohn's Disease which I will have for the rest of my life.

    The point is, these dd's are progressive, and the longer the abuse or whatever it is goes on, the worse things get. That is why it's important to lighten up the stress load if possible.. I wish I could completely change my life. I can't start over but I'd like to fix some things. I still work towards that goal.

    That's my story. I know for some people it's different.

  18. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    the growth and development of the brain and the neurological system is very delicate in childhood. I had FM like symptoms (severe) already as s small child. I spent my first 3 years in hospital for other reasons, the neglect and constant abandonment caused alot of physical manifestations later (typical for FM). I developed migraines already at age 3 (also considered a neurological problem). I had abusive situations growing up and as an adult. I do believe there is a connection, simply from experience. My mother also have FM, she was abused as a child, my brother too and he as FM also. My sister was not abused, has no FM. coincidence, I don't know. We can't dismiss it. The brain and all that is a delicate issue thing we barely understand yet.
  19. Noralyn

    Noralyn New Member

    You are quite right in my "unbiased" opinion.

    I posted today regarding a study done regarding FMS, Disability, and of course some Psychological aspect. I don't remember te complete title off hand.

    I don't want to repeat it, but I wich you would take a look at it and others replies because what you said and others say, really makes a point that needs to be brought to awareness.

    It would certainly be interesting to know the % of the world who has been through some type of abuse.

  20. Here is a little of what I got, in some of fight4's posts, that I think maybe some of the readers are missing. I think fight4 has a very important valid point I want to reiterate?

    If not, then here is something that burns me up and I have to mention myself.

    YES, stress from abuse, absolutely plays a factor in illness. That's no secret, and has not been for years, what my issue is, and I think fight4 may be a bit..ticked at??? (By NO means, Fight4, would I try to put words into your mouth, though, so, maybe I should not put your name in this post at all? Forgive me if I am way off base here, PLEASE.),(well, OK, what *I* want to yellll at these researchers is, 'GET OFF ***FIBROMYALGIA'S/CFS*** BACK!!!!' LOL)
    I mean, they have known, that stress can contribute to cancer, without a doubt. They ('they' = researchers, doctors, etc) would NEVER tell someone with cancer, it is all in your head. NEVER. NOR, would they tell them "you have cancer because you had a abusive marriage/ childhood/etc. and put them in counseling and on anti-depessants. Of course not!!!That would be absurd! Not to mention, malpractice! So.. why do we get treated so horrible so often by doctors? We are SICK! Physically SICK,-regardless of what got us here, what brought it on, what contributed to it-- START WORKING ON THE CURE! I realize they have to know the cause, to find the cure... but, you watch, a few years from now (if not already?) Fibromyalgia, will not belong to the rheumatologists anymore, it will be listed in the book of psychiatric disorders, not rheumatological/inflammatory/soft tissue/muscle.

    and, few other things, that study... It depends on what each person studied considers abuse, as well, ? How was it defined? Being called a name once as a child on the playground in front of all your peers, and embarrassed; as everyone has been; did that* count as 'verbal abuse'? (to take it to the extreme)..

    How tightly, or loosely *were* the types of abuse defined. Like some have said... IF someone wants* a study to go their way to prove a point or 'create a statistic' IT WILL...absolutely..statistics, catch peoples eyes. Creates drama, pulls you in. For some reason, gives credibility, to studies, but--really shouldn't anymore, there are so many, and, uncontrolled. So many people* nowdays, really, *anyone* can do a or I could.

    and also, I agree with the post that pointed out as well, that...the same can be said and found, and HAS BEEN, in the general population. Montel showed a study not long ago... that stated 1 in 4 teenage girls* will have been abused in some way, be it verbally, sexually, or physically, by the time she graduates high school, BY A PEER/someone she knows. He stated the *vast majority* will have been sexually harrassed in some way, shape, or form. He did also have statistics on grown women on other shows, as well as men. It is just a cruel, hateful world we live in. Unfortunately, we do not have to look far, or hard, to find abuse.

    Just some of my thoughts on it, (((hugs)))

    Good topic/discussion, and I don't care what y'all say about fibrofog. There are some good brains here on this board. (self excluded, lol it took me like 2 hrs to fix typos, type this with partially numb hands, pain etc,) :) ;-) Bless you all.


[ advertisement ]