An estimated 9 million Americans live with the invisible disease known as fibromyalgia. It’s a neurological disorder that causes you to feel a “pins and needles” pain in your muscles, abs, back and neck. Many of our patients experience it, which is why we’re going to examine the risk factors for fibromyalgia:
Gender: 80 to 90 percent of all fibromyalgia patients are female. Researchers believe this may be due to estrogen’s excitatory impact on the central nervous system.
Genetics: Researchers believe that there is a connection between genetics and fibromyalgia. Indeed, the numbers seem to back this up, as people with relatives living with fibromyalgia are 8.5 times more likely to get it. Even if you do not develop fibromyalgia, many of those who have relatives living with the condition report that they themselves have a higher sensitivity to pain and more tender points on their body.
Sleep disorders: Those who have insomnia or other types of sleep disorders are also at risk for fibromyalgia. A lack of sleep can increase your sensitivity to pain, and your body needs sleep for restorative purposes.
Age: Many fibromyalgia cases occur between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms will only grow worse as you age if you do not take care of them.
Physical trauma: Sometimes, the onset of the disease can be linked by major physical trauma, such as a car accident. Even those who aren’t predisposed to fibromyalgia may leave the scene of a major accident with chronic pain for the rest of their lives.
Autoimmune and Gluten disorders: Research has shown that those with certain autoimmune diseases (such as lupus or Sjögren’s syndrome) or gluten intolerance are at a higher risk to develop fibromyalgia later on in life.