While I do not understand some of the medical terms, this article has helped me make sense
of the strange and awful pains that come and go just about anywhere within my body!

Researchers have found the main source of pain in Fibromyalgia patients, and contrary to what many
believe, it does not stem from the brain. The findings mark the end of a decades-old mystery about the
disease, which many doctors believed was conjured in patients’ imaginations. The mystery of
Fibromyalgia has left millions of sufferers searching for hope in pain medications. Up until recently,
many physicians thought that the disease was “imaginary” or psychological, but scientists have now
revealed that the main source of pain stems from a most unlikely place- excess blood vessels in the

The discovery may lead to new treatments and perhaps even a total cure in the future, bringing relief
to as many as 5 million Americans thought to have the disease. To solve the Fibromyalgia mystery,
researchers zeroed in on the skin from the hand of one patient who had a lack of the sensory nerve
fibers, causing a reduced reaction to pain. They then took skin samples from the hands of Fibromyalgia patients and were surprised to find an extremely excessive amount of a particular type of nerve fiber called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts.

Up until this point scientists had thought that these fibers were only responsible for regulating blood
flow, and did not play any role in pain sensation, but now they've discovered that there is a direct link
between these nerves and the widespread body pain that Fibromyalgia sufferers feel.

The breakthrough also could solve the lingering question of why many sufferers have extremely painful hands as well as other “tender points” throughout the body, and why cold weather seems to aggravate the symptoms. In addition to feeling widespread deep tissue pain, many Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from debilitating fatigue.

Neuroscientist Dr. Frank L. Rice explained: “We previously thought that these nerve endings were only involved in regulating blood flow at a subconscious level, yet here we had evidences that the blood
vessel endings could also contribute to our conscious sense of touch… and also pain,” Rice said. “This
mismanaged blood flow could be the source of muscular pain and achiness, and the sense of fatigue
which are thought to be due to a build-up of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation Fibromyalgia
patients. This, in turn, could contribute to the hyperactivity in the brain.”

Current treatments for the disease have not brought complete relief to the millions of sufferers.
Therapies include narcotic pain medicines; anti-seizure drugs, anti-depressants and even simple advice
such as “get more sleep and exercise regularly.” Now that the cause of Fibromyalgia has been
pinpointed, patients are looking forward to an eventual cure. Other expressed frustration about how
much they had suffered already:

“When are they ever going to figure out that things are never “all in your head?” said one commenter. “Whenever something doesn’t fit in their tiny little understanding, they belittle the patient and tell them they are crazy. People have suffered through this since they were invented. Prescribing SSRIs for everything is not the answer any more than a lobotomy or hysterectomy w

The announcement has the potential to unlock better future treatments and undoubtedly has patients
all over the world rejoicing that the mystery of Fibromyalgia has finally been solved.

Source: Redorbit


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