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Date Submitted: 11/25/2012 07:34 PM

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BIOL 204


February 15, 2011




Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

Cause of Fibromyalgia

Doctors don't know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together. These may include: ■Genetics. Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder. ■Infections. Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia. ■Physical or emotional trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder has been linked to fibromyalgia.

Integumentary Structures most affected

Current thinking centers around a theory called central sensitization. This theory states that people with fibromyalgia have a lower threshold for pain because of increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals. Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain's pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals.

Potential Causes of Fibromyalgia

Risk factors for fibromyalgia include: ■Family history. You may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia if a relative also has the condition. ■Rheumatic disease. If you have a rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you may be more likely to develop...