Fibromyalgia Symptoms in Women
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines fibromyalgia as, “a disorder of unknown etiology characterized by widespread pain, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbance, fatigue and other psychological distress.” Approximately five million adults in the US have symptoms of fibromyalgia at any given time; for every male that has the disease, there are seven females, says The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Due to the fact that the origin is not fully understood, researchers can only hypothesize about the reasons why the rate of fibromyalgia symptoms in women greatly exceeds that of men. Hormone imbalance and hereditary inheritance are two of the potential factors thought to be involved.
In addition to the illness indicators noted above, MedicineNet.com lists more symptoms of fibromyalgia for both women:
- Cognitive and memory problems (called “fibro fog”)
- Morning stiffness
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
- Sensitivity to temperature
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Painful menstrual periods
Hormones are chemical compounds produced by the body which regulate the activity within the cells. They are crucial for daily functioning as they control digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction and mood, states MedicineNet.com. Progesterone and estrogen are the main hormones examined when attempting to ascertain the cause of high rates of fibromyalgia symptoms in women.
Progesterone is a reproductive hormone, mostly concentrated in the brain, that is responsible for balancing estrogen levels. FibroSelf-Help.com notes that, aside from reproductive functions, it helps regulate nerve health and functioning, calcium levels, cellular energy and mood.
Estrogen is a group of hormones manufactured in the ovaries, which facilitates the development of female sexual characteristics (breasts, uterine growth, etc.); it also affects growth of the brain, bones, liver, heart and other bodily tissues, remarks WomensHealthAdvice.com.
Since progesterone equalizes estrogen concentrations, low levels of the chemical could result in an increase of estrogen in the body. When a woman has a very high quantity of estrogen and a disproportionately low amount of progesterone, she is said to be experiencing estrogen dominance, explains FibroSelf-Help.com. This can cause disturbances to other important hormones, which may lead to symptoms of fibromyalgia in women, particularly brain fog, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, cold hands and feet, and bodily aches/pain, says FibroSelf-Help.com.
Heredity and Fibromyalgia in Women
Research has been conducted to assess the role genetics play in regards to development of symptoms of fibromyalgia in women and men. In a study, it was found that, regardless of biological sex, those who had close relatives that also suffered from fibromyalgia had a 50% chance of developing chronic pain (a key symptom of the disorder), notes WomensHealthAdvice.com. Additionally, those who have a family member with fibromyalgia are eight times more likely to get it than those who do not, adds WomensHealthAdvice.com.
While there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, medical researchers are constantly working to find one. To help in the quest of finding an effective fibromyalgia treatment, consider participating in Los Angeles clinical studies. These medical trials test out medication and treatments for fibromyalgia, while compensating participants for their role in the process. To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for fibromyalgia or other forms of medical issues, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.