Fibromyalgia – What are the causes of Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness

It’s not clear why some people develop fibromyalgia. The exact cause is unknown, but it’s likely that a number of factors are involved.

Here are some of the main factors thought to contribute to the condition:

Abnormal pain messages

One of the main theories is that people with fibromyalgia have developed changes in the way the central nervous system processes the pain messages carried around the body. This could be due to changes to chemicals in the nervous system.

The central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) transmits information all over your body through a network of specialised cells. Changes in the way this system works may explain why fibromyalgia results in constant feelings of, and extreme sensitivity to, pain.

Chemical imbalances

Research has found that people with fibromyalgia have abnormally low levels of the hormones serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine in their brains.

Low levels of these hormones may be a key factor in the cause of fibromyalgia, as they’re important in regulating things such as:





your response to stressful situations

These hormones also play a role in processing pain messages sent by the nerves. Increasing the hormone levels with medication can disrupt these signals.

Some researchers have also suggested that changes in the levels of some other hormones, such as cortisol (which is released when the body is under stress), may contribute to fibromyalgia.

Sleep problems

It’s possible that disturbed sleep patterns may be a cause of fibromyalgia, rather than just a symptom.

Fibromyalgia can prevent you from sleeping deeply and cause fatigue (extreme tiredness). People with the condition who sleep badly can also have higher levels of pain, suggesting that these sleep problems contribute to the other symptoms of fibromyalgia.


Research has suggested that genetics may play a small part in the development of fibromyalgia, with some people perhaps more likely than others to develop the condition because of their genes.

If this is the case, genetics could explain why many people develop fibromyalgia after some sort of trigger.

Possible triggers

Fibromyalgia is often triggered by a stressful event, including physical stress or emotional (psychological) stress. Possible triggers for the condition include:

an injury

a viral infection

giving birth

having an operation

the breakdown of a relationship

being in an abusive relationship

the death of a loved one

However, in some cases, fibromyalgia doesn’t develop after any obvious trigger.

Associated conditions

There are several other conditions often associated with fibromyalgia. Generally, these are rheumatic conditions (affecting the joints, muscles and bones), such as:

osteoarthritis – when damage to the joints causes pain and stiffness

lupus – when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues in various parts of the body

rheumatoid arthritis – when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the joints, causing pain and swelling

ankylosing spondylitis – pain and swelling in parts of the spine

temporomandibular disorder (TMD) – a condition that can cause pain in the jaw, cheeks, ears and temples

Conditions such as these are usually tested for when diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Does anyone else in your family have Fibromyalgia?

Does anyone else in your family have fibromyalgia?
Does anyone else in your family have fibromyalgia?

Does anyone else in your family have Fibromyalgia?

Is Fibromyalgia inherited or a genetic condition?

Opinions on this important matter differ so we thought we would find out more from our readers.

Can you help?

It would be great if you could take part in and share the poll below.

Could you also share it with other members of the fibromyalgia and autoimmune communities please?

If you would like to share more about your story when not use the comments box to tell us a bit more about your family and fibromyalgia.

Many thanks in advance!

A Survey of Fibromyalgia Patients’ Journey to Diagnosis and Treatment.

Fibromyalgia Survey and Research
Fibromyalgia Survey and Research


We have been asked by Pamela Andrews at PhD student at Glasgow Caledonian University to help her find people with Fibromyalgia to help her with some research.

Andrews writes ” I am a PhD student within the Health and Life Sciences department at Glasgow Caledonian University. I am conducting a study into the journey patients take from presenting with their first symptom through to receiving a diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome and subsequent treatment.

The study requires participants are aged 18 and over and have received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The study will involve an online questionnaire, which will include a series of surveys asking about the journey leading to a diagnosis, what happened immediately following and what treatments were prescribed by your healthcare provider and which ones you researched yourself.

The purpose of this research is to understand the patient journey from the initial symptom to diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Following the diagnosis, the study aims to examine the treatment pathways made available to you and the experiences you have had with this along with the effectiveness on symptoms.

If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to complete an online survey, this survey will ask about:

Journey leading to a diagnosis
Immediately following the diagnosis
Treatments prescribed
Treatments tried

It will take approximately 20mins to complete. Questions asked will either involve selecting from a few options or a sliding scale, in addition you may be asked to give brief responses. If you feel you need to take a break at any time, the survey may be saved and you can then return to it at a later date.”

The link to the survey can be found here.

For more information Ms Andrews can be contacted at

Many thanks in advance for your help!

Fibromyalgia – Would you wear a purple tie to help us raise awareness of Fibro? #tie1on4fibro


Would you wear a purple tie to help us raise awareness of Fibro?

Simple as that really.

Please would you answer yes or no in the comments section below. Even better when not share a picture of you in purple tie below!

Thanks and Tie One on for Fibromyalgia!

“Tie One on for Fibromyalgia!” Wear a Purple Tie to Help Promote Fibromyalgia Awareness #tie1on4fibro

Please wear a purple tie to help promote fibromyalgia awareness
Please wear a purple tie to help promote fibromyalgia awareness

One of our supporters has shared this great picture of her wearing a purple tie to help raise awareness of fibromyalgia.

We have launched a campaign to promote fibro awareness called “Tie One on for Fibromyalgia!” with the hashtag #tie1on4fibro.

It would be really great if you could share this picture on social media to help us raise fibromyalgia awareness. Even better it would be great if you could share a photo on social media with the hashtag #tie1on4fibro. Also could you add the photograph in the comments box below. If that proves a problem please send it to and we will put it up on your behalf!

Many thanks in advance!