Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) is a disorder described by chronic widespread musculoskeletical pain accompanied by an intense painful response to pressure, mood issues, and fatigue. People with FM also experience muscle stiffness, headaches, stomach pain and bloating, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and extreme sensitivity to pain. New research suggests there may be a link between herpes simplex, the virus that causes cold sores and herpes outbreaks, and fibromyalgia.
It is estimated to happen 9 times more in women than in men, affecting more Caucasians than other races. However, the truth remains that anyone can develop FM including children, but typically between the ages 30 and 50. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, medication as well as exercise and other stress-reduction measures can help alleviate the symptoms.
The widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia is located in associated areas known as trigger points. These trigger points are normally located where the ligaments attaches the muscle to the bone. Although the cause is unknown, fibromyalgia often begins after a surgery, physical trauma, and infection or significant psychological stress like death of a loved one or breakdown of a relationship. It may involve a variety of factors working together like genetics, infections, and trauma (physical / emotional) trauma.
Fibromyalgia patients primarily complain about painful muscles since it was originally thought to be a rheumatological problem. Researchers theorize that people with fibromyalgia have developed surprising changes in how the central nervous system process pain. Furthermore, changes in the nervous system can result in extreme sensitivity to pain. Surprisingly enough, there have been a lot of studies documenting the connection of fibromyalgia to infections like Herpes Simplex,Lyme disease, mycoplasma, Chlamydia pneumoniae., Hepatitis C, Parvovirus B19, HIV, and Epstein-Barr
Viruses that cause influenza and hepatitis B and C have been suspected in the development of fibromyalgia. These viruses, as doctors believe, have long standing effects on the immune system. Likewise, patients who have been treated with and have fully recovered from Lyme disease continue to experience intense and unprovoked pain that which characterizes fibromyalgia symptoms.
The question, “Is Fibromyalgia caused by a virus?” may indeed be true as explained by Pridgen’s theory stating that a chronic pain condition and numerous gastrointestinal disorders may all be caused by a virus, including Herpes Simplex, the virus behind cold sores. Moreover, the theory explains that our immune system is good at containing viruses but because of physical, hormonal or emotional stress, they can reactivate, and travel down the nerve pathways resulting to common triggers of fibromyalgia.
Dr. Pridgen also believes that the same is true with herpes simplex infection where the skin as well as other parts of the body like our lips, tongue, heart, lungs, intestines, or esophagus are associated with nerve bodies which the herpes virus can reactivate causing gastrointestinal issues and symptoms in fibromyalgia. Moreover, Dr. Pridgen believes that herpes simplex viruses are the key to fibromyalgia as well as the chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. Although the association between FM and herpes viruses are still on the process of being proven, Dr. Pridgen points out that there are still a lot of things we don’t know about the Herpes Simplex Virus and his study which is currently going on will give light to the association of Fibromyalgia and the Herpes Simplex.