Diabetes and Fibromyalgia: Is there a link between the two?

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Connection between diabetes and fibromyalgia

FMS (Fibromyalgia syndrome) literally means pain in the fibrous tissues, the most common symptoms being widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. The disorder has only gained increasing recognition in the past twenty years but unfortunately, the causes of Fibromyalgia remain unknown.

Diabetes and Fibromyalgia syndrome are linked conditions. There have been studies that have evaluated concomitant conditions occurring with fibromyalgia. One aspect is to look for the association of fibromyalgia with diabetes mellitus. One such study looked at the prevalence of diabetes type 1 and type 2 among patients with fibromyalgia.

Did you realize that fibromyalgia and diabetes occur almost four times more often than you’d ever dream of expecting? Research has shown that keeping a tight rein on the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients actually greatly reduces the risk of the individual developing fibromyalgia at some point in their lives. Around 15 to 18 percent of diabetic patients also have fibromyalgia shown by a study done in the journal Rheumatology International.

The connection between tow was much stronger in those individuals who had type 1 diabetes than for those that had type 2 diabetes- though the association between fibromyalgia and diabetes was much higher in those with type 2. Diabetes was freedom. With discipline around nutrition and insulin doses, and endless learning around exercise physiology, anything was possible with diabetes. Anything. Type 1 diabetics have climbed Mt. Everest, completed Ironman races, cycled 100 miles, and won the Olympics.

Interestingly, controlling blood sugar levels can also dictate the likelihood of developing fibromyalgia. The connection between both diseases is due to the levels of hemoglobin A1C among diabetic patients. The reason this association is so interesting is because type 1 diabetes is considered to occur due to an autoimmune disease, though the trigger is not exactly known.

Due to the fact that it is strongly associated with fibromyalgia and it is an autoimmune disease suggests that those who support that autoimmunity cause’s fibromyalgia could be headed in the right direction. Of course, before this is officially established, more research must be done. It was determined that the higher the hemoglobin A1C levels of a diabetic patient is, the more likely he or she will suffer from fibromyalgia.

Hemoglobin A1C is blood chemical used to measure how well high your blood sugar was on average during the past 3 months. How they both seem to react to blood sugar levels is another link between these two disorders. An increase of blood glucose also indicates the severity of the symptoms associated with the two health issues.

Furthermore patients who have both diabetes and fibromyalgia have a higher number of tender points, increased pain scores, increased risk of sleep disturbances, fatigue, and headaches. Prevalence of Juvenile Fibromyalgia in children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus was assessed by an important study. Results showed that fibromyalgia was more common in children with type 1 diabetes. These patients also had more severe pain, more fatigue and sleep impairment.

Also Read: 15 Common Fibromyalgia Diseases Probably you are not aware

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Patients who already are dealing with diabetes in those reaching a diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be very difficult. This is because diabetes can actually mimic any or all of the symptoms that are associated directly with fibromyalgia. The only way to truly reach a diagnosis is through true clinical testing of the symptoms .

Due to the fact that there is no test that can truly demonstrate the presence of fibromyalgia.  Especially female patients who are suffering from diabetes must be aware that fibromyalgia actually occurs at a rate of four times more in those who have diabetes than is seen in the general public.

Those symptoms that don’t get better when blood sugar levels are under control and they are connected with diabetes should be looked at more closely because they could point to fibromyalgia. If you have poured all your efforts to get your blood sugar controlled yet your body seems to be less responsive, you have to go back to your doctor right away to get more clinical tests done.

Be mindful of your body pains and other symptoms you may feel. This means that if your blood sugar is uncontrolled, headaches, tender points, insomnia, and fatigue are more likely to happen to you. In severe cases, patients with both disorders suffer from chronic body pain.

Sensory symptoms, such as shooting nerve pain, tenderness, and general pain is typically experienced in both conditions and it is the source of confusion between the symptoms of fibromyalgia and diabetes. Following information was revealed after the combination of symptoms. Attacks and pressure points were three times more likely to be caused by fibromyalgia than diabetes.

Attacks and numbness were twice as likely to be caused by diabetes as fibromyalgia. Thermal and pressure points were twice as likely to be caused by fibromyalgia as diabetes. Burning, pressure, and attacks showed a slight difference in cause, favoring fibromyalgia as the cause over diabetes. Prickling and numbness were three times more likely to be caused by diabetes instead of fibromyalgia.


Both have different treatments but treating one can reduce the symptoms of the other condition. For example controlling blood sugar has a significant impact on fibromyalgia. Pain levels, the amount of disturbances in sleep, and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia can considerably reduced after managing your diabetes.

Exercise can improve both conditions. The need of insulin and danger of reaching high levels of blood sugar can be reduced by exercise.  Heart disease and stroke that are common among the population suffering from diabetes can also be prevented by exercise.

In regard to many different diseases Aerobic exercise actually has many different benefits. Individuals suffering from both conditions should remember that treating both of them together is the best way to ensure maximum recovery.

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  • Diabetes and Fibromyalgia: Is there a link between the two? by Brandi via Being Fibro Mom
  • Featured Image via: Fibromyalgia Treating

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