Linking Fibromyalgia To Depression And Anxiety

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Living with fibromyalgia can lead to depression and anxiety

Chronic widespread muscular pain, fatigue, muscular tenderness, sleeps problems, morning stiffness, headache, concentration and digestive irregularities. All these conditions can make life miserable for Fibromyalgia patients, but equally challenging are depression and anxiety. About 62 per people suffering from fibromyalgia have experience symptoms of major depressive disorder that make very difficult to carry out the daily routine. According to Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D, Medical director of fibromyalgia and fatigue centers, anxiety in people with fibromyalgia often manifests itself as rapid shallow breathing, while depression may be expressed as decrease in normal interests.

It is not expected to respond emotionally to a chronic disease, this explains why depression and anxiety occurs in fibromyalgia patients, and manifested as its symptoms. In fibromyalgia patients it is associated with low adrenal and hence {low cortisol levels}, while in non fibromyalgia patients it is associated with {high cortisol levels}. According to doctors there are a number of factors that contribute to depression associated with fibromyalgia.


Anti aging medical specialist Pamela W. smith, MD, MPH, director of The Centre For Healthy Living Longevity in Michigan, says, “95 per people with fibro have low thyroid function and 100 per have low adrenal function and both conditions can lead to depression and anxiety. Luckily hypothyroidism is easy to diagnose. Complete blood tests for thyroid levels can detect if there is some problem.

Low cortisol levels:

Cortisol is a hormone produced by adrenal glands in response to stress. When adrenal glands produce insufficient cortisol levels sometimes due to condition known as cortisol fatigue, it will produce some symptoms like muscle aches, pain, extreme fatigue, elevated levels of cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. When you are stressed cortisol levels first increase, but when you continue to remain stressed, the body cannot make enough cortisol, it will only make sufficient to keep you alive. Cortisol can be normalized by reducing stress. Dr Smith recommends include, yoga, breathing techniques and massage, herbal therapies, adrenal extracts, and medications, they all be necessary to bring cortisol levels back to normal. As cortisol levels are restored fibromyalgia related anxiety and stress gradually lessens.

Poor mitochondrial functioning:

Mitochondria are the energy producing part of the cell that is vital for processes like metabolism. When their function is impaired they can also play a role in the development of depression and anxiety in people with fibromyalgia. Supplements like L carnitine, NADH can be helpful in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety in people related to fibromyalgia.

Vitamin D deficiency:

Insufficient restorative sleep can lead to or aggravate existing anxiety and depression in people with fibromyalgia and they do not go into the stage of sleep known as REM sleep. This problem can be further compounded by taking anti depressant medication, which can suppress REM sleep in certain people, Other causes of non restorative sleep include muscular aches, pains, and decreased levels of hormone melatonin.

There really are metabolic reasons why people with fibromyalgia have the symptoms that they have. Dr Smith recommends that people with fibromyalgia undergo testing to determine if an underline deficiency or a related health education could be complicating their situation and bringing depression and anxiety to the surface.

For support and Discussions Join the support group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic illness”

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