The Underlying Cause of Fibromyalgia

I happened upon a ‘little’ medical journal that ended up being a fascinating read. I like to explain fibromyalgia in relatively simple terms, but this article made me stand up and take notice. First, we will explore what the “experts” concluded. Then I will let you know MY conclusion!

According to the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health, the underlying cause of fibromyalgia is physical and emotional distress.

Both physical and emotional stressors are frequent fibromyalgia triggers. Bodily trauma, particularly a whiplash injury during an automobile accident, is a recognized fibromyalgia trigger. Also, different types of infections have been associated with the development of fibromyalgia and include viruses (hepatitis C, HIV, herpes) and Borrelia, the infecting agent in cases of Lyme’s disease. Women with fibromyalgia have increased incidences of prior sexual or physical abuse.

Moreover, fibromyalgia patients are often immersed in a stressful lifestyle. A prospective investigation found that the development of this illness was associated with workplace bullying, high workload, and low decision-making possibilities. Anxiety and depression are frequent fibromyalgia companions. Furthermore, many fibromyalgia patients appear to have created their own “lifestyle stress” by physically or mentally overexerting themselves, being perfectionists, workaholics, or engaging in a disproportionate self-sacrificing behavior.


According to Kim (Me), the underlying cause of fibromyalgia is a whacked out central nervous system!

Ok, I like what the journal article had to say, and yes, those are undoubtedly underlying issues. It still doesn’t explain why MOST of the population doesn’t have this disease, then!?!? Who doesn’t live with daily stressors? Why more women than men? Why? But, in theory, I agree with their description of possible underlying causes. (They are doctors reporting this stuff, after all.)

So whether our fibromyalgia was caused by trauma; physical and/or mental. A virus, infection, stress, or even if there is a genetic component we still haven’t looked at, the sympathetic nervous system went into overdrive and caused our central nervous system to go nuts. The fight or flight messages cause pain signals to continually fire! Our brain sends these pain signals to our bodies. All day long. There is also the freeze response that coincides with the flight or fight response. You can do nothing but freeze, become stuck and not be able to make decisions. This is frustrating for all, especially for the type A personalities. 

There you have my conclusion. Really, I’m just asking for more clarity and less big words! I think we have a long way to go towards defining fibromyalgia and an even longer approach to answering what types of fibromyalgia are we facing?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about what you believe is the underlying cause of your chronic disease?



  1. This post is very thought provoking! I do feel like I can pinpoint the start of my fibromyalgia pain symptoms to when I got in a car accident, but I had always been a sickly person. I have learned that MS can be triggered by a car accident as well. In fact, that is what happened to my friend. I wonder how many people in the world walk around with locked-up health bombs and don’t even know it. I also have been under significant stress from my first cry in the world. Not to get into it, but my childhood wasn’t the best. So, is this another question of nature versus nurture? If I hadn’t had the kind of childhood I had, would I have fibromyalgia? If I hadn’t gotten into that car accident, would I have ever experienced the pain that I am in every day? It is certainly interesting to think about, but I no one really knows. Maybe someday they will, but, for now, I would prefer to go with just remembering that my body’s nervous system at some point decided to go into overdrive. Is it normal? No. Can it be managed? Sometimes. What is the most healing to me is that it is okay that my body is not perfect. I am still worthy of love and respect, and that is a beautiful thing. I don’t have to be perfect at my life. I can just be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Elisabeth! I thank you for sharing your thoughts. Great ideas and yes, the nervous system in overdrive is where we end up. There are still so many unknowns. And you are on point! You deserve love and respect and striving for the perfect life is just not what it’s about. Thank you! ~Kim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know little about fybromyalgia, though I am learning more, but I agree; how many people, in high places down to the poorest refugee should all have it according to that theory. A doctor friend said the jury was still out on Fybro, but she herself has two previously unrecognised conditions, so of course had every sympathy. Those Victorian ladies we read about who languished on couches and were accepted as having frail health, probably had the various chronic conditions now being recognised.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I must admit I didn’t much like the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health proposal. It reads to me more like it’s a psychological thing, that we experience some form of physical or mental stress and then we perpetuate it, almost as if it’s ‘all in our heads’. I understand that stress in itself can cause a whole heap of problems, so perhaps it’s the way they’ve come across in their writing. I agree with the nervous and immune system being overwhelmed, whacked out, with things going haywire. I’d also wonder whether various imbalances, changes to structures (including neuronal, pain receptors etc), come into play to cause the resulting symptoms we face. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree, there is something off-putting about their delivery. I find for a medical journal it reads more like an opinion piece. But… it is a start. A rather presumptuous one, but a start. We obviously have no idea what fibromyalgia is and how or why it affects each of us so differently and so severely!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Casey! I am so sorry to hear of your back disease combined with fibro. It does seem that one trauma – for me it was a car accident – releases fibro. I just wish we could pinpoint why? But we are moving in that direction, slowly but surely. Thanks for sharing. ~Kim

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.