Fibromyalgia News

Browse our library of news below or learn more about fibromyalgia symptoms, diagnosis and causes.

Coenzyme Q10 supplements reduce fibromyalgia symptoms

Coenzyme Q10 CapsulesThe first study to look at the effectiveness of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplements in the treatment of fibromyalgia has had positive results and implicates oxidative stress as a contributing factor in the pain syndrome.

Supplementation with CoQ10 effectively raised blood levels of this vital substance in fibromyalgia patients, reduced oxidative stress, and brought clinical improvement in symptoms including fatigue, pain and migraines.

CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant and plays a key role in energy metabolism by acting as an electron carrier in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. It has been recommended to patients suffering from fibromyalgia by specialist doctors and nutritionists for many years and sufferers have also frequently self-treated with the supplement. With strong anecdotal evidence and logical rationale for its use it is perhaps surprising that no formal studies of CoQ10 as a treatment for fibromyalgia have been undertaken, until now.

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Sleep problems linked to fibromyalgia risk

Woman in bed unable to sleepA groundbreaking new study has found that women with no history of fibromyalgia are at greater risk of developing the chronic and debilitating musculoskeletal pain disorder if they suffer from sleep problems.

Sleep disorders and poor quality sleep have been associated with increased risk for other chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease in previous studies, but this is the first to look for any link with fibromyalgia.

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, report in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism that fibromyalgia risk is five times higher in women older than age 45 years who report "often" or "always" having sleep problems compared with women who regularly enjoy a good night's sleep. The scientists say the risk is greater the worse the sleep problems are and that the association is stronger among middle-aged and older women than among younger women.

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Fibromyalgia pain eased by yoga


Hatha YogaA recent study has shown that practising yoga boosts levels of stress-busting hormones and reduces both the physical and psychological symptoms of pain in women with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia, which predominantly affects women, is characterised by chronic pain and fatigue with pain focused at tender points spread around the body; other common symptoms include muscle stiffness, sleep disturbances, cognitive difficulties (known colloquially as "brain fog"), anxiety and depression, and digestive upset - many sufferers are also diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

As in the related condition chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), numerous studies have shown that fibromyalgia patients have lower than normal levels of the hormone cortisol which helps the body cope with stressful situations, including pain. There is also evidence in both fibromyalgia and ME/CFS that this lack of cortisol is the result of faulty signals from the hypothalamus, the central control structure in the brain that signals the adrenal glands to produce and secrete cortisol and other stress hormones. This latest study conucted by researchers at York University, Toronto, Canada, is first to look at the effects of yoga on cortisol levels in women with fibromyalgia.

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Fibromyalgia pain helped by treatment of myofascial trigger points


Massage for back painA new study demonstrates that people who suffer from both fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome may see improvments in the pain associated with the former when the trigger points of the latter are treated.

Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) are distinct conditions but both exhibit chronic pain as the primary symptom. The major distinction is that the pain of fibromyalgia is widespread and non-specific while MPS involves regional pain and taut muscle groups associated with well-defined trigger points.

Fibromyalgia does involve specific regions of tenderness in the soft tissues known as tender points but they are spread widely over the body rather than being regional as are the trigger points in MPS. Additionally, the trigger points in MPS have a "nodular" texture whereas tender points do not and their severity is reportedly subjectively by the fibromyalgia patient. It has generally been thought that these two condtiions required treatment approaches but new research suggests what benefits MPS may also reduce the severity of fibromyalgia pain.

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Weather and vitamin D deficiency linked to fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain


Beautiful sunsetA new study from Pakistan finds alarming levels of vitamin D deficiency among women with fibromyalgia while British researchers link incidence of pain to the weather.

Vitamin D has become the focus of much study in recent years as researchers have found it to influence health far beyond its well known benefits to calcium metabolism and bone growth and health. Pain is one area where vitamin D appears to be important with lower intakes and blood levels tending to be associated with more ferequent and severe pain.

Fibromyalgia is a relatively common but poorly understood condition characterised by chronic pain, which is widespread but focused at numerous 'tender points' around the body. Current estimates suggest that in the US between 1% and 2% of the population are diagnosed with fibromyalgia with 90% of sufferers being women.

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