Another Piece Found To The Fibromyalgia Puzzle

The National Biotechnology Information Center (NBIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently released new findings that could offer peace of mind, validation, and answers to the millions who suffer with Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia – an “invisible illness” characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues – can be an extremely painful and debilitating illness. Often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and written off as psychosomatic, fibromyalgia has perplexed the medical community while maintaining its position as the second most common ailment affecting the musculoskeletal system after osteoarthritis.

Approximately one in 50 Americans are estimated to have fibromyalgia, or between 3 and 6 million people in the U.S. Although similar and consistent across the suffering population, the symptoms have remained mostly self-reported, subjective, and “invisible.” The difficult and complex nature of fibromyalgia often means delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, disbelief within the medical community/family/friends, and a struggle to treat the illness effectively. On top of dealing with a complicated illness, you might also find yourself battling with insurance companies when seeking disability benefits. This is precisely why the new findings on causative pathology (the science of cause and effect) for fibromyalgia have been recognized as such a major discovery.

Researchers have found people with fibromyalgia to have defective AV shunts (tiny muscular valves that form a direct connection between arterioles and venules), which interferes with capillary function and proper body temperature regulation. This suggests that muscle and skin tissue cannot get proper nutrition or waste drawn away. One result of defective AV shunts is a build-up of lactic acid in muscle and deeper tissue. This adversely affects the muscular system, causing pain that can seem to ‘travel’ from areas of the body one day to the next. Furthermore, these alterations in core body temperature can lead to fatigue, severe pain, and tenderness.

“In addition to involvement in temperature regulation, an enormous proportion of our blood flow normally goes to our hands and feet. Far more than is needed for their metabolism,” said researcher and neuroscientists Dr. Frank L. Rice. “As such, the hands and the feet act as a reservoir from which blood flow can be diverted to other tissues of the body, such as muscles when we begin to exercise. Therefore, the pathology discovered among these shunts in the hands could be interfering with blood flow to the muscles throughout the body. This mismanaged blood flow could be the source of muscular pain and achiness, and the sense of fatigue which are thought to be due to a build-up of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation fibromyalgia patients. This, in turn, could contribute to the hyperactvity in the brain.”

These biologically based findings offer deeper insight into the etiology and treatment options for fibromyalgia. Furthermore, findings like these confirm and support the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia, offering evidence to properly support long term disability claims for our clients.

Too see other recent medical findings on fibromyalgia click here and here.

If you or a loved one suffers with fibromyalgia and has experienced a long term disability insurance denial, contact Kantor & Kantor for legal advice.

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