Why Fatigue?

I have been researching Fibro and have learned that Fibro was officialy reconiged as a real condition from MRI scans that proved that people with Fibro symtoms have less Dophomine in their brain.

In the test the did, normal people released Dophomine telling the brain to ignore light pain and even day to day activities.

People with Fibro showed little or no Dophomine when they did these test.

Ok, that makes sense to me, but what I don't understand is why we have so much fatigue.

I can only be active away from home for 2 to 3 hours. Then I have to go home and rest. Sometime the fatigue last till the next day.

Does anyone have any info on why we have pain and fatigue?

22 Replies

  • Hi Mark, thank you for bringing this into my thought pattern, it has made me think and will be off to do a tad of research.

    In simple terms I've always thought of it as a chicken or egg situation, each impacting on the other. Before I had to give up work, I started at 8.00 and then had a break at 10.30 then from 11.00 until 1.00 at that point three was nothing I could do bur crawl straight back to bed and normally remained there until 4 - 5 before I could face the world again. If I had something I had to do, say the dentist, I would try and make the appointment for about 3pm so that I could get an hour and a half of kippette before I had to go out to do anything. I would then again be shattered but for many years I could never drop off on the sofa or anywhere else but my bed, nowadays that has changes and I find myself falling asleep sitting cushioned on my bean back, then I wake up and getting back to sleep then is a battle royal.

    As I said I am going to do a bit of research on this as it does impact on me every single day, although now I am not able to work I do try to pace myself, but it doesn't always work and it's never constant, one day I have somewhat more energy than others and then feel shattered, others if I do well I just feel slightly tired. I must say however that during the winter this is all much more apparent and my lack of energy increases hugely from Nov through to March.

    Thank you again for bringing this interesting subject to the forum :-)

    Foggy x

  • Hi Foggy, my story is I had horrible insomnia. Had to take naps at lunch. It was like my body clock was all messed up. This caused me a lot of mental and physical stress. A few months later I started having body ached and later the fatigue set in. I is now so bad I can no longer work either.

    I don't know if my insomnia changed my brain chemistry or not. But it just seems odd that with Fibro we have pain and fatigue. Let me know if you learn something that ties them together.

    Have a great day


  • I think Emma has put up a very good link and I am learning a lot from it, so I hope you may well benefit too, "killing two birds with one stone"

    as the saying goes..... or does it......gadzooks the fogginess is thick here today ;-)

    Foggy x

  • I have read that we get energy from food and the oxygen that we breath in. In the article that I read it says that although we are getting lots of oxygen into the blood for some reason the muscles are not converting it into energy.

    How accurate this is i dont know, but it makes sense to me.

    Sue xx

  • Hi Sue, maybe if the muscles are not converting oxygen into energy as it should, that might cause body aches and fatigue. However, I wonder how that would tie in to the lack of Dopamine in our brain.

    Good point though.


  • ‘Mitochondria, not hypochondria’ a book by Dr Sarah Myhill may have pointers for fatigue research relating how energy is converted another area that interests me is average blood volume - with lower blood volume (average of 70% of normal in most CFS cases) less energy can be carried.

    Good Luck

  • Hello Mark5177,

    As others mention, it is a very interesting question!

    Research currently points to the disturbance in the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) as discussed below and the neurotransmitter imbalance (one of which Dopamine) may be responsible for related hormones deficit that may then affect ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) production.

    Dysregulation of the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, which is a complex set of interactions between the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal gland. The HPA axis controls reactions to stress and regulates various body processes including digestion, the immune system, mood, and energy usage (Lindsey Middlemiss Founder & Chair of FibroAction 2009)

    A passage that may be interest in the following article on page 1 starting with 'The major factors' ending 'following exercise & exertion' link below.


    ATP is the basic unit of energy and research below has discussed the low levels found in platelets of people with Fibromyalgia, see link below;


    Without my FibroAction hat on I have personally also read similarly as M.E that the ATP synthesis (ie cycle) is not functioning correctly and whereas healthy people the cycle starts again to produce ATP, people with Fibro the cycle stops.

    Here is a link to another article which may also be of interest


    It is a very interesting subject and research is ongoing but I hope I have tried to outline the current findings i've read recently.

    Best Wishes

    Emma :)

    FibroAction Administrator

  • Thanks for the links Emma. I will definitely take a look at the information. With all this information and proof that Fibro is a real condition, I just wish there was an easy way to prove a person has it. I live in the US an trying to get Social Security benefits, but of course all the doctors can't find anything wrong to show that I have chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Do I have to get an MRI to prove I have Fibro?

  • Thanks Emma. it is a subject that i find facinating and always look up anything new

    Hugs sue xx

  • Thanks from me too Emma, it makes very interesting reading indeed. I must say, even prior to the onset of Fibro I always suffered with chronic insomnia and horrid, horrid nightmares, again may have been cause and effect. Not being able to sleep maybe once or twice and then associating the going to sleep with nightmares and then at 17 Fibro kicking to the equation. I will look very closely into this thank you :-)

    Foggy x

  • Hi foggy, very interesting thread, I was struck by your mention of nightmares as I too have had extreme nightmares and very vivid dreams that are hard to shake off next day all my life. When I was 14 my parents turned the dining room into a bedroom and made me sleep downstairs so as not to disturb everyone else with my shouting and screaming. I just wondeed if this is common in fibromites ? I have read ofothers in same situation.

  • Golly wow Shazzy, I wouldn't like to be categoric about the links with Fibro, but certainly being treated in such a way would have done nothing at all for you, albeit subconsciously, you will have been, in my very humble opinion, effected by such a behaviour.

    Were you happy with the new sleeping arrangements? Did it make you feel alientated by your parents and the rest of your family?

    Could you ever message me in PM and we can talk about this further

    Sending lots of positive and very concerned positive vibes your way.

    Foggy x

  • I have had insomnia in the past and still have sleep problems including nightmares and my GP referred me to sleep clinic. I had to wear a monitor to bed and am waiting to hear about the results. Another GP told me fibro comes from not getting enough of the right kind of sleep (mending sleep she called it) though I dont know where she got this info from and why she then wanted to give me anti depressants when Im not depressed. I think sleep problems is where the fatigue and brain fog comes from but not sure why the pain? Hugs to everyone. Joolz.x

  • Hi Mark5177

    I sincerely hope that you are feeling well today? Thank you for such an interesting post, it requires a lot of reading and study on my behalf to come up to speed with any theories on this.

    I shall begin in earnest!

    Take care


  • I know when I did some reading on the subject I learned that we actually lack more than Dophomine. I wonder why we went through life producing okay and then slowly stop??? xxx Mitzi

  • Mitz it says you were her 3 mins ago I'm here honey xxx

  • Good question. For myself, I wonder if my insomnia and lack of sleep by forcing myself to go to work had anything to do with it. Did you ever have insomnia?

    Heck, it could be due to just everyday stress.


  • Oh yes sweetheart. Still do. I no longer work but many nights I can't sleep to save me. It's so frustrating as it only makes the fatigue so much worse. xxxx Mitzi

  • I'm exactly the same way. I used to joke the my body clock is set for 28 hours, not 24. So even if I could go back to work I could not keep it because I could not keep the hours. I even had a sleep study done but they found nothing wrong. But the doctor told me that without enough sleep, the body will shut down and force you to sleep. That not so thin I want to happen while on the freeway. I fought my sleep so many time coming home from work that I realized it was too dangerous for me to drive in that condition. But the company doesn't care. They just want. You there on time an to put in your hours.

  • I totally understand. Now when I feel sleepy if I don't go to bed I'm up all night. So I try to do what my body tells me but it really stinks when you would like to stay up a bit longer. I really wish they could find some way to make us better. Hope you slept well sweetheart!!! xxx Mitzi

  • I'm exactly the same way. We need more money for research. I guarantee if the had Fibro and knew what we go through, we would get the funds.

    Take care,


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