Virus and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by chronic widespread pain lasting for a minimum of three months, and pain at mechanical pressure in at least 11 of the 18 tender points. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Several hypotheses have been developed including "central sensitization". This theory proposes that fibromyalgia patients have a lower threshold for pain because of increased reactivity of pain sensitive neurons in the spinal cord or brain. Some researchers supposed that different neurotransmitters (serotonin, catecholamine) could be involved in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia-associated symptoms. The connection of FM to different viral infections has been proposed. Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) has been considered a possible cause of FM because of similarity of symptoms, but so far, the connection has not been proven. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of antibodies (Abs) IgM and IgG against EBV, and respectively the presence of a viral infection in a group of patients with FM. We also analysed the association between the titter of the antiviral antibodies, some neurotransmitters (serotonin, noradrenaline and adrenaline) and different clinical symptoms. The obtained results revealed that high EBV IgG concentrations in the serum of patients with FM correlated with pain intensity and associated clinical symptoms. This is consistent with the fact that FM is connected to the immune response to certain infectious agents (e.g. EBV, CMV).

12 Replies

  • Thankyou for this information, an interesting read. Lou

  • Interesting post ,thank you

    Shadow X

  • Thank you so much for sharing this it was exceedingly interesting. I was reading somewhere earlier that there are now 21 pressure points? Sorry, I cannot remember for the life of me where I had read this though?

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • I read that it is possible to have more than whats listed. Both sian and i seem to have 2 extra.

    Top outside of our arms,about a hands width down from our shoulders.

    Just the place where pokey people like to poke you to get your attention.

    ouuuch it sure does get my attention. :P

  • Yes, I still cannot remember where I was reading this? It was on a research site (published paper) but can't remember for the life of me which one? x :)

  • I am just the same wondered why I always seemed to be tender there when I wash myself in the shower or put body lotion on over those two areas.x

  • I got those places and after the pokey peeps poke it hurts for ages after .x

  • My symptoms came in on then back of a bad viral infection in 1997 (including head to toe strawberry rash) and sustained period of stress. This kicked off what they diagnosed was viral arthritis. After 6 months of initial NSAIDs which eventually got my ESR levels moderately stable, my rheumatologist realised it wasn't going away. He went to second line defence medications which did nothing to alleviate the pain and swelling any further. For years, I was miserable with pain while trying to hold down a quite a stressful fulltime job. The RA is still there. Without Naproxen, I seize up.

    It took 10 further years of trial and error to diagnose FMS as the "companion" condition to the RA. Since then, the painkiller cocktail has been added to and tweaked quite regularly, resulting in all sorts of side effects and weight gain. On the rare occasions I get a cold virus, the symptoms are exacerbated.

    To this day, I blame that original viral infection for kickstarting this whole pain process. Am not sure I agree with the notion that FMS sufferers have a lower pain threshhold. The pain is very real and constant. It shoots out from my solar plexus like a starburst and radiates in every direction. That is not normal, surely?

  • I agree that it's doubtful fibromites in general have a low pain threshold.

    Sometime this year I dropped a sledgehammer on my foot causing bruising on the whole of my upper foot. Generally I have pain in my toes and the area where my toes join my foot. One of my carers was concerned that I had broken something. It actually didn't hurt from the initial impact through to the bruise going after three weeks.

    A very long winded way of saying that ' I didn't feel pain after dropping a sledgehammer on my foot'.

  • Interestingly Ive had fibromyalgia since being exposed to EBV which I believe I had caught as a staff nurse in Intensive care with a tracheostomy patient. But drs in the u.k don't tend to frequently test for ESR levels routinely (which mine were raised!) but use the CRP levels instead. Maybe we all have more in common than we thought!

  • Good morning everyone, From what I have read over the years about fibro and low threshold pain which I have to say I seriously do have. May be due to what Doctors say is due to or may be due to what is called the pain gate. If you have not heard of it before you may find it interesting.

    The gist of it is. Normal healthy folks may for example burn themselves. There pain gate which we all have will open to allow the brain to know we are in pain. When this pain subsides the gate will close so we no longer feel the pain.

    It is believed those with fibro thier pain gate remains open it never closes hence we feel continues pain.

    All so imo this is just one of the reasons pain medications don't work on fibro related problems. They are percieved pain that continues long after the trauma.

    If you take the poor guy who may have had his leg amputated from the knee. He will tell you he feels the pain so bad in that lower part of his leg. But there is no leg for him to feel pain in. So how would taking pain pills stop his pain. It surely can't it's not real it's percieved.

    Again only my opinion but untill someone learns to close our pain gate whatever may have jammed it open in the first place this could have been by any kind of trauma physical or mental we may always feel some kind of pain.

    We all have our own thoughts and theory on fibro pain I just wanted to share mine thank you.

    I would just like to finish by saying this is the reason after 30yrs of struggle and am now a wheel chair user I do not take fibro medication for me it never helped so did not see the point of damaging my body any further.

    But I would never put anyone off trying anything it may work for you. who knows you have nothing to lose by giving ita go.

    Love Mo

  • I found this very interesting. I'm convinced mine started after a really bad sinus infection that went on and on, needing many courses of antibiotic to clear. I then developed asthma and chest infections, so more antibiotics. I suppose for six months I was ill. I never really recovered, I just stayed with acute tiredness and aches and pains. Eventually they diagnosed fibromyalgia, only after finding my B12 was drastically low too. So both illnesses followed on from the initial spell of bad health. MariLiz

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