What causes fibromyalgia?

Ok so I know nobody knows a definitive answer to that question, but I just wondered if people remember anything significant around the time they got ill?

I haven't yet had a diagnosis and the only test that keeps coming back positive is the ana test, but I went to India in November, caught a bad stomach. Uh and have not been the same since :-s

26 Replies

  • Some say a bad trauma can trigger it. An op or accident or maybe even your awful stomach


    You can check out fibroaction.org/ where there is heaps of useful info.

    Hugs xxxx

  • Hi Natal! I am sure lots of members and the team will comment on this one about what they think caused their Fibro - here's some info on possible causes on our main site, please click on the link below -


  • I think Pinkpigs post and mine crossed over lol! ;)

  • Great minds think alike ;-)

  • Lol! ;)

  • For me I can pinpoint it to within months of a disastrous op for endometriosis in my early 20s recovered badly from that and then I was diagnosed with fibro less than a year later

  • I've traced the possible trigger of mine .around 2 years ago I was on holiday with my 2 children.I had to come home halfway as my brother died & my mum had a hip replacement in the same week.A few weeks later I had what I thought was flu .I was in bed for a week and really poorly.shortly after this I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism which is often linked with fibromyalgia.And then I got the fibro diagnosed in July of this year.I think it all started after the stress & the 'flu',

  • Mine started with the breakdown of my marriage, after 9 wonderful yrs of married life everything that could go wrong went wrong in the 10th yr. After spending yr arguing we decided 2 call it a day. I still remember sitting in friends house with few other friends having quiet drink and talking bout my marriage falling apart and not being able 2 do anything bout it when I took sharp pain in my left shoulder. Remember sayng i feel like someones just stuck red hot knife through my shoulder and thats what my fibro feels like. That was 17 yrs ago and its just got worse since then. They say its usually triggered by trauma, illness r severe stress in ur life.

    Gentle hugs Michele

  • My CFS was triggered by my strokes (that qualifies as a trauma I think) and the Fibro has developed over 2012 as pain has begun to rule my life almost as much as the fatigue. I've no idea what triggered Fibro as such.

    Julie xx

  • Hi -- I believe that we are probably born with it --- something in our genes! -- then a series of stressful events triggers it off -- maybe an operation, a bad illness, a death of a relative, etc -- which we find difficult to deal with. I started with IBS at 20yrs old when at university although I had what they described as "growing pains" in my legs as a child. I have always found "stressful" situations hard to deal with and have always had a very sensitive personality (the slightest thing upsets me) -- so I believe the "signs" have always been there! Then 5 years ago my father died and we moved house (over 160 miles) and then the symptoms became really "obvious" and I got the diagnosis. :) xx

  • I have had my share of problems for about 19 yrs but it became much more of a problem after I had decompression surgery on my right shoulder. Pain, aching and tiredness has just been getting worse since then.

  • I think an attack of meningitis started my fibro, when I was 34 years old.

    After that, I was always tired and achey, and blamed myself for being lazy as I couldn't get a normal amount of work done no matter how hard I tried.

    Other people seemed to find it useful to blame me for tasks not completed, but I got wise to that one!

    It seems a common denominator that some severe shock or illness precipitates fibromyalgia, and it doesn't go away! I'm 64 now, and still have symptoms, though as I'm retired I don't have to work hard anymore and that's a help.

    Unfortunately, I now have rheumatoid disease as well, but that's another story.

  • I too can more or less trace my Fibro symptoms to meningitis when I was 47. I just seemed to be so constantly tired as if my brian had been sucked out. That was after I could actually walk properly again! That was all 14 years ago and although the daily tiredness eased, if I got too tired I would feel brain dead and also fall over. I still do now when I get over tired by about 6 in the evening. It was after this that the pains in my joints got worse and RA was diognosed. This has since been finally diognosed as Fibro in June 2011. I posted an answer to a blog at the weekend. I read an American article soon after I was diognosed, which said that this particular research found that brian trauma or injury played a significant part in the development of FM. I have since seen several on here who have mentioned meningitis, strokes or whiplash from car accidents. It does all make sense. now all we need is some research to find out what you can do to reverse it!!! xx

  • Yes suejayyay and ladymoth, I too had meningitis 11 yrs ago. Was very unwell for almost two years after, lost a massive amount of weight as couldnt eat without feeling nausea. Doctor diagnosed me with ME and started me on medications. A few years went by and I noticed it wasnt just the sickness and tiredness I was suffering but had also developed severe chronic pain and it was getting worse and and worse as the months went bye.

    Then one day went to see doctor again, only this time it was not my regular doctor but a temporary replacement while my own doctor was away.

    Well to cut a long story short, she started looking on screen going through my files when she said, ' I see you suffer from fibro and ME' !!

    I was shocked as this was the first time this had been mentioned, thought I only had ME. Was left very confused.

    I myself have learned by the telltale signs of my own body what the difference is. Fibro is an extremly painful and debilitating illness, whereas ME is fatigue.

    I too believe fibro is definately a chronic painful illness that is caused from having a serious illness or severe car crash but just wish the professionals would admit it to us and give us the correct answers to our illness. x

  • I had a hip op in 2004 for hip dysplacia and also a back laminectomy in 2006 which since the hip op have suffered from severe sciatica down my legs and also constant back pain. not walking properly affected my spine so now i also have spondyliosis. i am sure the hip op started mine off. finding working very hard, but luckily working from home helps. i get terrible fibro fog too.

  • Mine started after I had shingles, twice in 3 months. It left me with CFS and I never got over that. So now it's called fibro, but I don't think there's much difference between them all, CFS, ME, an Fibro.

  • Hello - sadly nobody really knows the cause of fibro. My own thoughts are

    that stress is a big factor. I had polymyalgia 10 years ago and spent 1 year

    in bed and on steroids! Scientists are now investigating the possibility of it being a central nervous issue - but I still think stress is the kick-off factor.

    Good luck & hugs

  • I've probably always had fibro, I believe my Mum had it, although she was told it was all in her head, and my Grandmother had fibrositis. I've had minor problems all my life but they first got worse after having glandular fever, was really bad when I was pregnant and got worse still when my son and I ended up in a women's refuge. I guess things could have been made worse by the stress I was under - it was our third refuge in about 6 weeks and in another part of the country many miles from home.

  • I have often wondered what triggers fibro I thought mine was caused by chemotherapy or my road accident?! However after doing a bit of research as we all do I came across this theory and it makes for very interesting reading?

    It is a bit heavy but if you read between the lines it becomes very plausible, happy reading

    And it will certainly make you think!....................


    Soft hugs to all x

  • Had a look at your attachment and it is really interesting and yes does answer alot of unanswered questions for me. Thank you x

  • I forgot to add.....brain fog!..... Do try and read page 1 and 2 the article makes for very fascinating reading ! And quite an eye opener! Xx

  • Woweee thanks guys, so many interesting theories but the general theme does seem to be that an illness or stress can cause it. This too would make perfect sense in my own situation. I really hope doctors keep searching for the answers.

  • Hi natal,

    I just deleted an enormous message explaining how I believe the medium strength viruses I had all last year after a severe throat and chest infection, caused my fibromyalgia, of coursed I had to explain all about my ill health, so I even bored myself and thought it was better short, fond regards Claire xxx

  • Hi, I have just today finally been diagnosed with fibro but as I'm also trained in working with the interaction between the mind and the body I'll share my understanding and risk being thought arrogant (Claire!) or boring. There IS a link - between any experience like a bad fall or virus which over-whelms our body's defences or psychological trauma like abuse which overwhelms us psychologically, and fibromyalgia - because extreme stress can permanently change the bio-chemical patterns in our body. These bio-chemical 'pathways' control the way our body creates as well as responds to signals of pain. There is two way interaction between physical and emotional expriences - as a personal example, I exerienced emotional trauma in childhood which affects the way I experienced my life as an adult. For many years I was physically ok apart from recurrent chest and throat infections (unable to talk) but experienced psychological effects such as depression. After a long period of therapy the depression eased and instead I began getting physical symptoms which flare up whenever I'm physically or emotionally stressed. The fibro only first flared up fully after a traumatic fall in which I fell 7ft head first down our terraced garden, bounced onto the wall and splattered onto the path below! The fall left me with a conscious fear death but as I cannot control dying I began instead of experiencing anxiety to develop allergies for the first time in my life. These included sore itchy eyes for months, hay fever, rhinitis, bodily reactions to foods, rashes, sleep disorder, IBS and now fibro. As all experience subtly alters our bio-chemical balance which controls all our physical and emotional experiences - in a way they are inseperable, the only difference is whether the bio-chemical starts with the body or starts with a mental process - any experience that overwhelms our body's stability (think immune system / emotional security) can result in changes which leave the body (us) unable to cope with everyday demands. Sorry if it sounds too informative, I don't mean to be arrogant but it's just that I've found that understanding the world helps me cope better with it! xx

  • Mine was triggered after being in pain too long after 3 accidents when I injured my spine each time, undiagnosed fracture of the spine after a work accident and 2 motorcycle accidents, I was 19 then and been in serious pain since then, 47 now, I'm no longer allowed spinal injections either steroid lumber puncture or nerve shots as they reckon I've had too many. I may have a slight spinal defect too as my father was born with Spina bifida and there was talk of me having spina bifida occulta which is fairly common when a parent has SP.

  • When I was diagnosed my Rheumy said it was a knock on from the long term back problems I have. 15+ years disc problems due to twisting spine including 2 ops x