Fibromyalgia (FMS)

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Autoimmune Thyroid Disease and FMS
Interstitial Cystitis
Sleep Disorders/RLS
Medical: Pain
Personal Stories

Overview: What is Fibromyalgia (FMS)?

Fibromyalgia KaleidoscopeFibromyalgia (FMS) causes chronic pain, fatigue, disturbed sleep and a myriad of other symptoms. It can occur by itself or along with other forms of arthritis, including scleroderma. Although it is never fatal, it is usually difficult to manage and can cause significant disability and disruption of quality of life.

What is Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes widespread pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Arthritis Research UK. (Also see Autoimmune Diseases)


Causal attributions of potentially traumatic life events in fibromyalgia patients. Potentially traumatic life events could remain undetected in primary healthcare consultations and hypnosis could prove a useful tool for their detection. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, 10/29/2019.

The role of human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6) and human herpes virus-7 (HHV-7) infections in the development of fibromyalgia. No difference was found between detection frequency of persistent HHV-6 and HHV-7 infection between FM patients and the control group. PubMed, J Neurovirol, 01/07/2019.

Daily Fluctuations of Progesterone and Testosterone are Associated with Fibromyalgia Pain Severity. These results suggest that progesterone and testosterone play a protective role in fibromyalgia pain severity and other hormones may serve to both increase and decrease fibromyalgia pain severity. PubMed, J Pain, 12/14/2017.

Effects of Vitamin D Therapy on Quality of Life in Patients with Fibromyalgia. Vitamin D deficiency seems to be linked to the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia and Vitamin D supplementation may improve the quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. PubMed, Eurasian J Med, 2017 Jun;49(2):113-117. (Also see Vitamin D Deficiency)

Sympathetic nervous system dysfunction in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and interstitial cystitis. Sympathetic dysfunction could be the common underlying pathogenesis that brings on these overlapping clinical features. PubMed, J Clin Rheumatol. (Also see Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Interstitial Cystitis)


Fibromyalgia symptoms or not? Understand the fibromyalgia diagnosis process. Fibromyalgia symptoms include widespread body pain, fatigue, poor sleep and mood problems. And because fibromyalgia symptoms can occur alone or along with other diseases, it can take time to tease out which symptom is caused by what problem. Mayo Clinic.

Sifting the Wheat From the Chaff? Evidence for the Existence of an Asymmetric Fibromyalgia Phenotype. Within the current FM criteria, there exist different phenotypes with clinical, psychophysics, and neurophysiological findings. PubMed, Eur J Pain, 06/13/2020.

Electrodiagnostic Abnormalities Associated with Fibromyalgia. In addition to skin punch biopsies to assess small fiber neuropathy, assessment of the anal reflex may be a useful part of the diagnostic pathway in patients with fibromyalgia. Dovepress, Journal of Pain Research, 04/09/2020.

Serum levels of serotonin as a biomarker of newly diagnosed fibromyalgia (FM) in women: Its relation to the platelet indices. This study highlighted that the correction of serum serotonin level by medicines could help the FM patients. PubMed, J Res Med Sci, 2018 Aug 23;23:71.


Alternative Therapies
Cognitive Therapy
Low Level Laser
Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
Transcranial Stimulation


Fibromyalgia Complications Fibromyalgia symptoms may come and go, but the pain syndrome can disrupt your life and is often associated with other diseases. Healthline.

Fibromyalgia (FM) as a Predictor of Increased Postoperative Complications, Readmission Rates, and Hospital Costs in Patients Undergoing Posterior Lumbar Spine Fusion. Primary 1 to 2 level lumbar fusions performed on FM patients have higher rates of postoperative anemia, pneumonia, cost of care, and readmission compared to match controls. PubMed, Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2019 Feb 15;44(4):E233-E238.

Autoimmune, Arthritis or Rheumatic

Autoimmune Diseases. Fibromyalgia may occur by itself or along with any other autoimmune, arthritis or rheumatic disorder, including scleroderma. ISN.

Inflammation is associated with pro-nociceptive brain connections in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with concomitant fibromyalgia (FM). Here we provide the first neurobiological evidence that comorbid FM in RA may be linked to peripheral inflammation through pro-nociceptive patterns of brain connectivity. PubMed, Arthritis Rheumatol, 08/05/2019. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Patients with fibromyalgia (FM) rarely fulfil classification criteria for axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). FM patients only rarely fulfil classification criteria for axSpA but some axSpA patients also fulfil FM criteria and assessment instruments evaluated in axSpA are not disease–specific. Rheumatology, 09/08/2017.

Fibromyalgia in Behçet's disease: a narrative review. PVD is a rare complication of BD and management of immunosuppressive agents may improve the prognosis and should be recommended. PubMed, Br J Pain, 2017 May;11(2):97-101. (Also see Behçet's Disease)

The problem in differentiation between psoriatic–related polyenthesitis and fibromyalgia (FMS). The unmet needs in the differentiation between FM and enthesitis in psoriatic disease patients are highlighted and critically evaluated in this article. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 04/05/2017. (Also see Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis)

Undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD), fibromyalgia and the environmental factors. Environmental factors are gaining increasing attention since the description of Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA), a syndrome that includes symptoms typically seen in patients with fibromyalgia and UCTD. PubMed, Curr Opin Rheumatol, 03/31/2017. (Also see Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease)

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease and Fibromyalgia

Hypothyroidism and Fibromyalgia — What's the Connection? It's significant that a significant number of the estimated 27 million people with hypothyroidism end up also being diagnosed with fibromyalgia as both conditions share many similar symptoms. VeryWell, 07/13/2017. (Also see Autoimmune Thyroid Disease)

Cardiac Autonomic Dysfunction

Comparison of heart rate variability (HRV) and classic autonomic testing for detection of cardiac autonomic dysfunction (CAD) in patients with fibromyalgia. HRV does not improve detection of CAD in FM patients over classic autonomic testing. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, 2018 Apr;21(4):804-812.


Prevalence of fibromyalgia among women with deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE). The estimated prevalence of fibromyalgia was higher among women with DIE and women with DIE and positive fibromyalgia screening had lower health–related quality of life. PubMed, Int J Gynaecol Obstet, 04/11/2019.


Dietary interventions in Fibromyalgia (FM): a systematic review. Well–designed studies should be performed to investigate the dietary interventions effect on FM. PubMed, Ann Med, 2019 Feb 8:1-29.

Bidirectional association between fibromyalgia (FM) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): two population–based retrospective cohort analysis. The present study suggests a bidirectional relationship between FM and GERD and there is a greater risk of developing GERD for patients with FM than developing FM for patients with GERD. PubMed, Pain, 2017 Oct;158(10):1971-1978. (Also see Reflux (Heartburn) and GERD)

Association between fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and peptic ulcer disease (PUD) development. FMS patients exhibit a higher risk of PUD than that of patients without FMS. PubMed, PLoS One, 2017 Apr 6;12(4):e0175370.

Interstitial Cystitis (Bladder) and Fibromyalgia

Interstitial Cystitis and Fibromyalgia. A subset of interstitial cystitis (IC) patients also have fibromyalgia (FM), a chronic pain disorder with a multitude of symptoms. Interstitial Cystitis Association.

Lupus and Fibromyalgia

Lupus. It is common for people with lupus (and other autoimmune diseases) to be initially diagnosed with fibromyalgia. ISN.

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-type symptoms in female patients with mild systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): frequency, related factors and quality of life. IBS-type symptoms are highly prevalent among women with SLE and are associated with fibromyalgia (FM) and depression. SLE+IBS patients had worse quality of life (HRQOL) vs Non-IBS SLE, independently of FM status. Treating IBS symptoms may improve HRQOL in women with SLE. PubMed, Neurogastroenterol Motil. (Also see Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Depression)


Risk of hearing loss (HL) in patients with fibromyalgia (FM): A nationwide population-based retrospective cohort study. Our findings support the notion that FM influences HL and is in line with the hypothesis that the FM mechanism is related to a central nervous system abnormality in sensory processing. PubMed, PLoS One, 2020 Sep 3;15(9):e0238502.

Frequency of audiological complaints in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and its relationship with oxidative stress. Patients with FMS have high levels of oxidative stress markers, highly frequent audiological symptoms with high hearing frequencies in audiometry, independent of disease severity. PubMed, Niger J Clin Pract, 2018 Oct;21(10):1271-1277. (Also see Oxidative Stress)


Aberrant salience? Brain hyperactivation in response to pain onset and offset in fibromyalgia (FM). Our results suggest that the increased sensitivity exhibited by FM patients in response to painful stimuli may reflect a more generalized hypersensitivity to salient sensory events. PubMed, Arthritis Rheumatol, 02/03/2020.

Reduction of skin innervation is associated with a severe fibromyalgia (FMS) phenotype. The extent of small fiber pathology is related to symptom severity in FMS and may have implications for the diagnostic classification and treatment of patients with FMS. PubMed, Ann Neurol, 2019 Oct;86(4):504-516.

Migraine and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia in migraine: a retrospective cohort study. Patients with comorbid fibromyalgia and migraine report more depressive symptoms, higher headache intensity, and are more likely to have severe headache related disability as compared to controls without fibromyalgia. PubMed, J Headache Pain, 2018 Jul 31;19(1):61.

Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and fibromyalgia (FMS) may be related; in fact, PMS is listed as a symptom of fibromyalgia. However, a person can have PMS without having FMS.

Sjögren's Syndrome

Prevalence and clinical impact of fibromyalgia (FM) in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS). The study showed that FM was prevalent in pSS and FM was associated with higher EULAR Sjögren's Syndrome Patient Reported Index and more severe depression. PubMed, Clin Exp Rheumatol. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Sjögren's Syndrome)

Sleep Disorders

The association between pain and sleep in fibromyalgia. Future studies should also consider mood disorders and emotional dysfunction, as comorbid conditions could occur with both pain and sleep disorder in fibromyalgia. PubMed, Saudi Med J, 2017 May;38(5):465-475. (Also see Depression)

Decrease of Serum IGF-1 Level is Not Associated With Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Fibromyalgia (FMS) Patients. In FMS patients, serum IGF-1 levels may decrease due to age and PSQI; however, this may not be related to the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. Archives of Rheumatology, 02/10/2017. (Also see Sleep Apnea and Associated Diseases)

The role of oxidative stress in the relation between fibromyalgia (FMS) and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). OSAS and FMS were highly prevalent, which indicated that oxidative stress might play a role in the pathophysiology of both diseases, especially if they co–exist in the same patient. PubMed, Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 2017 Jan;21(1):20-29. (Also see Sleep Apnea and Oxidative Stress)

Scleroderma and Fibromyalgia

About half of people with fibromyalgia have Raynaud's. Occasionally Raynaud's is secondary to connective tissue diseases, such as scleroderma. (Also see What is Scleroderma? and Raynaud's)

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and Fibromyalgia

Features of temporomandibular disorders in fibromyalgia syndrome. Facial pain was reported by 85% of the fibromyalgia group, and 77.5% were diagnosed with myofascial temporomandibular disorders TMD. ProHealth. Cranio.

Relationship Between (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FMS)

Predictors of New Onsets of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM): The Lifelines Study. The close relationship between IBS and FM is striking and requires further research. PubMed, Psychol Med, 2020 Jun 17;1-9. (Also see Bowel Dysfunction and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Information on the relationships between the rheumatological condition known as fibromyalgia, fibrositis, or FMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS, myalgic encephalitis, ME, hypometabolism and thyroid disease, including hypothyroidism. VeryWell.

Disability Information for Fibromyalgia

CFS/FMS Objective Medical Evidence Requirements for Disability Adjudication Regarding Social Security Disability in the U.S. Susan M. Daniels, Ph. D.


The relationship between body mass index and pain, disease activity, depression and anxiety in women with fibromyalgia (FMS). Obese female FMS patients had higher levels of pain, tender point count, disease activity and depression. PubMed, PeerJ, 2018 May 28;6:e4917.

The impact of thyroid autoimmunity on arterial stiffness in postmenopausal patients with fibromyalgia (FB). Age, functional status and presence of thyroidperoxidase autoantibody were significantly associated with increased arterial stiffness in postmenopausal FM patients. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, Int J Rheum Dis, 2017 Dec;20(12):1978-1986.

FMS: Psychological and Sociological Research

Outpatient Engagement Lowers Predicted Risk of Suicide Attempts in Fibromyalgia (FM). This is the first study to successfully apply machine learning to reliably detect suicidality in FM, identifying novel risk factors for suicidality and highlighting outpatient engagement as a protective factor against suicide. PubMed, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 09/07/2018. (Also see Suicide Prevention)

Paresthesia frequency in fibromyalgia and its effects on personality traits. These results suggest that psychological distress associated with high harm avoidance and low self–directedness scores are more prominent in fibromyalgia patients and especially of those who have paresthesia. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, 2018 Jul;21(7):1343-1349.

The effect of depressive symptoms on cognition in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). FM patients show a cluster of cognitive impairment in the attentional and executive domains; some of the symptoms could be explained by depression, while others seem to depend on fibromyalgia. PubMed, PLoS One, 2018 Jul 5;13(7):e0200057. (Also see Depression)

Medical Research: Pain

Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy in the treatment of pain and other symptoms in fibromyalgia: A randomized controlled study. This study demonstrated that low–energy PEMF therapy was not efficient in reducing pain and stiffness or in improving functioning in women with fibromyalgia. PubMed, Bioelectromagnetics, 04/30/2018.

Pain and emotion as predictive factors of interoception in fibromyalgia (FM). Pain–related affect and reactions in FM patients can reduce their interoceptive ability and our results help to better understand the integration between bodily signals and emotional processing in chronic pain. PubMed, J Pain Res, 2018 Apr 19;11:823-835.

Why Tai Chi Works So Well For Pain Relief. In a new study published in the BMJ, researchers report encouraging results involving one way to reduce the painful effects of fibromyalgia: with tai chi, an ancient practice originating in martial arts. Times Healthland, 03/22/2018.

Impaired Pain Modulation in Fibromyalgia Patients in Response to Social Distress Manipulation. These results are in line with previous studies demonstrating altered pain inhibition in FM patients, and suggest that being socially included may increase pain perception in them. PubMed, Clin J Pain, 2017 Jul;33(7):611-619.

Painful After–Sensations (PAS) in Fibromyalgia are Linked to Catastrophizing and Differences in Brain Response in the Medial Temporal Lobe (MTL). These results suggest that the MTL plays a role in PAS in FM patients. PubMed, J Pain, 03/11/2017.

Pain extent is associated with pain intensity but not with widespread pressure or thermal pain sensitivity in women with fibromyalgia (FMS) syndrome. Pain drawings constitute an easy and accurate approach to quantify widespread pain and larger pain extent is associated with pain intensity but not with signs of central sensitization in women with FMS. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 02/04/2017.


The National Fibromyalgia Partnership, Inc. (NFP) is the largest non-profit, membership organization for fibromyalgia (FM) in the United States. It provides medically accurate information on FM to individuals with fibromyalgia and their families, health care professionals, and the general public—both nationwide and in many other countries.

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