What is Fibromyalgia?
Chronic pain, fatigue, torturous insomnia, and sensitivity to pain all form characteristics of fibromyalgia.
This chronic condition has a personal impact on your mental health and can cause grave emotional distress.
It comes as no surprise that anyone would feel irritable or moody when living under so much continuous nonstop pain every day.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The exact root cause of fibromyalgia remains a mystery. Some health experts have speculated that the disease can be triggered by certain external factors, such as a viral infection, giving birth, or a physical injury.
There may be other critical factors such as recent surgery or procedure. Some other causes may be internal as well.
Internal Factors and Symptoms
Other root cause theories hinge on emotional distress and trauma, which are both said to trigger an initial flare-up. But those and other reasons as to its origins are only educated guesswork.
There are inner issues that suggest its connection to insomnia, muscle and joint pain. Another phenomenon to explore is a possible connection to an imbalance in your body temperature.
A Possible Link to Body Temperature?
Fibromyalgia may impact your body temperature and cause sensitivity to hot or cold climates, making you feel extreme heat or extreme cold. This is known as dysregulation, and it can have an impact on your response to weather changes.
Why Would it Impact Your Body Temperature Response?
There are some clues that suggest why fibromyalgia affects your body’s response to changes in climate.
Pain is often felt in moderate climates, and that means that you may feel a searing pain triggered by direct sunlight on your skin. Winter may trigger muscle and bone aches as well.
Here’s an interesting fact: Researchers have discovered that the secret is in the blood vessels. There are special nerves located within them that can detect atmospheric changes in heat or cold.
These are known as arteriole venule (AV) shunts, which can pick up this critical information in an effort to control the traffic in your bloodstream.
Dealing With a System That’s Much Too Sensitive
The same studies yielded another interesting fact about temperature sensitivity in those with fibromyalgia.
The condition has a feature that includes an extra set of these AV shunts, which triggers an intense overreaction to these stimuli. Perhaps this is a reason for the body’s hypersensitive response to fibromyalgia.
It’s Not in Your Head After All
If your body is feeling tender and extra sensitive, it’s not your imagination. New medical information is on the rise regarding fibromyalgia and its connection to having too many nerves.
In fact, the excess amount of nerves in your body are now said to be responsible for the extra pain in your body as well as the improper regulation of blood flow. From all manner of current evidence, there could be a connection between the two functions.
What’s the Link?
Our circulatory system is a complex network of veins, vessels, and valves. There are two types of valves that come to mind: the arterioles and the venules.
These opposites are linked by the arteriole venule (AV) valve, which is the valve that moderates the ebb and flow of your bloodstream.
AV Shunts and Blood Flow
AV shunts behave as moderators which control the flow of blood in response to climate fluctuations.
In colder weather, it explains why our cheeks may turn red or our hands and fingers might become red and swollen during the wintertime.
This has to do with the shunts giving the command to keep the blood supply going at top speed just to keep you nice and warm.
More Input Equals More Output
If you consider the sensitivities you feel with fibromyalgia, it should come as no surprise that more input equals more output.
It’s all a simple fact of your body’s extra nerves that act as couriers who deliver important messages about you and your environment.
These extra nerves are working overtime by running constantly to the AVS in response to heat, cold, and pain.
Dysregulation and Uneven Flow
A flow gone haywire heightens your internal response to temperature fluctuations as your system struggles to keep you safe. Yet the speculation remains: could this unbalanced blood flow be responsible for the physical pain as well as a heightened sensitivity to climate changes?
What’s the Scoop?
There may be a link between pain intolerance and internal responses to climate conditions.
With fibromyalgia, this dysregulation is the system’s failure to properly redirect the flow of blood, which means that all senses are heightened within.
You start feeling more pain and weakness, such as the burning sensation you get from the sun in the summertime.
Chemical Blocks in the Blood Stream
Certain chemicals within your bloodstream will build up over time when the flow is uneven.
One of those chemicals is lactic acid, which is the reason for the burning pain you might feel when the sun hits your skin.
This same buildup could be a large part of why you experience muscle pain in any part of your body.
Other Chemical Issues
Serotonin may also have a vital role in regulating blood flow in your body. Low serotonin levels could impair blood flow in situations where there are narrowed blood vessels.
Your cells get hungry and cannot function because they’re being denied access to vital fuels such as oxygen. Therefore, they run on an empty stomach and are unable to perform at an optimal level.
Uneven Flow Described
Fibromyalgia symptoms appear to be traced to an uneven flow of blood in the stream. In some areas, there is too much of a flow, while in others, there is simply not enough.
Excessive blood flow has a direct correlation to blood vessels that dilate and are not properly regulated by critical factors.
Is Serotonin Connected to Body Temperature?
It should come as no surprise that there is an actual connection between serotonin and body temperature.
In fact, there has been recent evidence that points to the idea that serotonin controls your body temperature, which explains why this deficiency results in a lack of balance and stability in that area.
Hence the sensitivity to heat and cold in those who have fibromyalgia.
Dysautonomia: Another Reason You May Be Slow to Warm Up
Dysautonomia is the part of the condition of fibromyalgia where your autonomic nervous system is out of balance.
This means that ordinary functions like your heart, digestive system, and body temperature each lack the regulation needed for normal functioning.
With your body temperature, it simply means that you feel cold more than others and are slow to warm up.
You will have trouble all year round even in air-conditioned climates, and that can be a source of concern if your work environment shares office space with others.
Conclusion: Treatment Options
Your treatment options may vary according to the severity of your condition.
Although there are FDA-approved drug treatment options available for fibromyalgia, they can be successfully combined with holistic measures such as warm baths, hot beverages, and layering your clothes without overdoing it.
Remember that your body will react strongly to both extremes. Your doctor can discuss ways to protect yourself so that you can keep warm without getting overheated.