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Fibromyalgia And Sleep


Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Sleeping Well Can Lead to Pain Relief

Fibromyalgia (FM) has frustrated physicians and sufferers alike due to its variety of symptoms and corresponding plethora of treatment options, which often have a variable success in reducing pain long term. There are no specific laboratory tests that will conclusively detect fibromyalgia, therefore a high index of suspicion and relying on the patient’s history and physical examination is key to a proper diagnosis.

Dr. Ben Taimoorazy of Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute describes a new theory about what might trigger some patients that are prone to fibromyalgia to become symptomatic, along with one of the latest treatment protocols that seem to have good success in decreasing the general pain FM sufferers face. Interestingly enough, one new strategy focuses on consistently getting a good night’s sleep.

Sleep is often undervalued as a component of good health. Certainly a sense of tiredness and sluggishness can be blamed on lack of sleep, but extended periods of poor sleep can be significantly detrimental to overall health. Poor sleep patterns can be caused by many different kinds of disturbances, everything from pets in the bedroom to acid reflux to physical exhaustion (exhaustion does not equal sleepiness, especially if the brain and body are over stimulated). Jet lag, inconsistent work/sleep occurrences, illness and pain, and a host of other maladies and life events (ask any parent of a newborn) can also wreak havoc on sleep patterns.

Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Sleep generally happens in 90-minute cycles made up of the four stages of nonREM sleep and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. According to information from the National Sleep Foundation, interruptions during stages 3 and 4 of nonREM sleep—the stages in which the most restorative action takes place—not only alter the body’s circadian rhythm, but also affect the production and secretion of various hormone

Dr. Taimoorazy adds, “Some female hormones and insulin-like growth hormone are only secreted during certain stages of sleep. If sleep is consistently disturbed by conditions such as sleep apnea or other factors, the hormones that are important to the body’s peripheral and central sensitization to pain are affected.”

“This altered hormone level gives the patient an altered perception of pain-things that may not be painful to other people are painful to them because they have a predisposition to pain or heightened sensitivity caused in part by sleep disturbances and resulting hormone imbalances,” continues Dr. Taimoorazy. The fact that female hormones are affected makes sense, as women are five times more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia than men.

Fibromyalgia sufferers get caught in a deteriorating cycle of pain causing sleeplessness causing increased pain sensitization. Studies showing a link to deep-sleep deprivation and increased pain sensitization add credence to the theory that fibromyalgia and good sleep are inversely related.

“The good news,” says Dr. Taimoorazy, “is that disorders such as sleep apnea and other sleep disturbances are highly treatable. Many fibromyalgia patients experience a significant decrease in pain once they start getting good amounts of healthy, restorative sleep on a consistent basis.”

For more information about Fibromyalgia, you may contact your local sub-specialized physician Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy at Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute, Located in Beverly Hills

Please also visit, Fibromyalgia – Pain Syndrome

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