Fibromyalgia – Causes and Risk Factors

Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by chronic muscle pain, which might be sharper in some particular points of the body. Those areas are also sensitive to touch. Other symptoms of this disorder are often mistaken for flu signs – weakness, severe chest pain, night sweats, headache, fatigue, muscle stiffness, joint pain, and tingling in the hands and feet.

Fibromyalgia causes

Even though not all causes and risk factors have been identified yet, some of them have been proven by medical research.


One of the main causes of fibromyalgia is genetics, as the relatives of people suffering from this disease are 8,5 times more susceptible to develop it compared to the relatives of people who don’t have fibromyalgia.

Moreover, it has been proven that even if they do not develop the disorders itself, the families of people with fibromyalgia have a higher sensitivity to pain and more tender points. They also experience more neurological symptoms associated with this health problem, such as mood disorders.


Unfortunately for women, between 80% and 90% of the patients suffering from fibromyalgia are females. This statistic was revealed by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease, but there are many other studies that have established that the disease is more common in women than men.

A case of fibromyalgia in your family increases significantly the risk of developing this disorder in women.

Physical Accident

This disease can be triggered by physical trauma, such as a car accident. Research shows that those who were involved in a physical accident are more prone to develop fibromyalgia or chronic pain through the body.

Certain Health Problems

Those diseases that involve joint and muscular disorders, as well as autoimmune disorders may lead to fibromyalgia, too. It has been proven that half of the people suffering from Sjögren’s syndrome may also develop this health problem. Moreover, people suffering from lupus, another autoimmune disease, are more susceptible to fibromyalgia. Rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis are also health issues that increase the risk of this disorder.

Gluten sensitivity

Often ignored or mistaken for other health problems, gluten sensitivity can trigger many disorders, even fibromyalgia. In 2014, the results of a study included gluten sensitivity in the list of risk factors for this health problem.

Moreover, excluding gluten foods from the diet of patients who have fibromyalgia led to an improvement in their symptoms. As this is a relatively new discovery, if you suffer from this disease, and you haven’t been advised yet to remove gluten foods from your diet, you can try it for yourself and see if you experience any improvement.

People who suffer from fibromyalgia and gluten sensitivity are also advised to get checked for celiac disease. The risk is not that high, but these two disorders have been associated with celiac disease, too.

Sleep Disorders

If you have trouble falling asleep or you suffer from insomnia, then you are depriving your body of restorative sleep. This is essential for a normal functioning of your body and keeping fibromyalgia away. Sleep disorders represent one of the causes of this disease, and they can increase your sensitivity to pain even if you don’t develop the condition itself.

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