A number of studies have shown a link between anxiety and fibromyalgia, however, the nature of the link is not yet understood. Some experts, according to a report, “Fibromyalgia,” in The New York Times, “believe that fibromyalgia is not a disease, but is rather a chronic pain condition brought on by several abnormal body responses to stress.” Others believe that physical injuries, emotional trauma or viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr trigger the disorder.
The Anxiety Disorders Association of America indicates that approximately 20 percent of those with fibromyalgia also have an anxiety disorder or depression. Studies put this number anywhere between 14 percent and 42 percent. While dealing with a chronic disease is certainly stressful, there may be physical causes of the increased levels of anxiety.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by our bodies when we are under stress. However, when under chronic stress, our cortisol levels can become skewed. Patients with fibromyalgia may have lower levels of this stress hormone resulting in muscle aches, fatigue, high blood pressure and anxiety. Reducing stress can often normalize cortisol levels.
As a widely misunderstood chronic condition causing pain and fatigue among a number of people, fibromyalgia still remains a highly misunderstood condition. According to researchers, the painful condition not only causes the above mentioned symptoms, it can also cause symptoms of anxiety to develop. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.