Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder that is characterized by chronic, often debilitating muscle pain that can range in severity, and is often accompanied by fatigue, stiffness, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbaces, headaches, and GI disorders. Severe cases include profound disability and difficulty performing activites of daily living and work.
Fibromyalgia Syndrome affects about 3% of the adult U.S. population, with a female to male ratio of 7:1, and a peak age of women in their "child-bearing years. FMS may take up to 5 years to diagnose.
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is usually diagnosed by a Rheumatologist, which includes a physical exam that involves the testing of 18 pressure/tender points.
Patients must experience tenderness in 11/18 points, which were developed by the American College of Rheumatology.
FMS is often accompanied by:
* unrestorative sleep patterns
* irritable bowel & bladder syndromes
* morning stiffness
* anxiety and depression
Despite its high prevalence, there's no known cause of Fibromyalgia, and no approved treatment.
The 18 Tender Points of FMS
Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia are syndromes, with no known causes, and no approved treatments.
CFS and FMS share many of the same symptoms, and often occur together, but differ greatly in diagnosis and treatment because they are diagnosed by different medical doctors and/or specialists.
CFS is most likely to be diagnosed by an Internists or Infectious Disease specialists, and FMS is most likely to be diagnosed by a Rheumatologist. Somehow they call them "unexplained" syndromes, with no known causes, or designated treatment.
The rates of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) were particularly high among patients with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Syndrome.
In a 2000 study, 92% of Chronic Fatigue patients had IBS, 77% of Fibromyalgia patients had IBS, and only 18% of controls had IBS.
Given the high prevalence of Enterovirus infections in the general population, and their tropism for muscles, it is possible that many FMS patients are infected with chronic EV infections.
Enterovirus RNA has been previously found in muscle biopsies from patients with Fibromyalgia, suggesting that skeletal muscle may host Enteroviral persistence.
Today, MD's should investigate the presence of EV RNA in stomach biopsies, not muscle biopsies.
In Minnesota, researchers studied the impact of Coxsackie B-1 Virus on the muscles of mice. After infection, the mice developed chronic polymyositis, which is characterized by hindquarter weakness and muscle inflammation.
After 1 month of infection, persistent viral RNA was found in the skeletal and cardiac muscle, brain, and spinal cord. In a few cases, persistent viral RNA was detected as late as 12 months after infection.
These results demonstrate that coxsackievirus RNA can persist in muscle for extended periods of time and are involved in maintaining the chronic inflammation observed in murine polymyositis.