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Flu and fibromyalgia: Are Your Aches From Flu or Fibromyalgia?

Are Your Aches From Flu or Fibromyalgia?

It’s cold and flu season again. And if you’re living with fibromyalgia, this time of year can be especially trying. That’s because two of the most common fibromyalgia symptoms are all-over musculoskeletal pain and fatigue — feelings similar to those experienced with a bad cold or the flu. In fact, about half of patients with fibromyalgia experience a “flu-like” illness that precedes the development of their symptoms.

So how do you know if you’ve come down with the flu, or if your aches and pains are due to fibromyalgia? There are important differences that can clue you in, including:

  • Fibromyalgia doesn’t cause fevers. “Some patients will say that their temperature is consistently a little higher or lower,” says Kim Jones, PhD, an associate professor at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and head of the Fibromyalgia Information Foundation. But spikes in fever from fighting off an infection are not due to fibromyalgia.
  • Fibromyalgia doesn’t cause coughs and congestion. Classic cold symptoms, such as coughs, sniffles, a runny nose, and a sore throat, are not fibromyalgia symptoms.

Protect Yourself With the Flu Vaccine

It’s easier to avoid the flu than to deal with it, but many people with fibromyalgia worry that a flu shot will trigger a flare-up of fibromyalgia symptoms. According to the Arthritis Foundation, there is no known link between vaccines and fibromyalgia. Although some studies have suggested fibromyalgia may be linked to vaccines for rubella or Lyme disease, there’s not much research to back these claims up.

If you’re concerned about possible reactions to flu vaccine, anything that develops will probably be milder and short-lived compared with 10 days of the flu. Getting a yearly flu shot is also advised for people who fall into any of the following groups:

  • 50 or older
  • Pregnant
  • Those who have other chronic health problems, such as diabetes or compromised immunity
  • Those who care for vulnerable populations, such as young children or older adults

Talk with your doctor about whether you need to be vaccinated against pneumonia as well.

Coping With Flus and Colds

If you do get sick this cold and flu season, here’s how to help yourself feel better:

  • Drink fluids. Staying well hydrated is important for feeling your best with fibromyalgia, but it’s even more important during dry winter months and when you’re trying to fight off or manage a dehydrating fever.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol). If you want to ease the aches and pains of fibromyalgia or flu symptoms or the soreness of a vaccination, take acetaminophen instead of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which have not been shown to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms and can cause more gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Treat your symptoms. Colds and flu are viral illnesses, so antibiotics won’t help. But there are ways you can treat your symptoms in order to feel better. If you are taking prescription medications for fibromyalgia or other health conditions, make sure you check with your doctor or read labels to avoid any negative interactions with cough and cold medications.
  • Practice infection prevention. Wash your hands often, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and minimize your contact with people who are sick. Fibromyalgia is not a condition of low immunity, but it’s good to avoid exposure to illness whenever possible.

Finally, if you’re confused about when to contact your doctor, follow this advice from Jones: “New headaches that are different from any in the past, and new symptoms that have not been experienced by you in the last few months, are worth running by your health care provider.”

Fibromyalgia and Flu: Should I Get a Flu Shot?

It’s that time of the year. Doctors across the country tout an inexpensive shot as insurance against coming down with the flu. But if you have fibromyalgia, should you get a flu shot?

“I am planning on getting the flu shot this year,” said Katrina Overland, an information technology consultant at Forum One who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the fall of 2008.

“[My doctor] recommends that I should get one because having the flu with fibromyalgia is terrible. It’s important for me to take precautions,” said Overland, who is also an Everyday Health columnist.

Everyday Health polled three doctors who treat patients with fibromyalgia, and all said to follow Overland’s lead and get a flu shot. Here’s why:

What Is the Flu?

The term “flu” is a “contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What we consider the flu changes annually, and the composition of the flu shot is based on a best guess prediction by experts at the Food and Drug Administration. This year, the flu shot is aimed at protecting us from a combination of the h2N1 virus, h4N2 virus, and a couple of influenza B viruses. These strains are thought to be the most common threat right now.

The flu can cause fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. While it’s generally not fatal, the flu may have contributed to the deaths of about 49,000 people over the course of 30 years, according to the CDC. People who are older than 85 years old have the highest rates of flu-related hospitalizations because their age makes them more vulnerable to complications.

Historically, the flu has been a lot worse than in recent decades. In 1918, the Spanish Influenza killed up to 50 million people worldwide, according to a 2005 study in the journal Science.

How Does the Flu Shot Work?

The flu vaccine contains a part of the flu-causing virus that is dead. When it’s injected inside you, your white blood cells recognize it as a foreign entity. That’s when the body’s defense mechanism kicks in and starts creating antibodies.

“Antibodies are defenders that help protect the body,” said Nathan Wei, MD, a rheumatologist and director of the Arthritis Treatment Center in Frederick, Maryland.

About two weeks after a vaccination, you should have enough antibodies in your body to protect you if you come into contact with the flu virus again.

What Happens if I DON’T Get a Flu Shot?

Anywhere between 5 percent and 20 percent of the U.S. population will come down with the flu each year. You might get lucky, but why chance it? People with fibromyalgia should get the flu shot because their response to the flu is, on average, more severe than that of otherwise healthy people.

“If you have fibromyalgia and get the flu, you’ll be very unhappy,” said Brian Walitt, MD, a rheumatologist at Georgetown University. “The flu is a miserable experience, and fibromyalgia patients tend to deal with miserable experiences even worse than regular people.”

“The normal person takes a week or two to recover, [but] sometimes people with fibromyalgia take months,” Dr. Walitt added. “The echoes of what happen to them seem to last longer than the actual infection.”

Could the Flu Vaccine Cause a Fibromyalgia Flare?

There’s no solid evidence supporting the idea that getting a flu shot could result in a fibromyalgia flare, said Frederick Wolfe, MD, a rheumatologist a the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases. Flu shots can, however, be more painful for those with fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia are often more sensitive to things like pokes and needles.

“You’re getting a shot in the arm. They hurt normal folks, and people with fibromyalgia tend to be more sensitive,” Walitt said, “but the idea that you’re going to have a reaction that flares your fibro – there’s no proof that flu shots make fibromyalgia flare.”

Will a Flu Shot Give me Fibromyalgia?

Flu shots do not cause fibromyalgia. Millions of people have elected to get the vaccine, and fibromyalgia is not a concern, Walitt said.

Wolfe was even more emphatic that a flu shot would not trigger fibromyalgia.

“That’s crazy,” Dr. Wolfe said. “The flu shot has nothing to do with fibromyalgia, [and] I cannot conceive how anybody could make such an association.”

How Many People with Fibromyalgia Get Flu Shots?

Only about 57 percent of a 1,200-person sample of adults with fibromyalgia elected to get the flu shot, according to a 2012 study published in the journal of Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. That compares to an estimated 36 percentage of all adults in the early 2012 to 2013 flu season.

Both numbers should be higher, Wolfe said. As many people as possible should get the flu shot – whether they have fibromyalgia.

For more information on flu shots, check out the CDC website: Seasonal Influenza

Getting a Cold or the Flu When You Already Have Chronic Pain

Being sick, on top of having a chronic condition, can weigh you down. Here’s how to pick yourself up and get better fast.

Barby Ingle of San Tan Valley, Arizona, and her husband, Ken, both came down with a bad cold recently. Her husband took some over-the-counter medication and was completely recovered within a few days. Barby, who suffers from central pain syndrome, as well as a rare form of epilepsy, she got much, much sicker.

Because the prescription medication she takes for her pain already contains acetaminophen, Barby was unable to take any typical pain relievers that could have eased the aches brought on by the cold. So she had to put up with the pain from her chronic condition, as well as all the respiratory symptoms of a bad cold, which seemed to last forever, she recalls.

“Before my car accident in 2002, I was hardly ever sick, but the accident left me with central pain syndrome, and then I got epilepsy,” says Barby, who is president of the International Pain Foundation. “Now, I have a team of doctors to treat me. I do okay, but my immune system is bad, so I get sick often.”

When you live with chronic pain, catching a cold or the flu can make your suffering seem endless, but there are ways to get through and emerge a healthier you.

Whiles her husband got over his cold “fast and easy, I still feel like I pulled a muscle between my ribs from coughing so hard,” she adds. “I have increased full body pain and fatigue and difficulty taking full breaths.” Typically, when Barby comes down with a cold, she says she will have pain and increased fatigue for up to four weeks afterward.

To try to avoid everyday illnesses like colds and influenza, Barby steers clear of people whom she knows are sick. If she has to get on a plane, she wears a mask. She washes her hands often, offers air hugs or elbow touches rather than a full body hug or a handshake, and when friends visit, she puts out a separate candy or snack dish for herself in order to avoid germs.

During cold and flu season, in particular, people living with chronic pain conditions often face the same challenges described by Barby. “When you have the physical aspect and the psychological aspect of the chronic pain, and then you have an illness on top of it, your coping mechanisms may decline and become less effective,” explains Mohab Ibrahim, MD, PhD, an associate professor of anesthesiology and pharmacology and director of the Chronic Pain Management Clinic at Banner—University Medical Center South in Tucson. “You become more susceptible to emotional trauma. It’s like you are a balloon filled to the maximum. All it takes is one little poke—and you explode.”

 

Why Everyday Illnesses Are Worse When You Have a Chronic Condition

There are a few reasons for this hypersensitivity. If you take medication for your pain, it may not be quite as effective when you are sick, for example. “Pharmacologically, inflammation alters the body’s ability to metabolize medications,” explains Ming-Chih Kao, PhD, MD, CIPS, FIPP, Pain Clinic Chief and assistant professor of pain medicine at Stanford University in Redwood City, California. “In fact, the body’s ability to metabolize medications can vary from day-to-day.” In addition, if you are on any medications that suppress your immune system, you are more likely to develop a cold or flu in the first place.

Individuals who have chronic pain have more inflammation in their bodies than people who are not in pain, adds Ann Marie Chiasson, MD, interim director of the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. “So when a cold or flu shows up, it can appear worse because they already have so much inflammation,” she explains. “They feel worse than someone who gets the same illness because their body tends to respond to the illness in a different way than someone who does not have chronic pain.

Essentially, when you are in chronic pain, your system is already in overdrive and on cue to overreact, Dr. Ibrahim says. “The pain circuitry in your nervous system is wound up and ready to jump once a stress – whether physical or emotional – activates it,” he explains. “So when they experience a small stimulus, say, from a cold or a flu, their system receives it as a major event and perceives it as much more painful than a person who does not have chronic pain.” Thus the symptoms of an everyday illness such as a cold or a virus are magnified in an individual who has chronic pain.

It is important to remember that pain has both a physical aspect and an emotional aspect, Dr. Ibrahim says. Everyone with chronic pain experiences the physical part of pain, but not everyone experiences the emotional part. For some individuals, pain does not keep them from enjoying life because they have good coping mechanisms. Others may suffer more. As the ancient saying goes, he noted, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. ” If you can develop good coping skills, you may feel better equipped to deal with the emotional aspect of the pain and reduce your suffering. Some may say this is easier said than done. Below are a few tips to get through.

 

How to Avoid Getting an Everyday Illness

For starters, try to steer clear of people are sick, experts recommend. Wash your hands often, especially when you are around someone who is sick. This should be done before you eat or before you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Keep in mind that the flu virus can live on a surface like a doorknob for hours!

Other strategies for avoiding getting sick are to:

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home and at work
  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Be as physically active as possible.
  • Drink plenty of liquids and eat nutritious food.

In fact, an anti-inflammatory diet may be worth considering, says Dr. Chiasson, who offers the Mediterranean diet as an example. This diet emphasizes fish, vegetables, and olive oil, among other staples. According to the Arthritis Foundation, cherries, olive oil, soy, seafood, low-fat dairy products, broccoli, and green tea are also good choices if you are following an anti-inflammatory diet.

 

How to Feel Better Fast When You Get Sick

Even if you are very careful to avoid getting sick, it’s inevitable that, at some point, you will succumb to a cold or flu and feel miserable. So what can you do to feel better?

Distract yourself, says Dr. Ibrahim. Pain is always worse when you are thinking about it. “That is why pain is typically worse when a person is at home or is trying to sleep at night. There is nothing to distract you.” Try reading a good book, going outside if even for a short walk, or phoning a friend.

Consider integrative medicine, Dr. Chiasson says. For instance, elderberry lozenges or extract can be helpful in reducing your discomfort, she advises. If you use the extract, take 1 tablespoon 4 times a day for the first 48 hours of an illness, she says. “It can decrease your symptoms by half.” Echinacea can also be helpful in improving your symptoms, she says, as can turmeric, a known anti-inflammatory. Take a 500 mg capsule of turmeric three times a day when you are not feeling well, she recommends. (Read more about the pain-relieving benefits of turmeric )

However, taking herbs can be tricky, says Dr. Kao. Turmeric can reduce the effectiveness of several opioid medications, including hydrocodone, he says. “I would suggest not adding or stopping herbs unless discussed with a medical provider,” he says. “The safety principles I abide by are to start medications at low doses and increase slowly, and make I change at a time.”

Heating pads or gentle massage can provide relief as well, says Dr. Kao, as can acupuncture, and, adds Dr. Chiasson, guided imagery. This mind-body technique can help to “retrain the brain to attenuate its response to chronic pain,” she says. For instance, check out the InsightTimer mobile app, which offers free, guided meditations and plenty of soothing music.

While you may not want to do this when you aren’t feeling well, resolve to improve your coping skills once you are better. Enlist the help of a behavioral therapist who specializes in pain management to help you develop the coping skills you need to help lessen the impact of chronic pain in the long term, Dr. Ibrahim suggests.

Updated on: 01/28/19

Fibromyalgia Flares: A Qualitative Analysis | Pain Medicine

Abstract

Objective. Patients with fibromyalgia report periods of symptom exacerbation, colloquially referred to as “flares” and despite clinical observation of flares, no research has purposefully evaluated the presence and characteristics of flares in fibromyalgia. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe fibromyalgia flares in a sample of patients with fibromyalgia.

Methods. Using seven open-ended questions, patients were asked to describe how they perceived fibromyalgia flares and triggers and alleviating factors associated with flares. Patients were also asked to describe how a flare differs from their typical fibromyalgia symptoms and how they cope with fibromyalgia flares. Content analysis was used to analyze the text.

Results. A total of 44 participants completed the survey. Responses to the seven open-ended questions revealed three main content areas: causes of flares, flare symptoms, and dealing with a flare. Participants identified stress, overdoing it, poor sleep, and weather changes as primary causes of flares. Symptoms characteristic of flares included flu-like body aches/exhaustion, pain, fatigue, and variety of other symptoms. Participants reported using medical treatments, rest, activity and stress avoidance, and waiting it out to cope with flares.

Conclusions. Our results demonstrate that periods of symptom exacerbation (i.e., flares) are commonly experienced by patients with fibromyalgia and symptoms of flares can be differentiated from every day or typical symptoms of fibromyalgia. Our study is the first of its kind to qualitatively explore characteristics, causes, and management strategies of fibromyalgia flares. Future studies are needed to quantitatively characterize fibromyalgia flares and evaluate mechanisms of flares.

Introduction

Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder characterized by chronic, widespread pain, fatigue, cognitive complaints, poor sleep, and mood difficulties. While these symptoms are characteristic of fibromyalgia, patients frequently report a host of other, less well-defined symptoms that occur with varying degrees of severity, including headache, gastrointestinal symptoms, dizziness, heat/cold intolerance, numbness or tingling, and low-grade fevers [1–3]. These symptoms, along with others of fibromyalgia, appear to undergo periods of exacerbation or worsening, often colloquially referred to as “flares” by patients and their health care providers.

Despite clinical observation supporting the presence of flares, no research has purposefully evaluated the presence and characteristics of flares in fibromyalgia and only a couple of publications provide even brief description of flares [4–6]. In one qualitative study, participants stated that over-doing it on a “good day” could lead to fibromyalgia symptom worsening. No further description of how a flare differed from typical or “normal” fibromyalgia symptoms was provided [4]. In a second qualitative study, participants describe flares as a “sudden increase in symptoms, usually to the point where everyday tasks become impossible” [5]. For some patients, flares were characterized by a worsening of existing symptoms (increased or altered pain), whereas others reported new symptoms (flu-like symptoms). In a third study, patients reported that fibromyalgia flares were associated with activity and weather changes [6]. These studies indicate that periods of symptom worsening or flares may be present in fibromyalgia, however, none of the above studies describe whether there are symptoms that are unique to flares or how flares differ from typical fibromyalgia symptoms.

The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to describe fibromyalgia flares in a well-characterized sample of patients with fibromyalgia. Using open-ended questions, we sought to understand how patients perceived fibromyalgia flares and what triggers and alleviating factors patients identified for their own symptoms (if any).

Methods

To obtain patient descriptions of fibromyalgia flares, patients were asked to respond to seven open-ended questions assessing quality, severity, and duration. The questions asked about symptoms that may appear during a flare that are not present at other times, how a flare differs from a patient’s typical fibromyalgia experience, flare triggers, and how patient’s cope with fibromyalgia flares (Table 1). Patients were each paid $20.00 for their time and participation. This study was reviewed and approved by the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board and all participants provided written informed consent.

Table 1

Open-ended items included on the qualitative questionnaire

Questionnaire Items
.  
If you were describing a fibromyalgia flare to someone who had never experienced one, how would you describe it? 
Do you experience any new symptoms during a fibromyalgia flare that are not typical of your everyday fibromyalgia symptoms? Please describe 
How is a fibromyalgia flare different from your everyday experience of fibromyalgia symptoms? 
Do you find that there are things or events that trigger a fibromyalgia flare for you? If so, please explain 
How do you cope with a fibromyalgia flare? 
What, if anything, reduces the symptoms of a fibromyalgia flare? 
Is there any additional information you would like us to know about your fibromyalgia flares? 
Questionnaire Items
If you were describing a fibromyalgia flare to someone who had never experienced one, how would you describe it? 
Do you experience any new symptoms during a fibromyalgia flare that are not typical of your everyday fibromyalgia symptoms? Please describe 
How is a fibromyalgia flare different from your everyday experience of fibromyalgia symptoms? 
Do you find that there are things or events that trigger a fibromyalgia flare for you? If so, please explain 
How do you cope with a fibromyalgia flare? 
What, if anything, reduces the symptoms of a fibromyalgia flare? 
Is there any additional information you would like us to know about your fibromyalgia flares? 

Table 1

Open-ended items included on the qualitative questionnaire

Questionnaire Items
.  
If you were describing a fibromyalgia flare to someone who had never experienced one, how would you describe it? 
Do you experience any new symptoms during a fibromyalgia flare that are not typical of your everyday fibromyalgia symptoms? Please describe 
How is a fibromyalgia flare different from your everyday experience of fibromyalgia symptoms? 
Do you find that there are things or events that trigger a fibromyalgia flare for you? If so, please explain 
How do you cope with a fibromyalgia flare? 
What, if anything, reduces the symptoms of a fibromyalgia flare? 
Is there any additional information you would like us to know about your fibromyalgia flares? 
Questionnaire Items
If you were describing a fibromyalgia flare to someone who had never experienced one, how would you describe it? 
Do you experience any new symptoms during a fibromyalgia flare that are not typical of your everyday fibromyalgia symptoms? Please describe 
How is a fibromyalgia flare different from your everyday experience of fibromyalgia symptoms? 
Do you find that there are things or events that trigger a fibromyalgia flare for you? If so, please explain 
How do you cope with a fibromyalgia flare? 
What, if anything, reduces the symptoms of a fibromyalgia flare? 
Is there any additional information you would like us to know about your fibromyalgia flares? 

Participants

Participants for this study were recruited from an existing, national registry of patients with fibromyalgia who have been seen at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN [7]. Patients in the fibromyalgia registry were seen at Mayo Clinic between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2012 and had a diagnosis of fibromyalgia that was confirmed via medical record review. At the time of enrollment in the registry, all participants completed the Fibromyalgia Research Survey Criteria [8]. To be eligible for this qualitative study, registry participants were between the ages of 18 and 69 years, met Fibromyalgia Research Survey Criteria at the time of enrollment, able to read and write English, and provided an email address by which we could contact them with the electronic survey.

Procedure

The survey was administered electronically using the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) Survey tool [9]. Patients were selected so that the female to male ratio was 4:1. Patients were divided into the following three age groups: 18–35, 36–53, and 54–69. A random number generator was used to select 24 women and 6 men from each of the age groups (total 90 invited). Of those, 44 agreed to participate and completed the study questionnaire.

Analysis

Content analysis [10] was used to analyze the text. Participant responses to each question were read for overall understanding of the content. Responses to the survey questions were analyzed and sorted into categories that described the meaning of the text. After all text was coded, the investigators independently reviewed the coding scheme to ensure the themes and subthemes were accurate. The few discrepancies and the final scheme was determined by consensus.

Results

A total of 44 participants completed the survey. The majority of participants were female (77%) and non-Hispanic white (93%). Fifty-seven percent of participants were married, 9% were divorced, and 34% were single. The average age of participants was 45.5 (standard deviation 14.6). Responses to the seven questions were found to demonstrate three main content areas: causes of flares, flare symptoms, and dealing with a flare. Content analysis of participant responses identified several key themes within each of these content areas. Each of these are detailed below and summarized in Table 2.

Table 2

Content areas and themes identified using content analysis

Content Areas
Themes
Frequency (%)
Causes of flares  “Stress, Stress, Stress!”  28 (63.6) 
“Overdoing It”  19 (43.2) 
“Poor Sleep”  11 (25.0) 
“Weather Changes”  11 (25.0) 
Flare symptoms  “Flu-like Symptoms”  14 (31.8) 
“Pain”  38 (86.4) 
“Fatigue”  15 (34.1) 
“Other Symptoms”*  49 (>100) 
Dealing with a flare  “Treatments”  33 (75.0) 
“Rest”  25 (56.8) 
“Avoid Everything”  10 (22.7) 
“Wait It Out”  8 (18.2) 
Content Areas
Themes
Frequency (%)
Causes of flares  “Stress, Stress, Stress!”  28 (63.6) 
“Overdoing It”  19 (43.2) 
“Poor Sleep”  11 (25.0) 
“Weather Changes”  11 (25.0) 
Flare symptoms  “Flu-like Symptoms”  14 (31.8) 
“Pain”  38 (86.4) 
“Fatigue”  15 (34.1) 
“Other Symptoms”*  49 (>100) 
Dealing with a flare  “Treatments”  33 (75.0) 
“Rest”  25 (56.8) 
“Avoid Everything”  10 (22.7) 
“Wait It Out”  8 (18.2) 

Table 2

Content areas and themes identified using content analysis

Content Areas
Themes
Frequency (%)
Causes of flares  “Stress, Stress, Stress!”  28 (63.6) 
“Overdoing It”  19 (43.2) 
“Poor Sleep”  11 (25.0) 
“Weather Changes”  11 (25.0) 
Flare symptoms  “Flu-like Symptoms”  14 (31.8) 
“Pain”  38 (86.4) 
“Fatigue”  15 (34.1) 
“Other Symptoms”*  49 (>100) 
Dealing with a flare  “Treatments”  33 (75.0) 
“Rest”  25 (56.8) 
“Avoid Everything”  10 (22.7) 
“Wait It Out”  8 (18.2) 
Content Areas
Themes
Frequency (%)
Causes of flares  “Stress, Stress, Stress!”  28 (63.6) 
“Overdoing It”  19 (43.2) 
“Poor Sleep”  11 (25.0) 
“Weather Changes”  11 (25.0) 
Flare symptoms  “Flu-like Symptoms”  14 (31.8) 
“Pain”  38 (86.4) 
“Fatigue”  15 (34.1) 
“Other Symptoms”*  49 (>100) 
Dealing with a flare  “Treatments”  33 (75.0) 
“Rest”  25 (56.8) 
“Avoid Everything”  10 (22.7) 
“Wait It Out”  8 (18.2) 

Causes of Flares

Participants hypothesized the causes of flares. Most stated a cause with only a few saying they were unable to identify a particular cause. Subthemes describing the causes of flares include stress, overdoing it, poor sleep, and weather changes.

 “Stress, Stress, Stress!”

When asked to identify causes of flares, stress was a common theme. This relationship is captured well by one participant’s comment, “Stress I would say is my BIGGEST trigger. There are days that stress makes my life awful.” Most participants used the term stress, but some also used anxiety to describe emotional turmoil related to a flare. Stress of any sort, including work and life stresses were reported. Specific examples included deadlines, emotional extremes, or upsets such as grief, family concerns, preparing to travel, and holiday stress. This is highlighted by one participant, “I find that for me I have flare ups in times of high stress with work or life.” Reactions to stress were also reported to influence flares; one participant stated that for her, flares were influenced by “extreme emotions such as grief. For instance when my best friend’s dad passed away I had a flare from the sadness I felt.”

 “Overdoing it”

Another key theme identified from participant responses was “overdoing it.” Overdoing it included physical exertion as well as variations in normal activity patterns (e.g., trips, social events). Work activity was cited as one source of overexertion, in addition to work at home that included things like yard work, cleaning, and vacuuming. Increased social activity was also described as a source of overextension. For example, one participant stated “If I am over-exerting at work, physically, or socially, I can flare.” Participants also highlighted the influence that overdoing their activities 1 day could have on the following day, for example, one participant stated “I’m an all or nothing gal. I do too much one day and can’t do anything the next.” In addition to overdoing activities, overdoing it in combination with inadequate rest was also cited as a cause by several participants. For example, one participant stated “I can induce a flare pretty easily if I work too much and don’t rest enough. If I push myself too hard … I can expect a flare in the coming days.”

 “Poor Sleep”

Difficulty sleeping or poor quality sleep was another theme identified from participant responses. One participant stated, “low sleep over a course of a couple of days or more can do it.” The relationship between poor sleep and fibromyalgia flares is obfuscated by the fact that when a patient is experiencing a flare, quality sleep often becomes more difficult to obtain. This circuitous relationship was described well by one participant, “If I don’t get enough sleep that will cause a flare-up, but it also causes me to not be able to sleep at the same time.”

 “Weather Changes”

Another common theme identified in participant responses was weather changes. Drops in barometric pressure, heat, and storms were implicated in development of a flare. Sudden changes in weather, in particular, seemed to be more problematic. One participant stated, “the changing of seasons when the weather swings really hard.” Another participant described how rapid weather fluctuations could induce rapid symptom changes, “It seems like whenever the barometric pressure changes drastically, the symptoms come on quickly and leave just as quickly.”

Flare Symptoms

When asked how flares differ from everyday symptoms of fibromyalgia, participants reported that although they may experience symptoms that are unique to a flare (e.g., flu-like body aches and exhaustion), their flare experience was largely an increased intensity of usual symptoms to the point “where it feels disabling.” “My flares are different because the pain is more intense and is continual. It carries on even after I have rested or taken medication. That’s how I distinguish between the daily fibromyalgia and a flare.” As the symptoms were more intense, they were also more difficult to manage, “I can normally work a regular 40 hour week, complete chores and errands and have somewhat of a social life with ‘normal’ fibromyalgia. With a bad flare, that’s not possible.” Common subthemes that emerged from patient-reported flare symptoms are detailed below.

 “Flu-like symptoms”

Participant responses often included description of the severe “full body aching and exhaustion” experienced during flares as akin to a severe flu and different from usual fibromyalgia symptoms. As described by one participant, “If you’ve ever had a flu sneak up on you after you went to sleep one night and you wake up with your entire body aching, you’ve got an inkling of what a flare is. It’s not gradual.” Similarly, other participants described flares as “the worst flu you’ve ever had,” “it feels like I have the flu in my bones really bad.”

 “Pain”

The pain experienced during a flare was also described as different and more severe than typical pain. According to one participant, flare pain is “intense pain that makes me not want to move or be touched.” The intensity of this pain is almost palpable in another participant’s description, “it feels like someone is taking a carrot peeler to my bones … like a giant wearing a mountain-boot is standing on that part of my body.”

 “Fatigue”

Similar to extreme pain experienced during a flare, the fatigue characteristic of a fibromyalgia flare is severe and debilitating. Participants described the fatigue as “complete exhaustion” that resulted in being “too tired to move,” which in turn severely impacted function. This was so extreme that, according to one participant, even “lifting a finger was exhausting.”

 “Other Symptoms”

In addition to flu-like symptoms, pain, and fatigue, participants reported experiencing a wide variety of other symptoms. One such symptom was decreased concentration. Participants noted, “I find my concentration is less than normal” and “[have] fogginess in my head.” Muscle tightness was another symptom reported by several participants. They stated “my legs feel like they are extremely tight” such that “nearly every major muscle is tight and locked up.” Additionally, participants reported “severe headaches/migraines,” “sensitivity to touch,” and feeling as although their “hands and feet are swollen,” which necessitated “significantly scaling back on activities during flares.” In addition to worsening of physical symptoms, patients reported an increased intensity of emotional responses and significant difficulty with mood. The “emotional and psychological repercussions are more intense,” “[flares] make me feel depressed and not want to be around other people.”

Dealing with a Flare

The third theme included strategies used by participants to prevent or manage flares (Table 3). Participants listed a wide variety of strategies, and from these four subthemes were identified: treatments, rest, avoiding everything, and waiting it out.

Table 3

Strategies adopted by patients to deal with flares

Strategies
Frequency (%)
Physical therapy  2 (4.5) 
Hydrotherapy  1 (2.3) 
Meditation  7 (15.9) 
Breathing exercises  8 (18.2) 
Massage  10 (22.7) 
Hot or cold therapy  6 (13.6) 
Medications  34 (77.3) 
Strategies
Frequency (%)
Physical therapy  2 (4.5) 
Hydrotherapy  1 (2.3) 
Meditation  7 (15.9) 
Breathing exercises  8 (18.2) 
Massage  10 (22.7) 
Hot or cold therapy  6 (13.6) 
Medications  34 (77.3) 

Table 3

Strategies adopted by patients to deal with flares

Strategies
Frequency (%)
Physical therapy  2 (4.5) 
Hydrotherapy  1 (2.3) 
Meditation  7 (15.9) 
Breathing exercises  8 (18.2) 
Massage  10 (22.7) 
Hot or cold therapy  6 (13.6) 
Medications  34 (77.3) 
Strategies
Frequency (%)
Physical therapy  2 (4.5) 
Hydrotherapy  1 (2.3) 
Meditation  7 (15.9) 
Breathing exercises  8 (18.2) 
Massage  10 (22.7) 
Hot or cold therapy  6 (13.6) 
Medications  34 (77.3) 

 “Treatments”

Despite the questions’ focus on coping strategies, participants identified a number of treatments used to cope with or manage symptoms, which included pharmacological and nonpharmacological modalities. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen were the most commonly used medications. In addition to medications, participants reported using physical modalities such as massage, heat/cold, hydrotherapy, and gentle exercise. Meditation, deep breathing, prayer, and humor were also used.

 “Rest”

The majority of participants described getting more rest or staying home, particularly in bed, as the major coping strategy for a flare. This is well captured in the response of one participant, “I recognize my body isn’t able to handle/cope with things as usual, so I try to slow my pace, rest if needed, take shorter walks, and just be good to myself.” Another participant described how she limited her activities during a flare to rest, “[I] collapsed on the couch in my old living room and cut out extra social engagements, errands that could wait, cooking (just ate out or made simple meals like sandwiches etc.), because I had no energy for those things.” This rest often required limiting work and social engagements, including doctor’s appointments. Another participant stated, “[I] stay at home, sleep (if I can), rest in my big recliner. I usually just phone and cancel appointments for doctors and meetings with friends.”

 “Avoid Everything”

Beyond simple rest, avoidance of all activities and social interactions was described as a protective coping strategy to prevent untoward outcomes. As one participant stated, a severe flare was “similar to a migraine, when you don’t want to see or hear from anyone.” Another participant stated, “all I want to do is crawl in bed and sleep until it’s over.” During a flare, “social contact and other activity is limited or nonexistent.” For some participants, social interactions were emotionally and physically challenging, “[I] just try to avoid dealing with people as I feel grumpy and get mad more easily.”

 “Wait it out”

Flares were described as a part of the fibromyalgia experience to be waited out and tolerated as best possible. Participants described how reminding themselves that a flare will pass served as a coping strategy. Ignoring the symptoms and “pushing through it” were the associated strategies. One participant stated, “I try to remind myself that it will pass, it’s temporary, and just keep moving forward and do what needs to be done.” Other participants “cope by giving [themselves] time and permission to take it slow” and acknowledging that “it will subside and there is nothing you can do about it.” Instead of avoiding everything, some participants agreed that you “just have to go with it.”

Discussion

This qualitative study is the first of its kind to describe a patient’s experience of a fibromyalgia flare. Despite the term “flare” being used frequently by health care providers and patients, little research has purposefully evaluated the presence and characteristics of fibromyalgia flares. Using content analysis, we identified themes in three content areas related to the causes, symptoms, and methods for dealing with a flare. This study provides the first step toward better defining flares so that they may be systematically studied.

Our results are consistent with the few previous papers that mention fibromyalgia flares, such as the one that describes activity and weather changes as potential causes of flares [6], but significantly add to the knowledge of what a flare looks and feels like for a patient with fibromyalgia. This study suggests that fibromyalgia symptoms do flare or fluctuate over time and that patients report that flares are often triggered by stress, overdoing it, and lack of sleep. As in previous studies, stress was identified as a trigger of flare-ups and the symptoms were interrelated; flare-ups of one symptom often exacerbated another (vicious cycle) [3].

In addition to exacerbation of common fibromyalgia symptoms, there seem to be symptoms that are unique to a flare, in particular, flu-like achiness. In one previous study of the patient experience of fibromyalgia, a woman reported feeling “feverish … almost like I have the flu.” [6], which is consistent with the description several study participants provided. The flu-like like achiness during a flare often makes the flare debilitating, severely impacting home and work life and social activity, which was also consistent with what participants reported in this study.

Although most of the study findings were consistent with what we observe clinically, we were somewhat surprised to find that in addition to rest and medical treatment, one of the most common methods of dealing with a flare was avoidance of physical, social, and psychological stimulation. Avoiding everything may indicate a lack of knowledge of or ability to use healthy coping strategies, and therefore, future research could evaluate the potential effects of teaching patients healthy coping strategies as one method to deal with symptom flares.

While the findings of this exploratory study shed light on the experience of a fibromyalgia flare as experienced by patients, there are inherent limitations. First, the data are collected by text response to survey questions. The use of interview or focus group might allow for deeper understanding of the experience. Second, while the sample of patients was randomly selected from a large, national fibromyalgia registry, it includes patients from only one academic medical center, and therefore, the results may not be generalizable to other patients with fibromyalgia. Third, in this study, we did not specifically conceptualize flares in terms of pain or fatigue, key symptoms of fibromyalgia, but allowed patients to report their experience regarding all symptoms that they have during a flare. Therefore, it is possible that comorbid depression or untreated sleep disorders could have contributed to a patient’s flare experience. Future research is needed to evaluate flare characteristics in a larger, more diverse sample of patients with fibromyalgia.

Conclusions

This study is the first of its kind to qualitatively explore patient perspectives regarding characteristics, causes, and management strategies of fibromyalgia flares. The presence of exacerbation or “flare” is a phenomenon readily described by these 44 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Based on patient descriptions, a flare can be differentiated from typical or every day symptoms of fibromyalgia. The causes of flares are attributed to a wide variety of stressors. Strategies aimed at managing flare symptoms largely focus on rest and not “overdoing”. Future research assessing symptoms over time would be valuable in quantitatively characterizing the frequency of fibromyalgia flares and the changes in fibromyalgia symptoms that occur before, during, and after a flare.

Acknowledgments

Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at Mayo Clinic REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, web-based application designed to support data capture for research studies, providing 1) an intuitive interface for validated data entry; 2) audit trails for tracking data manipulation and export procedures; 3) automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to common statistical packages; and 4) procedures for importing data from external sources.

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Author notes

© 2015 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected]

Fibromyalgia Study Links Flu Symptoms to Active Transposable Elements

Active transposable elements — small DNA fragments that can change position within the genome — found in immune cells of women with fibromyalgia can increase the levels of certain immune proteins, and be the reason why some patients experience flu-like symptoms, a study suggests.

The study, “Activation of Transposable Elements in Immune Cells of Fibromyalgia Patients,” was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

People with fibromyalgia frequently have myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a condition characterized by overwhelming fatigue that is not alleviated by rest. 

While both fibromyalgia and ME/CFS share common features, including abnormal immune function and infectious flu-like symptoms, no clear connection with viral infections has been found. 

In 2019, a team of investigators at the Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, in Spain, found the activation of transposable elements (TEs) that constantly change position within the genome (all genes in our DNA) might trigger flu-like symptoms in ME/CFS patients in the absence of an infection.

These findings were supported by work from another group of researchers who found TEs called human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) were highly active in patients with ME/CFS. HERVs are DNA leftovers from retroviral infections and their dysregulation has been linked to several neurologic and autoimmune diseases.

These findings prompted the team in Spain to investigate if HERVs could also be involved in the flu-like symptoms seen in patients with fibromyalgia.

To find out, they collected blood samples from 14 women with fibromyalgia, ages 42–65, and 14 healthy women (controls), ages 38–65, to isolate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). PBMCs are immune cells found in the blood, namely T-cells, B-cells, and natural killer cells.

Eleven women had lived with fibromyalgia for more than three years, and six for more than 12 years. Half of the patients also had ME/CFS. All patients stopped taking their routine medications 12 hours prior to having their blood drawn for analysis. 

Afterwards, investigators isolated RNA from PBMCs and used a technique called quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to measure and compare the expression levels (activity) of three TEs — HERV-H, HERV-K and HERV-W — between the two groups of women.

The analysis revealed that all three HERV TEs were highly active in immune cells isolated from women with fibromyalgia compared to controls. 

To explore the possible effects of these TEs on immune cells, the researchers measured the levels of two immune markers: interferons (INF), which are proteins produced in response to viral infections, and tumor necrosis alpha (TNF-alpha), a protein involved in systemic inflammation. 

They found that in patients where HERVs were very active, the levels of two types of interferons — INF-beta and INF-gamma — were also high.

Positive correlations were identified between HERV-H and INF-beta, as well as between HERV-W, INF-beta, and INF-gamma. While TNF-alpha levels tended to be higher in women with fibromyalgia, the difference was not significant compared to controls. 

According to the authors, “this is the first study to report increased expression of HERV-K, HERV-H, HERV-W and INF-beta and INF-gamma levels correlations, in the immune system of FM [fibromyalgia] patients. The findings reported in this study could explain the flu-like symptoms FM patients present within clinical practice, in the absence of concomitant infections.”

“Future work aimed at identifying specific genomic loci [locations] differentially affected in FM and/or ME/CFS is warranted,” they added. 


Steve holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada. He worked as a medical scientist for 18 years, within both industry and academia, where his research focused on the discovery of new medicines to treat inflammatory disorders and infectious diseases. Steve recently stepped away from the lab and into science communications, where he’s helping make medical science information more accessible for everyone.

Total Posts: 25


Joana holds a BSc in Biology, a MSc in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. Her work has been focused on the impact of non-canonical Wnt signaling in the collective behavior of endothelial cells — cells that made up the lining of blood vessels — found in the umbilical cord of newborns.

Influenza Vaccination in Fibromyalgia Patients – Full Text View

Fifty patients with fibromyalgia and 30 healthy, age – matched controls will participate in the study.

The classification of fibromyalgia will be performed by applying the 1990 ACR criteria.

After signing informed consent, all subjects will be vaccinated with the inactivated split virion vaccine, recommended by the WHO this fall.

Patients will be evaluated at weeks 0 and 6 weeks later. Clinical evaluation will be based on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and the 2010 Fibromyalgia Severity Scale.

ESR and CRP Blood will be collected on the day of vaccination and 6 weeks later.

The immunogenicity of the vaccine will be tested by Haemagglutination inhibition (HI) test.

Influenza virus has two important surface glycoproteins: the haemagglutinin (HA) and the neuraminidase (NA). Antigenic classification and subtyping of influenza viruses is based on these two glycoproteins. HA plays a key role in virus cell entry by binding to cell surface receptors, which are found also on red blood cells of certain species. Binding to red cells results in haemagglutination, which can be observed as a carpet of agglutinated red cells at the bottom of a tube or microtitre well. In the HI test, antibody directed against the viral haemagglutinins block the virus from binding to the blood cells and thus inhibits the haemagglutination reaction.

The pre- and post immunization HI antibodies were tested at the Central Virology Laboratory of the Israeli Ministry of Health using the HI test according to a standard WHO procedure 16. Sera will be separated, code labeled, and stored at -20°C until tested. Sera will be treated with receptor destroying enzyme cholera filtrate to remove non-specific inhibitors, and with Turkey red blood cells to remove non-specific agglutinins. The treated sera will be tested by HI test against the three antigens included in the vaccine: A/California (CAL), A/Wisconsin and B/Malaysia. The working dilution (test dose) of each antigen contained four haemagglutinin units in 25 µl of antigen. Test doses will be diluted in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and added to serial dilution of antiserum. The haemagglutinin inhibition titer will be determined as the highest dilution of serum that completely inhibits haemagglutination of red blood cells.

The titer of an antiserum not showing any inhibition will be recorded as <10. Humoral response will be defined as either a fourfold or more rise in titer, or a rise from a non-protective baseline level of <1/40 to 1/40 in HI antibodies four weeks after vaccination 17,18. Geometric mean titers of antibody will be calculated to assess the immunity of the whole group.

What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

You’ve been feeling run down lately. Tired, achy, everything hurts. You can’t concentrate. You can’t sleep. You don’t feel like… you. It’s like you have the flu, but you don’t have a fever and you’re not getting better. Your doctor says nothing seems to be wrong, but the symptoms persist. What’s happening? It’s possible that it could be fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder. Here’s how to recognize the red flags of this condition, and where to get help.

More Top Articles on Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Frequently Asked Questions

How is fibromyalgia different than arthritis?

Good question! While both conditions cause pain in the joints, ligaments, and soft tissues of the body, arthritis is an inflammatory and sometimes autoimmune disorder, while doctors believe that fibromyalgia is a unique pain syndrome. That said, a significant percent of people who have autoimmune conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis also go on to develop fibromyalgia.

Do people with fibro feel pain that’s not there?

Not exactly. But pain signals in people with fibro get messed up. Allodynia, one fibro symptom, causes people to feel very slight sensations at 1000 decibels. For instance, a piece of paper resting on your arm can feel like bone-crushing pain. In hyperalgesia, another symptom, an event like having your foot stepped on goes from uncomfortable to unbearable in people with fibro.

What’s the link between depression and fibro?

There may be a biological explanation, but we know for sure is that for anyone struggling with chronic pain, the future can look bleak. We also know that people with depression are more prone to feelings of poor physical health, so in essence, it becomes a feedback loop: Fibro makes you feel hopeless, leading to depression, and depression make you feel fibro pain more acutely.

Who is at risk for fibro?

Fibromyalgia affects about 10 million Americans, or 2% to 4% of the population. Roughly four women are diagnosed with it for every one man, and it’s more common in middle-age people (although children, young adults, and the elderly can have it, too). While anyone can get fibro, people with a preexisting autoimmune disorder seems especially susceptible.

Refresh: What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (sometimes shortened to just “fibro”) is a chronic neurologic pain condition, likely originating in the central nervous system, that is incurable. It has several dedicated medications to treat it, as well as non-medical treatments like physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques. It isn’t a life-threatening disorder—it won’t cause a heart attack or a stroke, for instance—but it can raise your risk of major depression three-fold, so it’s important to get the help you need for this condition.

Fibromyalgia affects about 10 million Americans, or 2% to 4% of the population. More women are diagnosed with it than men, and it’s more common in middle-age people (though children, young adults, and the elderly can have it, too).

Now that you know more about what it is, let’s talk about how to recognize it.

Get All the Details on Fibromyalgia

What Are the Signs of Fibromyalgia?

Everyone with fibro is unique—you might have some of the common symptoms, but not others. You might have one or two more obscure symptoms, or the whole list of them. You also might have symptoms some of the time, during what’s known as a fibro flare, and then go without symptoms for months, or even years.

Or, unfortunately, you might live with extremely intense pain daily, without medical intervention. These are some of the most common signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia:

Widespread Pain

Fibro pain is can be chronic and unrelenting—but it can come and go, too, hurting in extreme degrees one day and not the next. The pain itself can change from a stabbing pain one day to a shooting pain the next. The pain can morph into a deep aching sensation or it may throb or cause you to twitch.

Tender Points

Fibromyalgia pain can happen anywhere in your body, but tender points are a hallmark of the disease—these “hot spots” are especially painful areas in one of 19 parts of your body associated with the disease. These include:

  • Neck

  • Shoulders

  • Chest

  • Hips

  • Knees

  • Elbows

  • Upper back

  • Lower back

Your doctor will take into account your total number of tender points (and how long pain in these areas lasts for) when diagnosing the condition. How severe your tender point pain is depends on a whole host of things, including:

  • Time of day (fibro pain is usually worse in the morning)

  • Type of weather (pain worsens during cold/humid weather)

  • How much sleep you got

  • How much you’ve exercised

  • Whether you’re feeling stressed

Allodynia

This symptom is another giveaway that your pain is fibro-related. People with allodynia experience extreme pain from a sensation that doesn’t usually cause discomfort. For instance, something like a piece of paper lying on your arm could trigger sharp, shooting pains through your extremity, even though there is no evidence that the paper is causing harm.

Cognitive Difficulties

Along with disturbances in pain signaling, many people with fibro experience difficulties with various cognitive processes. Issues can include memory loss, concentration problems, and problems thinking clearly, often referred to as fibro fog.

Fatigue

There’s tired, and then there’s fibro-tired. Fibromyalgia-related fatigue is a whole-body tiredness that’s so deep and draining you feel like you can’t recover from it. You can have profound exhaustion and poor stamina. You may find yourself spending entire days in bed because it’s too much of an effort to get up.

Hyperalgesia

Just as normally pain-free experiences can cause pain in people with fibro, the degree of pain can also be magnified exponentially in people with the disease. For instance, a pinch on the arm that would usually feel like a 1 or 2 on a pain scale of 0 to 10, instead feels like a 9 or 10.

Mood Alterations

You can experience depression or anxiety—or both. In fact, people with fibromyalgia have a three times greater risk of developing severe depression than those without the disease.

Numbness

People with fibro may experience tingling or numbness in their hands and feet.

Sleep Disturbance

Fibromyalgia is associated with several sleep disorders—a cruel twist, since the fibro fatigue also makes you feel like all you want to do is sleep. Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia have specific abnormalities in the Stage 4 phase of sleep, or the “deep sleep” when your body typically repairs and heals itself. The reason this happens isn’t entirely clear, but it appears the brain of people with fibro is constantly “on,” and can’t rest, causing a documented increase in the number of tender points, post-sleep. Sleep apnea may also be related to fibro risk.

Stiffness

Everyone knows what morning stiffness is like, but it if you have fibro, it’s taken to an extreme. You’ll recognize it because it takes you several minutes to get from lying in bed to standing, and several more to make your way to the bathroom. Each move hurts—as if you have arthritis, but you don’t. This can happen in the morning or after you’ve been resting for a while.

Less-common signs and symptoms can include:

  • Dizziness

  • Dry eyes and mouth

  • Headaches

  • Impaired coordination

  • Irritable bowel and bladder

  • Migraine

  • Pelvic pain

  • Painful periods

  • Raynaud’s Syndrome

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and odors

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Skin sensitives and rashes

  • Vision problems

What to Do if You Have These Symptoms

Try to keep tabs on your signs and symptoms with a fibro log on your phone or in a paper diary, so you can bring this info to an appointment with your healthcare professional to discuss.

One useful tool: The American Chronic Pain Association website shares a log including a pain scale to rate how much you’re in pain, and a body map to show where the pain is, as well as a system for tracking your quality of life and level of everyday activities achieved.

Other things to write down:

  • What symptoms do you have?

  • How intense is the pain?

  • How often these symptoms occur?

  • Are these symptoms constant?

  • Do you have other health problems that could potentially be the cause of these issues?

Then, make an appointment to see your primary care doctor to review what you are experiencing. Once you’ve discussed your symptoms with your doctor, you may be referred to a specialist who has knowledge of fibromyalgia. Some of these specialists include:

Other doctors that might take part in this process include physiatrists/phycologists and physical therapists.

How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

Once you have reviewed your symptoms with your doctor or specialist, you will undergo a few tests and more questions to help create a more robust picture of what’s going on. These next steps may include:

  • A blood test: Your doctor will look for things that can mimic fibromyalgia to rule those out first, like hypothyroidism and polymyalgia rheumatica.

  • Medical history: Your doctor will take a full medical history, including asking questions about whether anyone else in your family has had fibro, and whether you have any other health issues that may be contributing to the disease.

  • Physical exam

  • X-rays: Your doctor may want to get imagery of a painful area to rule out fractures or other injuries.

  • Use diagnostic guidelines: Your doctor may ask you about having pain in 19 specific areas of the body that have been identified as common fibro tender points. Your physician may also ask about symptoms including fatigue and cognitive problems—a pattern of trouble over a three-month period or more, with no other health problem identified as contributing to these symptoms, can be a tip-off that it’s fibro.

At the end of the day, fibromyalgia is considered a “diagnosis of exclusion” or differential diagnosis because there are no clinical tests, like a blood test, that can tell for certain that it’s fibro you have. Your doctor will instead rule out other possible issues via blood tests and lab imaging, and then in the absence of these illnesses, diagnose fibro. In the future, more definitive tests and possibly brain imaging could further help doctors with this challenging diagnosis.

Meet Our Writer

Erin L. Boyle

Erin L. Boyle, the senior editor at HealthCentral from 2016-2018, is an award-winning freelance medical writer and editor with more than 15 years’ experience. She’s traveled the world for a decade to bring the latest in medical research to doctors. Health writing is also personal for her: she has several autoimmune diseases and migraines with aura, which she writes about for HealthCentral. Learn more about her at erinlynnboyle.com. Follow her on Twitter @ErinLBoyle.

90,000 Fibromyalgia and Flu: Should I Get a Flu Shot?

This is the time of the year. Doctors across the country are touting the low-cost shot as insurance against the downing of the flu. But if you have

Fibromyalgia

,

Should you get a flu shot?

“I plan to receive

flu shot

This year, “said katra Overland, an information technology consultant at the forum, who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the fall of 2008.

“[My doctor] recommends that I get one because

flu with fibromyalgia

awful It is important for me to take precautions, ”said Oiland, who is also a daily wellness person.

Everyday Health interviewed three doctors who treat fibromyalgia patients and it all says to follow the trial and get a flu shot. That’s why:


What is flu?

The term “flu” is an infectious respiratory illness caused by

flu

Viruses, “According to the centers of W.with. for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That we look at the flu changes annually, and the composition of the flu shot is based on best guess predictions by food and drug management experts. This year’s flu shot aims to protect us from a combination of h2N1 virus, h4N2 virus and a couple of influenza B viruses. These strains are considered the most common threat right now.

Influenza can cause fever


cough

,

sore throat

, runny nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.While not fatal overall, the flu may have contributed to the deaths of about 49,000 people over a 30-year period, according to the CDC. People over 85 have

Highest hospital admissions rates associated with influenza

because their age makes them more vulnerable to complications.

Historically, the flu has been much worse than in recent decades.

In 1918 the Spanish flu

According to up to 50 million people worldwide, according to 2005

study in the journal of science.


How does a flu shot work?

The flu vaccine contains part of the flu virus that is dead. When it is injected inside you, your white blood cells recognize it as a foreign entity. This is when the body’s defense mechanism kicks in and starts making antibodies.

“Antibodies are protectors that help protect the body,” said Nathan Wei, MD.

rheumatologist

And director of the Arthritis Center in Frederick, Maryland.

About two weeks after your vaccination, you should have enough antibodies in your body to protect you if you enter

Get in touch with the flu virus again.


What happens if I don’t get a flu shot?

Anywhere between 5 percent and 20 percent of the US population will get together with the flu every year. You might be lucky, but

Why is this a chance?


People with fibromyalgia

Should get a flu shot because their response to the flu is, on average, more severe than that of otherwise healthy people.

“If you have fibromyalgia and get the flu, you’ll be very unhappy,” said Brian Walitt, MD, a rheumatologist at Georgetown University. “The flu is a miserable experience, and fibromyalgia patients tend to deal with miserable experiences, even worse than ordinary people.”

“It takes a normal person a week or two to recover, [but] sometimes people with fibromyalgia take months,” added Dr. Walitt. “The echoes of what is happening to them seem to last longer than the actual infection.”


Could a flu vaccine cause a fibromyalgia outbreak?

There is no solid evidence to support the idea that a flu shot could lead to a fibromyalgotic outbreak, said Frederick Wolfe, M.D., a rheumatologist at National Data Bank

Rheumatic diseases

Disclaimer Flu shots can be more painful for those with fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia are often more sensitive to things like mice and needles.

“You get shot in the hand. They harm normal people, and people with fibromyalgia tend to be more sensitive, ”Waltt said,“ But the idea you’re going to have a reaction that flares up your fibro is there is no evidence that flu shots make fibromyalgia.


Will a flu shot give me fibromyalgia?

Flu shots don’t cause fibromyalgia. Millions of people have chosen to get the vaccine, and fibromyalgia is not a problem, Walitt said.

Wolfe was even more emphatic that a flu shot doesn’t trigger fibromyalgia.

“This is crazy,” said Dr. Wolfe. “The flu shot has nothing to do with fibromyalgia, [and] I can’t imagine how anyone could make such an association.”


How many people with fibromyalgia get flu shots?

Only about 57 percent of the 1,200 people sample of adults with fibromyalgia chose to receive a flu shot, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology.Compares to an estimated 36 percent of all adults at the start

2012 to 2012 flu season.

Both numbers should be higher, Wolfe said. As many people as possible should get a flu shot to see if they have fibromyalgia.

For more information on flu imaging, check the CDC website:

Seasonal flu

90,000 causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Myalgia – muscle pain of a different nature, severity, localization.They develop for numerous reasons, including may be one of the symptoms of any neuralgic, rheumatic, infectious, endocrine disease.

According to the international classification of diseases (ICD-10), the code M79.1 is assigned to myalgia.

Causes of myalgia

Myalgia is a consequence of many reasons. Most often it is associated with improper physical activity. So, with excessive loads, overexertion, incorrect technique for performing physical exercises, muscle fibers are damaged and inflamed, which leads to painful sensations.

Insufficient physical activity, trauma suffered also provoke a negative state.

Myalgia often accompanies high fever in acute infectious diseases: flu, tonsillitis and others.

Muscle pain, as one of the symptoms, is inherent in:

  • scoliosis, kyphosis;

  • arthritis;

  • radiculitis;

  • arthritis;

  • arthralgia;

  • endocrine pathologies.

Frequent stressful situations, anxiety and emotional stress lead to activation of the sympathetic nervous system, muscle spasms and pain.

Symptoms of myalgia

The main symptom of myalgia is muscle pain, which, depending on the cause, has a different localization and is aching, dull, intense, acute, constant. Painful sensations can occur with pressure, during movement or in a calm state.

The following manifestations can be attached to the main symptom:

  • pain in the joints;

  • heaviness in the limbs;

  • hypertension;

  • headaches;

  • dizziness, weakness;

  • nausea, vomiting.

The clinic for myalgia is very diverse. So, with increased physical exertion, the pronounced pain sensations in the place of increased stress disappear on their own within a few days. Polymyalgia rheumatica is characterized by a chronic course, the neck, shoulder, pelvic girdle constantly and painfully hurt, movements are limited.

Types of myalgia

The disease can take three forms:

  1. FibromyalgiaRefers to complex disorders. With musculoskeletal pain, depression, morning stiffness, fatigue develops, and sleep is disturbed. Painful areas appear on the body – “pain points”.

  2. Myositis is an inflammation of the skeletal muscles. It manifests itself as acute local pains in the affected areas, which intensify during movement and with pressure. Gradually, movement in the joints becomes limited, leading to muscle weakness and atrophy of the affected muscle.

  3. Polymyositis. Refers to systemic diseases of skeletal, smooth muscles, skin. Severe muscle pains are accompanied by edema and skin lesions: erythematous, papular, bullous eruptions, purpura, hyperkeratosis, hyper- and depigmentation. In the future, inflammation of internal organs, the development of pneumonia, heart failure, intestinal obstruction is possible.

Myalgia can be acute or subacute.Pain that lasts more than three months is referred to as a chronic form of the disease.

Stages of development of myalgia

In its development, myalgia goes through several stages:

  1. Acute pain sensations occur suddenly during the performance of a certain physical action or tactile contact. Edema and local inflammation are common.

  2. Pains follow a person throughout the day.They intensify after physical exertion, stressful situations, with changing weather conditions and in the evening hours. Muscle fibers become dense, convex. Increased breathing and heart rate may occur.

  3. Painful sensations do not leave a person even at rest. There is a constant feeling of fatigue and weakness.

Over time, muscle fibers become thinner and smaller in volume, reflexes decrease.

Complications

Untimely treatment of myalgia causes a risk of development:

  • osteochondrosis;

  • arthritis, arthrosis;

  • radiculitis;

  • articular contracture;

  • pathological mobility of the vertebrae in any area of ​​the spinal column.

At the last stage of the disease, muscular dystrophy develops, serious nervous disorders. A person can become disabled.

Diagnostics

Diagnostics involves the use of modern laboratory and instrumental methods, which are aimed not only at identifying myalgia, but also at establishing the root causes.

Initially, the doctor analyzes the patient’s complaints, takes anamnesis, examines and palpates the affected area.In the future, a person is sent to:

  • delivery of general and biochemical analyzes;

  • Ultrasound;

  • Computer and magnetic resonance imaging;

  • needle electroneuromyography.

In some cases, samples are taken for the presence of a viral or bacterial infection.

Treatment of myalgia

Therapeutic measures are aimed at eliminating the root cause of myalgia and muscle pain.

For this purpose, it is advisable to use the following conservative methods:

  • physiotherapy: acupuncture, ozone therapy, electrophoresis, stone therapy, hirudotherapy, mud therapy;

  • massage: general, honey, acupressure.

Anti-inflammatory ointments, drugs, traditional medicine methods have a good effect.It is recommended to wear orthoses and other supportive devices.

Nutrition for myalgia does not require serious restrictions. Salt, spicy foods, alcohol and chocolate should not be abused.

General strengthening gymnastics is an effective method of therapy. Exercises are selected by the attending physician for each patient individually, depending on the nature, stage of the disease, the characteristics of the organism, the presence of concomitant pathologies. Recommended:

Self-medication is strictly prohibited, as it does not guarantee the desired results and can lead to hazardous health consequences.

Make an appointment with a neurologist

Prevention of myalgia

To prevent muscle pain, you must:

  • correctly distribute physical activity;

  • lead a healthy and active lifestyle;

  • provide a healthy diet;

  • monitor body weight;

  • be optimistic.

The appearance of symptoms of myalgia is an urgent reason to consult a doctor for diagnosis and timely treatment. After all, muscle pain can be caused by serious autoimmune diseases and cancer.

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90,000 how not to miss dangerous symptoms

Myalgia is a constant muscle pain (both during tension and in calmness), which occurs due to hypertonicity of muscle cells.Many people know what muscle pain is. After all, even a completely healthy person can feel pain after physical exertion or hard work.

Source: Fotolia

But these reasons are the most harmless. Myalgia can be the first sign of a serious illness.
The source of muscle pain is spasm, which provokes pinching of nerve endings and affects the muscles. This situation can happen even if you just stay in one position for a long time.Very often, myalgia can appear against the background of colds (ARVI, flu), after inflammation, infections.

Reasons, who to contact?

The causes of myalgia can be severe stress, chronic fatigue, problems with the musculoskeletal system, bruises or injuries, inactivity, sciatica, protrusion, hernia.
Myalgia very rarely occurs and develops as a separate phenomenon. Muscle pain is usually a symptom of some other medical condition. In this case, a complete diagnosis by a neurologist or neurosurgeon is required.
In the early stages of development, myalgia may be unstable, occur, for example, after physical exertion, due to some kind of sudden movement. Muscle pain can be squeezing, dull, sharp, aching, arising very sharply and just as abruptly disappearing. The pain can be accompanied by severe nausea, general weakness, body aches (as during a cold), and a feeling of stiffness in the muscles.

Consequences of influenza, ARVI

The symptoms of myalgia depend on the type of muscle pain.The most common type of muscle pain is fibromyalgia. In this case, not only muscles hurt, but also tendons and ligaments. As a rule, pain is localized in the lumbar, cervical, occipital and shoulder regions. With fibromyalgia, pain increases when you apply pressure to the affected muscle. Asthenia and insomnia are common symptoms of fibromyalgia. Cold and dampness can aggravate pain with this type of myalgia. Fibromyalgia is more common in women.

Source: pixabay

Myositis is an inflammatory myalgia that usually accompanies influenza or SARS.It occurs when a cold or infectious disease is carried on the legs (without bed rest). This can only trigger the whole situation. Myositis occurs already as a complication from such diseases. This is an inflammation of muscle tissue that appears after vascular lesions or impaired blood flow in the muscles. Usually these are sharp and sharp pains, covering the limbs, even with the most elementary movements. Often, myositis occurs in the neck area and it is in this area that it poses a particular danger.

Coxsackie virus

There is an even more serious disease – polymyositis. Pain in this condition can constantly change its localization and be accompanied by serious symptoms, in some cases even reaching complete muscle dystrophy. In addition to muscle pain, there can be severe headache (migraine), severe attacks of nausea and vomiting. Polymyositis usually begins with pain in the neck and later descends to the legs and pelvis.

Source: pixabay

Epidemic myalgia (or Bornholm’s disease) is another serious type of myalgia.It is caused by the Coxsackie virus, which develops in the gastrointestinal tract.

Symptoms of this disease can be very sharp and paroxysmal pain, fever, severe vomiting, body aches and chills. Usually the arms, chest, back and neck hurt. This myalgia usually lasts 3-4 days, and in difficult cases – a week.

In folk medicine, myalgia is treated with mud wraps and paraffin therapy

Treatment and prevention

The most important thing in the treatment of myalgia is finding and eliminating the root cause of the disease.It is very important to consult a neurologist or neurosurgeon.

Source: Shutterstock

Usually, the treatment of myalgia is carried out in a complex manner. This is taking medications, and physiotherapy exercises, and massages. Drug therapy includes anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs, as well as warming ointments or gels. It is important to know that if you take drugs at the peak of the pain syndrome, then there will be no result. Medicines need to be taken before pain. If the pain becomes unbearable, the patient may be given blockages.But it must be remembered that the blockade does not remove the pain forever, but only for a while. She will help one patient for six months, and another for a week. This type of treatment is very individual.

Prevention of myalgia should be prescribed by a doctor. After all, physiotherapy exercises and manual therapy are not suitable for everyone. Self-medication with this symptom complex can be very dangerous. Do not hesitate, see a doctor.

Consultant: Emil Askerov, neurosurgeon

The opinion of the editorial board may not coincide with the opinion of the author of the article.

Use of photos: Clause 4 of Article 21 of the Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights -” Reproduction for the purpose of covering current events by means of photography or cinematography, public communication or communication of works seen or heard during such events, to the extent justified by the information

Clinical Study Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Inactivated Split Virion Influenza Vaccine, WHO Recommended 2011 Influenza Vaccine – Clinical Trials Registry

Fifty fibromyalgia patients and 30 age matched healthy controls will be enrolled in the study.the study.

Fibromyalgia will be classified using the 1990 ACR criteria.

After signing informed consent, all subjects will be vaccinated with an inactivated split. the virion vaccine recommended by the WHO this fall.

Patients will be examined in 0 and 6 weeks. The clinical assessment will be based on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and the 2010 Fibromyalgia Severity Scale.

ESR and CRP Blood will be collected on the day of vaccination and after 6 weeks.

The immunogenicity of the vaccine will be tested with a hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test.

The influenza virus has two important surface glycoproteins: hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The antigenic classification and subtypes of influenza viruses are based on these two glycoproteins. HA plays a key role in the entry of viruses into cells by binding to the cell surface receptors, which are also found on red blood cells of some species. Binding to red blood cells leads to hemagglutination, which can be seen as a carpet of agglutinated red blood cells to the bottom of a tube or microtiter.In the HI test, antibodies directed against viral hemagglutinins block the binding of the virus to blood cells and thus inhibit the hemagglutination response.

HI antibodies before and after immunization were tested at the Central Virology Laboratory. Israeli Ministry of Health using the HI test in accordance with WHO standard procedure 16. Sera will be separated, labeled and stored at -20 ° C until testing. Sulfur will be treated with cholera enzyme receptor-depleting filtrate to remove nonspecific inhibitors, and turkey red blood cells to remove nonspecific agglutinins.The processed sera will be HI tested against the three antigens included in the vaccine: A / California (CAL), A / Wisconsin, and B / Malaysia. The working dilution (test dose) of each antigen contained four units of hemagglutinin in 25 μl of antigen. The test doses will be diluted with phosphate buffer. saline (PBS) and added to a serial dilution of antisera. The hemagglutinin inhibition titer will be defined as the maximum serum dilution that completely inhibits erythrocyte hemagglutination.

The titer of an antiserum showing no inhibition will be recorded as & lt; 10. A humoral response will be defined as a fourfold or more increase in titer, or an increase from a non-protective baseline level & lt; 1/40 to 1/40 in HI antibodies four weeks after vaccination 17,18. Geometric mean antibody titers will be calculated to assess immunity. Whole group.

90,000 MUSCLE PAIN ᐉ Symptoms • Treatment • Causes • Signs • Medication at Low Price Pharmacy (ANC)

Muscle pain or myalgia is a pain syndrome, most often the root cause of which is inflammation in muscle tissue.Pain can occur when the muscles are overloaded, for example, during exercise, with muscle diseases, or appear as a symptom in diseases of other organs.

Causes of myalgia

Muscle pain can occur for various reasons:

  • excessive physical activity (most pronounced in untrained people),
  • sprain, hard blows to muscles,
  • idiopathic inflammatory and neurogenic myopathies (diseases in which muscle wasting occurs),
  • rheumatic and systemic diseases (osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia),
  • infectious diseases (muscle pain often occurs with ARVI, influenza)
  • endocrine diseases and metabolic disorders,
  • taking a number of medications,
  • mental overload, cold, dampness,
  • vascular diseases (impaired blood circulation in a certain muscle group),
  • diseases of the spine.

Often we feel muscle pain after intense physical exertion, this condition is called DOMS. This kind of pain shouldn’t be too much of a concern. However, myalgia can also occur in pathological conditions. Therefore, with prolonged, repetitive pain, it is worth paying attention to the state of health and finding out the reason for their occurrence.

Symptoms of myalgia

Symptoms of myalgia can be manifested by a rather diverse pain in the muscles, as well as other symptoms:

  • aching, pressing pain,
  • Pain on movement
  • a condition when the muscles are swollen and tense,
  • nodules and cords can be felt in the muscles,
  • pain may be musculoskeletal in nature,
  • severe sharp pains are possible,
  • Possible redness of the skin adjacent to the inflamed muscle,
  • the pain may grow
  • edema, fever are possible.

With fibromyalgia, the pain is severe enough, spreading throughout the body. Cramps, numbness of the muscle area, and a feeling of heaviness may also appear.

A specific muscle is affected by myositis. It can turn red and enlarged, causing stiffness. The danger of myositis is that without treatment, muscle atrophy and disability are possible.

With polymyasitis, large muscle groups can be affected, the disease can spread to the lungs, heart, and muscle atrophy can develop.

Diagnosis and treatment of myalgia

Rheumatologist, neuropathologist are engaged in diagnostics and treatment of myalgias. The doctor will conduct an examination and prescribe the necessary examinations. To diagnose muscle pain, laboratory tests (general tests, blood biochemistry, rheumatic test, etc.), X-ray studies, electromyography are usually prescribed. CT, MRI, and even muscle biopsy may also be done.

Treatment of muscle pain usually includes a set of methods.Medicines are used: anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticosteroids, analgesics, muscle relaxants. Ointments and gels are often prescribed. In pharmacies, there is a large selection of drugs designed to eliminate muscle pain, which are highly effective. The doctor may also prescribe injections into the sore muscle. Physiotherapy may be recommended.

It is not worth prescribing medication for yourself, with the help of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, you may be able to remove the pain for a while, but if active pathological processes occur in the muscles, then you can truly improve the condition only by finding out the cause and undergoing a full course of treatment.Your doctor will help you do this.

It vanished as if by no means. Scientists have created an effective and safe pain reliever

https://ria.ru/20210203/bol-1595729959.html

It took off like a hand. Scientists have created an effective and safe pain reliever

It took off. Scientists have created an effective and safe pain reliever Scientists have created an effective and safe pain reliever

Pain helps animals avoid injury: they pull the limbs away from the hot and protect the crippled body parts so that wounds heal faster.However, constant … RIA Novosti, 03.02.2021

2021-02-03T08: 00

2021-02-03T08: 00

2021-02-03T09: 56

science

Russian Academy of Sciences

health

pain

biology

biochemistry

molecules

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MOSCOW, February 3 – RIA Novosti, Alfiya Enikeeva. Pain helps animals avoid injury: they pull the limbs away from the hot and protect the crippled parts of the body so that wounds heal faster. However, constant painful sensations caused by chronic ailments or dysfunction of receptors seriously complicate life. Analgesics help, however they have side effects and potent drugs create addiction. How scientists propose to solve the problem – in the material of RIA Novosti.In the shackles of pain Pain is a response to damage to cells and tissues. When injured, they release special chemicals that act on pain receptors – sensitive nerve endings. It is there that electrical impulses arise, and then they are transmitted along nerve fibers to the brain, where we are aware of pain. “Pain receptors – nociceptors – are the endings of nerve cells. They are located in the skin, muscles and some internal organs. book “0.05.Evidence-based medicine “science journalist Peter Talantov. As noted by Russian physiologist Vyacheslav Dubynin, prostaglandins, molecules formed from the cell membrane when it breaks down, are key to triggering pain signals. Therefore, some analgesics are aimed at preventing the damaged area from producing them: after all, if their concentration is not high enough, the pain is not so strong. However, such drugs have many side effects, although they do not cause dependence. More effective than morphine Addiction is characteristic of painkillers, which are based on compounds similar to either gamma-aminobutyric acid or endorphins.These substances are used as mediators by special inhibitory neurons of the spinal cord. Their main task is to stop weak pain signals and pass significant ones into the central nervous system. According to Dubynin, truly severe pain can only be relieved by morphine and morphine-like compounds, precisely because their molecules are similar to endorphins. A non-addictive replacement was created by Japanese and American scientists. The new substance was named AT-121. On the one hand, like opiates, it activates mu-opioid receptors (MOPs), and on the other, it acts as nociceptins, short protein molecules.They inhibit the receptors involved in instinctive and emotional behavior that opiates usually bind to. As a result, AT-121, while relieving severe pain, does not cause pleasure – as, for example, when taking morphine. And, therefore, it does not form dependencies. The drug was tested on rhesus monkeys. The animals were injected with it in three different doses – from 0.003 micrograms per kilogram of animal weight to 0.03 micrograms. Then the tails were doused with water heated to 50 degrees Celsius. In addition, some had plasters with burning substances glued to their paws.The primates who received the highest dose of AT-121 tolerated pain better than their relatives who received less drug or normal saline (control group). Moreover, the new compound had the same analgesic effect as morphine, but at a dose one hundred times less. Observations on animals have shown: AT-121 does not cause side effects and addiction. According to the authors of the work, the drug “suppresses pain better than morphine, but its use is not accompanied by the feeling of euphoria, which usually leads to drug addiction.”Scientists from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry named after M. M. Shemyakin and Yu. A. Ovchinnikov of the Russian Academy of Sciences have discovered in the human nervous system a natural anti-analgesic – nocystatin. It is a protein regulator molecule that interacts with ion channels (ASIC channels) located on the cell walls. When cells and tissues are damaged, special chemicals are released from them – signaling molecules. ASIC channels recognize them and trigger an electrical signal, in other words, transmit information about pain along a chain.These channels resemble gates, but you need to pick up a special key to open them. This is the key that nocistatin becomes. Getting into the intercellular substance, it promotes acidification and activation of ion channels. Then the person feels pain. According to the researchers, the new generation of pain relievers should be aimed, among other things, at suppressing the production of nocystatin. In this case, it will be possible to solve two problems at once – to reduce the harm from analgesics and to prevent the formation of addiction. However, it is possible to cope with these tasks with the help of the ordinary placebo effect, according to British and Chilean scientists.They gave the neutral cream to nearly two hundred volunteers with osteoarthritis and chronic fibromyalgia, which causes constant pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons. The participants were told that they were participating in a clinical trial of a very powerful analgesic. The control group consisted of 98 healthy people who, after rubbing in the cream, inflicted rather painful laser burns that simulate chronic pain. As a result, after just two weeks, both patients with pain syndrome and participants in the control group reported a decrease in painful sensations.And some – even about their complete disappearance. This means, the authors of the work note, that people suffering from chronic pain are able to influence their intensity without analgesics.

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Russian Academy of Sciences, health, pain, biology, biochemistry, molecules

MOSCOW, Feb 3 – RIA Novosti, Alfiya Enikeeva. Pain helps animals avoid injury: they pull the limbs away from the hot and take care of the crippled parts of the body so that wounds heal faster. However, constant painful sensations caused by chronic ailments or dysfunction of receptors seriously complicate life. Analgesics help, however they have side effects and potent drugs create addiction.How scientists propose to solve the problem – in the material of RIA Novosti.

In the shackles of pain

Pain is a response to damage to cells and tissues. When injured, they release special chemicals that act on pain receptors – sensitive nerve endings. It is there that electrical impulses arise, and then they are transmitted along nerve fibers to the brain, where we are aware of pain.

“Pain receptors – nociceptors – are the endings of nerve cells.They are located in the skin, muscles and some internal organs. Nociceptors differ from other receptors in that they respond only to stimuli of a threatening intensity – just touching or pressing will not cause pain, “writes in the book” 0.05. Evidence-based medicine “science journalist Peter Talantov.

According to Russian physiologist Vyacheslav Dubynin, prostaglandins, molecules formed from the cell membrane when it is destroyed, are key to triggering pain signals. Therefore, some analgesics are aimed at preventing the damaged area from producing them: after all if their concentration is not high enough, the pain is not so strong.However, these drugs have many side effects, although they do not cause addiction.

More effective than morphine

Addiction is characteristic of painkillers, based on compounds similar to either gamma-aminobutyric acid or endorphins. These substances are used as mediators by special inhibitory neurons of the spinal cord. Their main task is to stop weak pain signals and pass significant ones into the central nervous system.

According to Dubynin, really severe pain can only be relieved by morphine and morphine-like compounds precisely because their molecules are similar to endorphins.

A non-addictive substitute was created by Japanese and American scientists. The new substance was named AT-121. On the one hand, like opiates, it activates mu-opioid receptors (MOPs), and on the other, it acts as nociceptins, short protein molecules. They inhibit the receptors involved in instinctive and emotional behavior that opiates usually bind to. As a result, AT-121, while relieving severe pain, does not cause pleasure – as, for example, when taking morphine. And, therefore, it does not form dependencies.

January 29, 04:07

A neurologist told whether it is necessary to endure a headache

The drug was tested on rhesus monkeys. The animals were injected with it in three different doses – from 0.003 micrograms per kilogram of animal weight to 0.03 micrograms. Then the tails were doused with water heated to 50 degrees Celsius. In addition, some had plasters with burning substances glued to their paws.

Primates who received the highest dose of AT-121 tolerated pain better than their relatives who received less drug or normal saline (control group).Moreover, the new compound had the same analgesic effect as morphine, but at a dose one hundred times less.

Observations of animals have shown: AT-121 does not cause side effects and addiction. According to the authors of the work, the drug “suppresses pain better than morphine, but its use is not accompanied by the feeling of euphoria, which usually leads to drug addiction.”

Manage pain

Scientists from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry named after M.M. Shemyakin and Yu.A. Ovchinnikov of the Russian Academy of Sciences discovered in the human nervous system a natural antianalgesic – nocystatin. It is a protein regulator molecule that interacts with ion channels (ASIC channels) located on the cell walls.

When cells and tissues are damaged, special chemicals are released from them – signaling molecules. ASIC channels recognize them and trigger an electrical signal, in other words, transmit information about pain along a chain. These channels resemble gates, but you need to pick up a special key to open them.This is the key that nocistatin becomes. Getting into the intercellular substance, it promotes acidification and activation of ion channels. Then the person feels pain.

January 8, 09:14

The types of pain in which you need to call an ambulance are named

According to the researchers, a new generation of pain relievers should be aimed, among other things, at suppressing the production of nocystatin. In this case, it will be possible to solve two problems at once – to reduce the harm from analgesics and to prevent the formation of addiction.

However, it is possible to cope with these tasks with the help of an ordinary placebo effect, according to British and Chilean scientists. They gave the neutral cream to nearly two hundred volunteers with osteoarthritis and chronic fibromyalgia, which causes constant pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons. The participants were told that they were participating in a clinical trial of a very powerful analgesic. The control group consisted of 98 healthy people who, after rubbing in the cream, inflicted rather painful laser burns that simulate chronic pain.

As a result, both patients with pain syndrome and participants in the control group reported a decrease in pain after two weeks. And some – even about their complete disappearance.

So, the authors of the work note, people suffering from chronic pain are able to influence their intensity without analgesics.

October 25, 2015 12:18 pm Science Laser Torture Helps Scientists Understand How To Increase Pain Tolerance chronic pain.90,000 Immunologist named diseases incompatible with coronavirus vaccination :: Society :: RBK

Photo: Maxim Blinov / RIA Novosti

Coronavirus vaccination is unacceptable for patients with medical conditions that require treatment with immunosuppressive drugs.This was stated by the doctor-immunologist Vladislav Zhemchugov, reports the newspaper “Evening Moscow”.

“The simplest example is oncology, because if there is treatment, then it is accompanied by immunosuppression. It turns out that on the one hand there is an indication, and on the other, on the contrary, there is a contraindication, ”the specialist explained.

Moscow authorities have named the interval between influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations

An absolute contraindication to vaccination against COVID-19, according to the doctor, are also inflammatory, autoimmune diseases, lupus erythematosus and systemic blood diseases.