Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia

Risk factors for fibromyalgia include the following:

  • Age (more common in young adults)
  • Gender (more common in women than men)
  • Genetic (familial patterns suggest the disorder may be inherited)
  • Sleep disorders (whether sleep difficulties are a cause or a result of fibromyalgia is unknown)

Fibromyalgia Causes

Causes of fibromyalgia are not known. The condition produces vague symptoms that may be associated with diminished blood flow to certain parts of the brain and increased amounts of substance P, which is thought to be a sensory neurotransmitter involved in the communication of pain, touch, and temperature from the body to the brain. Researchers have identified several other possible fibromyalgia causes, including the following:

  • Autonomic nervous system dysfunction
  • Chronic sleep disorders
  • Emotional stress or trauma
  • Immune or endocrine system dysfunction
  • Upper spinal cord injury
  • Viral or bacterial infection

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Dec 1999

Last Modified: 15 Sep 2015