I may need to give up this quest. Now I’m discovering research that indicates that people with fibromyalgia are really experiencing premature aging of the brain. Those gray matter bits that are dwindling as pain lingers do usually dwindle as we age anyway. It’s just that us fibro folks are dwindling at a rate of 9.5% faster than “normal” folks (see Kuchinad in library). So when I’ve said I feel 80 years old and I’m worried about how I’m going to feel when I’m actually 80 years old, I may be on to something.
Russell and Larson (see library) give a different definition of fibromyalgia: “a disorder of premature neurologic aging.” In addition, Hassett et al (see library) also discuss premature aging in fibromyalgia, but not in terms of just the brain, but earlier onset of age-related diseases in general, earlier cognitive dysfunction, earlier “physical decline,” and yes, earlier death. Once a doctor looked at my chart and commented that I was sort of ahead of the game. I went through premature menopause (but I was happy about that, actually), and I have paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (a given for older people), arthritis, bursitis, and severe obstructive sleep apnea. Good thing I’m pretty immature to make up for my aged body.
I still have to find what links all this together. We have chemical imbalances, mitochondrial changes, premature aging and structural changes of the brain which affect the central nervous system, inadequate thyroid regulation, infection/virus, and I’m probably forgetting some. Is fibromyalgia just like a set of dominoes? Does one of these set the rest off? Is it a perfect storm where several of these brew together to create fibromyalgia?