This morning on my usual bus ride to work, I threw a question out to a couple fibromyalgia support groups on Facebook:  Have you ever been told what caused your fibromyalgia? If so, what? For me, I was told mild arthritis in my back caused it.

Within just a few moments, I started getting responses.  Thank you all who responded.  I thought you may be interested in a bottom line of the responses that I received:

  1. Emotional trauma – thirteen
  2. Surgery – seven
  3. Injury – six
  4. Viral – three (Epstein-Barr Virus)
  5. Genetics – three
  6. Lyme disease – two (bacterial)
  7. Cancer – two
  8. Sjögren’s – one
  9. Grand mal seizures – one
  10. Post-drug abuse – one
  11. Temporomandibular joint disorder – one

Some of these were in combination, such as genetics and trauma.  Some had an overwhelming combination of factors.  A couple had no responses, having been told that some people just have it and no one knows why.  That’s actually the truth.  No one really does know why fibro develops in some people and not others.  But they’re looking.

I’ve been looking at research studies (see library) and can see a really positive shift in the way researchers and physicians regard fibromyalgia.  In the 70s, the focus was on psychology – what’s wrong with these people thinking there’s something wrong with them?  It’s rare that this kind of ugly attitude comes out anymore in medical literature.  The focus is now on the physiological causes for fibromyalgia.  It is no longer generally considered a throwaway diagnosis.  This is what gives me hope.  I don’t think there’s going to be a breakthrough with a magic cure, and I’m always very suspicious of claims that I can’t find corroborating research on.  However, knowing that there is an effort gives me hope, if not for me but for future generations.


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