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Fibromyalgia Mystery Solved––Researchers Find Main Source Of Pain In Blood Vessels

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Are you experiencing constant muscle pain and fatigue? There is a good chance that you are suffering from fibromyalgia. As many as 5 million Americans that are ages 18 or older are affected by it. Women are the primary targets of this chronic disease, affecting up to 90% of them, and it’s very hard to treat.

For many years, research has pointed to this pain and fatigue just being “in the patients head.” It’s been characterized as a psychosomatic disorder, which means that it’s caused by mental factors that attribute to a person’s imagination.

Many people complain about pain in their neck, shoulders, back, and legs. But no research has been able to pinpoint what is causing this pain. Until now! Recent research has finally determined that this pain is in fact not just an imagination, but actually caused by a sensory nerve in blood vessels found in the palms!

Scientists at Integrated Tissue Dynamics were responsible for the study. They found that the fibres that were supposed to be only responsible for the blood flow in the skin are also responsible for sensing touch and pain.

shutterstock_374179906 Pressmaster/shutterstock.com

In order to be sure about their findings, the team conducted a second study to see if they could locate any pathology in the blood vessels that could also contribute. After analyzing skin samples they collected from women who suffered from fibromyalgia, they discovered that there was a large increase in sensory fibres at certain sites within blood vessels of the skin.

shutterstock_408838900 Tonhom1009/shutterstock.com

These nerves are part of the arteriole-venule shunts, which are responsible for heat regulation in our body by controlling the blood flow in our blood vessels. In warm conditions, the shunts shut down which forces blood into the skin surface so it can be released.

shutterstock_441056983 sciencepics/shutterstock.com

In cold conditions, the shunts open up and allow the veins to conserve heat, thus our hands and feet become cold.

shutterstock_160499864 LilKar/shutterstock.com

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