FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - FM Subtypes

 

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FIBROMYALGIA (FM) SUBTYPES FM Types

Fibromyalgia (FM) can be broken down into five different types. All five impact the body in the same way and have similar symptoms. However, each subtype represents a different initiating factor of FM. The five subtypes are:


1. Infectious Fibromyalgia

The onset of FM can be related to chronic infection. Long term, low grade infections tax the immune system and the adrenal glands, since cortisol is heavily involved in immunity. Eventually this causes adrenal fatigue, which consequentially disrupts the HPA Axis.

In some cases, FM is preceded by infections. Similar to stress‐induced FM, infectious FM occurs because the HPA axis gets "burnt out". If a person's immune system is weak, a major infection can result in a low‐grade chronic infection. The body is then constantly expending its resources trying to eliminate the infecting agent. Soon, as the body begins to wear, the HPA axis weakens, resulting in FM.


2. CNS Miscommunication Fibromyalgia

Central nervous system miscommunication fibromyalgia is characterized by miscommunication between the central nervous system and the HPA axis. CNS miscommunication fibromyalgia can be broken down further into two more subtypes:

  • Trauma induced - the result of trauma, especially whiplash
  • Insidious - onset is unknown, the result of congenital anomalies

FM can arise from a blockage of nerve signals between the spinal cord and the brain. CNS miscommunication FM can be trauma‐induced or insidious. Traumainduced CNS miscommunication FM can be caused by:

  • Whiplash
  • Neck trauma

Insidious CNS miscommunication FM can be caused by:

  • Anterior head carriage
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cervical disc herniation
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Systemic Lupus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Undetected cervical curve reversal

How do these conditions or occurrences cause CNS miscommunication?

The conditions or actions that cause CNS miscommunication do so by putting pressure on the spinal cord or brainstem, which are part of the central nervous system. Sometimes, they put direct pressure on the CNS, such as a disc herniation. Others put indirect pressure on the CNS. An example of indirect pressure would be the pressure put on the spinal cord by structural changes as a result of whiplash. Where there is either direct or indirect pressure on the spinal cord, the delicate relationship between the opening where the spinal cord exits the skull and the first neck vertebra is disturbed. The spinal cord and its covering are surrounded and protected by the vertebrae. If the first vertebra is displaced or deteriorated, it pulls on the covering of the spinal cord. This type of irritation to the spinal cord causes it to fire impulses to the brain and other body structures, which confuses the brain and other body parts. In essence, the spinal cord is sending mixed messages, it is "miscommunicating" with the body.


3. Stress Induced Fibromyalgia

Extreme chronic stress can trigger fibromyalgia by constantly bombarding the HPA axis with stimulation. The body cannot tell physical stress from emotional stress, and thus reacts the same to both. Most of you have likely heard of the "fight or flight response." This is the response the body has to stress of any kind. Chronic stress leads to over‐stimulation of this response. The end result is much like driving a car too hard, too long. The adrenal glands, just like an engine, shut down due to being worked too hard, thus initiating the "Vicious Cycle of Fibromyalgia".


4. Toxic Acidic Nutritional Fibromyalgia (TAN)

Nutritional imbalances and/or toxin exposure can result in FM. This type of FM is usually limited to individuals with food allergies, chemical sensitivities, and a diet laden with acidic foods and chemicals. Occasionally, fibromyalgia can be the result of nutritional deficiencies or toxin exposure. In the case of nutritional deficiencies, there is most often an intestinal malabsorption problem associated with the condition. P esticides, PCB's, and other toxic chemical exposure can initiate TAN fibromyalgia. Both nutritional deficiencies and toxin exposure can disrupt the delicately balanced HPA axis.


5. Secondary Fibromyalgia

Secondary fibromyalgia represents a type of fibromyalgia that is actually caused by a separate primary condition. The primary condition is most often an auto‐immune condition. Fibromyalgia can be initiated by other conditions, such as autoimmune conditions. Such conditions bombard the immune system for long periods of time. Much like infectious fibromyalgia, this can result in a deregulated HPA Axis, and thus precede FM.


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Sources:

  • Basic Questions about fibromyalgia, Are there different types of Fibromyalgia?, Fibromyalgia Resource Information, fibrofactpage.com.

  • 2007 About, Inc., a part of the New York Times Company. All rights reserved. "Fibromyalgia"

  • 2007 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. "Melatonin Deficiencies in Women"

  • 1995-2007 Life Extension Foundation. All rights reserved. "Fibromyalgia"

  • Diagnose & Treat Pain, Weakness & Numbness, Piedmont Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, P.A., Robert G. Schwartz MD, Greenville, SC.

  • Fibromyalgia Research Review 2010, What's Wrong With Me? A Comprehensive Look at Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Colorado Fibromyalgia Center, http://www.coloradofibromyalgia.com, Accessed Nov. 20, 2009.
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