FIBROMYALGIA (FM) SUBTYPES
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:
Insidious CNS miscommunication FM can be caused by:
- Anterior head carriage
- 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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