June 20, 2013
Our Pain Is Real!
In my previous blogs, I’ve talked about how painful fibromyalgia can be. And anyone who lives with this disease has heard from someone along the way, including some doctors, that the pain in all in our heads. Well, redOrbit’s own Lee Rannals has recently written an article about a recent study that says fibromyalgia pain is real.
According to this article, the source of the pain in our skin has been discovered. I’m not in the medical field, but even I was able to understand most of what they were talking about and Lee made it even easier. Basically, it has to do with the circulation in your hands and feet. There are shunts within the blood vessels of our hands and feet that allow our body to regulate its’ body temperature. When it is hot outside, these shunts close causing us to sweat. In the cold, they open to allow the body to stay warm. Around these shunts, it seems that those with fibromyalgia have developed extra sensory fibers (I’m calling them nerve endings to keep it simple). As I said, I’m not a doctor, but this is my basic understanding of what they found.
Now, while all of this is great, my main concern in the fact that they now have definitive proof that the pain we feel is absolutely real. I have been extremely lucky in that I have run across very few people who have not believed me when I have talked about the pain I was experiencing. But I know there are others that have had people look at them like they were making it up or looking for sympathy. The worst part is the doctors who disbelieve. You go to a doctor looking for relief and answers, not derision and an offer to refer you to a psychiatrist. No more! You can now look them in the eye and tell them to piss off! You now have evidence that shows that they are the ones who are full of it!
Lee’s article also touches on the fact that it is these nerve endings that open and close the shunts, which would be a lot more active in cold weather. This could explain why so many of us seem to have more flare-ups (meaning more pain) during cold weather. In fact, I know that (for me, at least) wet and cold weather have become my worst enemies. No amount of medicine will keep my legs from screaming at me when the temperature drops or when a rain storm comes thru. Even high humidity bothers me and living in south Texas high humidity is a given in the summer time! Lee briefly mentions another study that says weather does not affect fibromyalgia pain. “Dutch researchers reported a study earlier this month contradicting these findings, saying that weather conditions do not affect fibromyalgia pain or fatigue.” I have to wonder how many of those researchers suffer, or has a love one who suffers from fibromyalgia. Because I can personally attest to the fact that everyone in my family has seen exactly what a change in the weather can do to me.
Overall, I just have to say how thrilled I am that this research has finally vindicated those who have fibromyalgia. Knowing that doctors now have a starting point to figuring out how to treat this disease is wonderful news! And feel free to throw this study in the faces of those who ever doubted you. I know I probably will!
Image Credit: Sam72 / Shutterstock