Could Fibromyalgia Be Hereditary?

There is no evidence to suggest that fibromyalgia is passed down from parent to child, however, it does appear that some families experience clusters of the chronic illness.

MORE: Six tips to help prevent fibromyalgia flares

According to the Mayo Clinic, the chances of a person developing fibromyalgia are much higher if they have immediate family members who suffer from the disease, compared to those who don’t.

There have been a few studies that have isolated several genes that could be responsible for the onset of fibromyalgia and would explain why it has a tendency to run in some families. These genes play an active role in the central nervous system and how our bodies determine pain. The same genes are also linked to anxiety and depression, which may explain why some fibromyalgia patients respond well to antidepressants.

MORE: Why fibromyalgia feels like a progressive disorder

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4 comments

  1. StevefromMA says:

    That’s an interesting question that could eventually be answered by Bruce Gillis, M.D., FM/a test and study in which I am a member. He hopes to sequence the genomes of 250k fibro patients who passed his test indicating they have pain cytokines at a level consistent with fibro.

    My take is that other pain disorders that have similar cytokines release and immune system problems mY be related. My mom has several kinds of arthritis and my son has Crohn’s disease, all potentially similar from a clinical standpoint IMO.

  2. Betsy Jacobson (formerly Fibrobetsy) says:

    We’ve been talking about the potential genetic factors in FM since the early 90’s. My mother had migraine headaches and body pain constantly. Our family used to think she was “just” a qvetch. Poor thing. She might have had FM, and it’s not as if FM wasn’t known yet. Alfred Nobel had it,so why not my mother?

  3. Lucia Sweeney. says:

    My older sister and younger brother have both had M.E./fibro.for 8 to 10 years.
    I have had fibromyalgia for 4 years now.My sister is a doctor and my brother a vet.They both got well enough to return to living fullfilling lives again but had to reduce their working hours dramatically.I can see now I over worked ever since an RTA in 1990.I expected my body to obey my will.Luckily,the nasty debilitating symptoms are beginning to be less aggressive.I hope that trend continues over the next few years.It is a struggle to have to humbly bow in submission to what ever your health dictates on any given day.While I knew none of us are invincible I still feel arrogantly entitled to be fit and healthy…instead of grateful for..as one wise person so rightly put it..”Be grateful for how ill you are not!”Good luck to all research scientists..the future is in your hands!

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