Fibromyalgia Linked to Endometriosis, Autoimmune Diseases, Study Says

Fibromyalgia Linked to Endometriosis, Autoimmune Diseases, Study Says
Women diagnosed with fibromyalgia and endometriosis have a higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases, a study found. Additionally, patients with both conditions had a higher incidence of mental conditions such as depression and used their healthcare system more often. The study, "Evidence for an association between endometriosis, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases," was published in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology. Endometriosis is a complex disease characterized by cells of the endometrium — the lining of the womb — growing elsewhere in the body. The condition is associated with acute inflammation, chronic pain and infertility. Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain in the muscles and is sometimes accompanied by cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. The disease mainly occurs in women. Although the diseases' exact causes remain unknown, the immune system seems to play a crucial role in both. This is supported by studies suggesting high prevalence of fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases in patients with endometriosis. A group of researchers performed a retrospective study addressing the association between endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases. They used data from the computerized databases of Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS), which contains the information of 2.1 million healthcare plan users in Israel. Women
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4 comments

  1. Duane Conroy says:

    Fibromyalgia is not gender specific. The ratio of women to men diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the United States is traditionally identified as 90% to 10% with some estimates approaching 80% to 20% — but in Israel the ratio is closer to 60% women to 40% men.
    The occurrence of endometriosis in men is extremely rare. Only a few cases of endometriosis in men have been reported in the literature.
    Autoimmune compromise is not gender specific. Not having a uterus, men with fibromyalgia experience other autoimmune co-morbidities.

  2. Carol McKane says:

    I shed a tear reading this. From one of the worst cases of endometriosis diagnosed at the time, to debilitating fibromyalgia diagnosed decades later. That’s me. Back when I had endo 30 years ago, there was no such thing as fibromyalgia. And when it was named, it was just another thing to hide; a cause of guilt and shame. All I knew was that I never recovered from being sick, despite total hysterectomy. I am so grateful for this study. It helps to know that it really never was ‘in your head’. I understand the connection, it makes sense to me. Thank you very much.

  3. S.C. says:

    It is not surprising that women (or anyone else) would suffer from depression or anxiety and use the health care system more often if they are living with constant pain, fatigue and discomfort from endometriosis, fibromyalgia or autoimmune disease. These illnesses are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, have few remedies and evoke dismissiveness at times from practitioners—a recipe for patient depression or anxiety.

  4. Vera says:

    In the case of fibromyalgia being linked to autoimmune diseases, it is vastly more reasonable to conclude that people suffering from autoimmune diseases (which are often hard to diagnose) are first told they have fibromyalgia and only later given an accurate diagnosis.

    Sincerely,
    Someone with confirmed rheumatoid arthritis who was first and *incorrectly* diagnosed with fibro.

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