Did you know that siblings, children, and parents of someone with fibromyalgia are eight times more likely to get fibromyalgia than those in families that don’t exhibit the disorder? It could be the result of a genetic tendency that is passed from mother to daughter. There may also be a hormonal component, which could explain why more women than men are affected.
The genetic tendency can be triggered by a traumatic event, such as:
- a car accident
- an extended hospital stay
- an injury
- giving birth
- a viral infection
A stressful event, such as:
- a divorce
- a death in the family
- being in an abusive relationship
These events and situations will not necessarily result in someone getting fibromyalgia, but if you are predisposed, an event such as these can trigger it.
Although my own symptoms began many years ago, they dramatically increased after the death of my father. Although there is not a specific gene for fibromyalgia, such as the one for cystic fibrosis, multiple genetic components can predispose a person to the disorder, given the right set of circumstances.
According to researchers, fibromyalgia is 50% genetic and 50% environmental. In my immediate family, I have two daughters who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. One daughter was 16 and one was 22, although both showed symptoms for years. I was in my mid-50s when I was diagnosed, but I’ve had worsening symptoms for years. My sister doesn’t have it, but one of her daughters does. Does it run in your family? I’m curious to know why it seems to be passed down to daughters.
According to an article on www.womens-health-advice.com:
“Four different gene variants are strongly associated with the condition. Some of the genes play a role in the nervous system’s response to pain and pressure. Others are the same genes associated with depression which is why certain anti-depression medications help to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms. Even if you are not depressed, you may be prescribed antidepressants as part of your fibromyalgia treatment plan. Although there are links between certain genes and fibromyalgia, a specific gene has not been identified. In other words, it’s still too soon to for genetic testing or screening to be of any use.”
I’m hopeful in the future that there will genetic testing available for FMS. I believe they are close to developing a blood test that can confirm a positive diagnosis.
Although there is an increased risk of our children getting fibromyalgia, it is not a by any means a foregone conclusion.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.