- What is Fibromyalgia?
- Dealing with Chronic Pain
- Chronic Pain Disorder
- Fibromyalgia Treatment
- Natural Treatments
Is fibromyalgia an autoimmune disorder? It depends on who you ask. There are more than 80 known types of autoimmune disorders, but fibromyalgia is not considered to be one of them.
According to Womenshealth.gov, autoimmune disorders can make the body unable to tell the difference between what belongs and what doesn’t. When this happens, the body produces auto-antibodies that attack normal, healthy cells as if they were antagonists.
More specifically, the body's special cells - regulatory T cells - do not keep the immune system in check. The result? A misguided attack on the one's own body. Autoimmune disorders affect more than 23.5 million Americans and are a leading cause of death and disability.
In general, fibromyalgia is very difficult to diagnose because so many of the symptoms mimic those of other diseases. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has developed criteria for fibromyalgia that physicians can use for diagnosis. According to ACR criteria, a person can be considered to have fibromyalgia if he or she has widespread pain for at least three months in combination with tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites.
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome both exhibit symptoms of some autoimmune disorders such as chronic pain and fatigue. However, autoimmune diseases are typically evident in bloodwork, and this is not the case with fibromyalgia. As fibromyalgia research continues to evolve, the link between fibromyalgia and autoimmunity will become more clear.
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Fibromyalgia is a prevalent condition that affects many people in the United States. Approximately 3.7 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. That is 1 in every 73 people.
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