Is Fibromyalgia An Autoimmune Disease?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that is not yet classified as autoimmune disease. But we cannot conclude that it is not one, because the underlying causes of this condition has not yet been known. It is certainly possible that autoimmunity could play a part in all cases.
Fibromyalgia currently affects almost 5 million adults all over the United States. Autoimmune disease can, and usually does, occur alongside with this condition. In addition, some of the autoimmune diseases, like lupus, come with symptoms that are almost similar to fibromyalgia. Since fibromyalgia has been believed to be a condition that’s related to arthritis, and most types of arthritis, like the rheumatoid arthritis are categorized as autoimmune diseases, which is why many believe that fibromyalgia also belongs under this category. Unfortunately, some researches pointed on different directions.
Why Fibromyalgia Is Not An Autoimmune Disease?
There are some researches that would suggest that the immune system on fibromyalgia may come with some irregularities, like it is being chronically overactive. Others also believe that this means autoimmune, but these are actually two different kinds of immune dysfunction.
In an autoimmune disorder, the immune system will basically mistake a certain tissue or structure in the body as being dangerous for invader, like bacteria or virus. It will then attack such tissue or structure, in order to destroy it. The process will usually lead to damages or inflammation in that site.
Why Fibromyalgia May Be An Autoimmune Disease?
In a lab test down, those who have fibromyalgia normally have a low inflammatory maker, while the autoimmune disease is usually linked to high inflammatory markers. Researchers so far, have not found a lot of evidence of damages either. So this has turned the tide of thought far from immunity.
However, several emerging researches have put the attention back into that direction and shows that certain structures of the nerve, which includes the optic nerve, can sometimes cause damage on the fibromyalgia. It has not been known how prevalent the damage is. Whether this is evidence of autoimmunity is yet to be seen, yet, it is certain to be considered as one of the possible causes, though.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus are two conditions that are considered autoimmune diseases, and present similar symptoms to fibromyalgia. There are other conditions that might also be similar, but it depends on the certain fibromyalgia symptoms that are found in them.
In addition, fibromyalgia might also occur along with the Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus, which means that you can have all diseases all at the same time. Proper diagnosis is very important in order to come up with an effective treatment plan.
However, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus do come with diagnostic markers, which the doctors can refer to for diagnosis. Both conditions are associated with damage and inflammation.
More researches are needed in order to determine if fibromyalgia is indeed an autoimmune disease. Until now, what is known for sure is that doctors are not likely to prescribe autoimmune treatments for those with fibromyalgia, like medications that can help suppress ones immune system. As more researches will come, then experts should be able to gain a clear picture eventually.