Fibromyalgia is a disease that causes widespread muscle and joint pain and can be categorized as either a musculoskeletal disease or psychological disorder. The cause of the disease is still unknown, and many researchers have postulated many causes, ranging from genetics to environmental factors. Stunning new evidence suggests that fibromyalgia may be associated with central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction that could be detrimental to future brain function.

Fibromyalgia and Premature Brain Aging

Researchers at the Society For Neuroscience performed a study comparing the brains of 10 female fibromyalgia patients with 10 healthy brains. Research showed that the fibromyalgia patients had 3.3 times greater age-associated decrease in gray matter than healthy controls. These numbers increase to a 9.5 times decrease each year the patients continue to suffer from fibromyalgia.

How does Fibromyalgia cause aging?

Chromosomes with telomeres highlighted in red.
The chromosomes in the picture above have their telomeres highlighted in red.

Fibromyalgia has also been linked to shortened telomeres, which are nucleotide sequences (compounds that create amino acids) found at the end of each chromosome, carrying our “DNA code”. As our telomeres shorten, they produce incomplete copies of our DNA code within newly formed cells, leading to lesser-quality cells than previous ones. This process is theorized as one of the major factors in what causes us to age. When researchers compared the telomeres of women with fibromyalgia to those of healthy women, they found that the telomeres belonging to the women with fibromyalgia tended to be shorter, showing an average aging equivalent of +6 years. They also found that shorter telomere length was associated with lower pain tolerances and an increased likelihood of depression.

Supplements to take for healthy brain function

To battle brain aging in patients, there are a number of supplements one can take that promote healthy brain function. A diet high in Omega-3 and other fatty acids, iron, and vitamins B12, D3, and C can aid in slowing the aging process on a cellular level and may possibly reverse some of its effects. (This is not an FDA-approved solution, however, and studies are still being carried out to determine their efficacy.

If you have fibromyalgia and are concerned about your brain health, talk to your doctor about what supplements are safe for you. Some vitamins or minerals may interact with your prescribed medication or other condition(s), so it’s best to let your doctor know what you are considering taking in addition to your daily regimen. Your doctor may also have additional suggestions for maintaining your brain health.

 

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23 COMMENTS

    • Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing regular painful symptoms. We have a community where you can speak with others who are in similar situations. It’s a great resource to support one another and provide each other with helpful information. Please visit forum.painresource.com to sign up and post your question.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  1. I’ve been on 30mg a day of duloxetine but not helping that much so Doc put me on 60mg but they didn’t agree with me so what other medication or whatever can he give me to help I’m also on gabapetine 300mg 3 a day

    • Tina,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m sorry that you’re experiencing pain and fatigue. If it would be helpful, I would encourage you to join our community, where you can support and talk with other people who have similar experiences. It’s a great place to share what has worked and help others. If you’re interested, please visit forum.painresource.com to sign up.

      Thanks,

      Maren

  2. I have nerve ending damage but I now think I have fibromyalgia as my memory and pain are wosre I also suffer this thing though my body like I’m shaking inside like I’m cold

    • Elaine,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing these unpleasant symptoms. You may find our community a good resource for support and tips. If you’re interested, please visit forum.painresource.com where you can support others.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  3. Hi I am 68 and been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I get a lot of pain all over but today I woke up with pain in my left shoulder and neck also going down my arm. Nothing seems to help the pain though.

    • Brian,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m sorry that you’re experiencing such painful symptoms. We just launched a new community where you can talk to people with similar symptoms, support one another and offer suggestions of things that have worked well. If you’re interested in joining our community, please visit forum.painresource.com.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  4. Hi l have just read through some of your comments and most of them sound like myself, l have my husband with Dementia and need to be in control stress l am sure has something to do with this, l don’t sleep and in constant pain in most of my body l now have the additional pain in my head with seems to lock my jaw, not good but l am an active person and until the last few weeks was able to play golf but don’t feel strong enough now.

    Having read many letters is there a cure,my husband has Dementia and l need to keep active, l don’t sleep and in pain constantly find walking a difficult task now.

  5. My name is Pauline I suffer with the same condition do u think if there will ever be a cure for this condition I’ve have suffered with it for 4yrs so far it’s changed my life in a lot of ways can’t do all the things I use to do my doctor has helped me a lot surport wise and medication I could not function with out it it took me along time to except I have this condition I have pain all over my body the worsted of the pain in my neck and shoulders it’s horrible but I still do my best 2 get up in the mornings and carry on I know my limits what I can do and can’t do which is hard to except because befor I had this condition I was a very active person my heart goes out to all you other people who have the same condition because I know what yr going through living with this condition if u would like a chat I’m here if u need some one to talk to who has the same condition as u. Pauline_desouza22@aol.com

    • Pauline,

      Thanks for taking the time to share your story and successes. You choose to wake up every day and make the best of the day, and I admire that so much. Our forum is a great place to connect with others to provide and receive support and ideas. Please visit forum.painresoure.com to sign up and join.

      Also, I thought you might be interested in this article. It sounds like you have made the conscious effort to have a positive mindset in the face of chronic pain, and I think you might like this:

      https://painresource.com/pain-management/5-mantras-pain-management/

      Wishing you the best,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  6. Hi my name is Gloria I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost 11 years ago which took 2 years to find , with Doctors & family not believing me & all the pain I was in , not knowing what was causing It was terrible, I actually thought I might have bone cancer. Anyway I also had a break in my cervical spine @c-6 a piece that broke off fell in to my back column & was causing havoc threw out my body sudden extreme pain with fire on an extremity , hand or foot that made me scream & cry ! Went threw many doctors til I found a surgeon that some how saw that break the was invisible to the MRI I had surgery vin 2009 but was given no medication when I left the hospital Army surgeon said he wasn’t doing paper insurance to pay for it coz his policy was not to deal with red tape & anyway while I was out in the field soldier’s don’t get anything for pain . So he left me without another word. I had a very high fever and my pain was threw the roof for 3 days I suffered at home , called the doctor & told him I was going to the emergency vroom & was going to tell them my surgeon wasn’t giving me anything for my pain after surgery so he decided to have his assistant finally do the paper work to get my meds approved. Later my Gap a very nice gal told me that being in the kind of pain had increased my pain level so high that it had caused me permanent damage. Just like the men in the battlefield, now I fight against it so much I’M always exhausted , an on going headache , heart palpitations, orbital pain , just burning pain all over , chills , sweats , insomnia , herniations in the spine , depression , can’t sit for long , can’t stand for long and can’t lie in bed for long so I keep moving til I end up in bed unable to breathe , talk or move. Tried many meds that haven’t helped much . I try very hard to keep my brain active with reading , studying, memory games , I don’t take controlled meds any more on gabapentin 800mg. 3 times aday , Ibuprofen 800mg. For bone pain as I also have arthritis & degenerative disease bon my spine which includes Spurs on my neck & med back . My life is no longer mine I can’t make plans or never know if I can make it to family functions but at least now they know why .. and now finding out that this thing can also take my brain is simply awful ! I hope & pray for a cure & feel for everyone who is living with this condition with soooo many symptoms.. thanks for your support !

    • Gloria,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your story. You have been through a lot, and it is so helpful to share your story with others. We just created a new community where you can share your story, give and receive support and share what is and isn’t working with other community members. We’d love to have you there. Please visit forum.painresource.com to join.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  7. Thank u for yr email I live one day at time with having this condition would love to chat to other people with this condition I’m always here if u need someone else to talk to

    • Pauline,

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by. We are excited to let you know that we just launched a new community where you can communicate and support others. Please visit forum.painresource.com to join. We’d love to have you there!

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  8. Hi
    I think I may have fibromyalgia. I have neck and shoulder pain, migraines, dizziness, pain in my wrists my upper arms are painful and sore! to touch My back and hip hurt and my knees! I can only sleep on my back as my neck but this causes me to snore loudly so sore can’t turn my head far and the bone between the top of my shoulders is so sore to touch…. i have myofasial pain in my jaw and grind my teeth. I have had loads of stress in my life and whiplash in 2011 and I haven’t been right since. Reading this to myself makes me realise how poorly I am but I keep pushing myself. I am tired all the time but still working at 60 as my pension is now 66 ☹️ Would be glad if your thoughts and advice
    Kind regards
    Joy

    • Joy,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m sorry that you’ve been living with and managing such painful symptoms for quite some time. I can understand that you’re feeling tired and frustrated. We do have a community where you can give and receive support from other members, and also share what has worked well and what hasn’t worked so well with others. Please visit forum.painresource.com to join today.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  9. I am still unsure what it is that I have but Fibromyalgia is very prevalent in my family. My whole body aches and nothing seems to make it better. Does anyone have any suggestions because I work full time and it is,becoming very difficult. I believe it does not show up in bloods so you have to go to a Specialist. This in itself is a slow process what can I do in the interim?

    • Sandy,

      Working when you have a chronic condition like fibromyalgia can be very difficult. To exchange ideas and support with other members, please visit forum.painresource.com. I think you’ll find this community to be very helpful and supportive.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

  10. Hi everyone, I am truly sorry to hear everyone has fibromyalgia, it’s very hard to mentally and physically deal with.
    I also have Fibromyalgia, it took three and a half years to diagnose my condition. The pain started out in my feet, traveled to my hands, arms and legs, worse being in my legs and feet.
    I wake up in the morning walking like I am ninty years old, I’m only fifty.
    I take Tramadol for pain, it takes the worse pain away, but it’s still there.
    Doctors might look at you as though your crazy, saying it’s anxiety when it’s not. You know your body, don’t give up.
    It can run in the family, my mum has it too. Bless her!
    Take one day at a time xo

    • Elaine,

      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and words of encouragement. We’re sorry for the difficult times you’ve faced, and admire your strength and determination. We’d love to have you as a member of our community. Please visit forum.painresource.com to join.

      Thanks,

      Your Friends at Pain Resource

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