When I started looking at a way to raise awareness for dysautonomia this month, I realized it was in 2015 that I wrote about dysautonomia and fibromyalgia. So, I thought it was time for an update.
What is dysautonomia?
Dysautonomia is a term used to describe a disruption in the way our autonomic nervous system regulates, communicates, and adjusts our body functions so we maintain balance.
As reported in the above-mentioned article, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) consists of two branches: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.
The sympathetic nervous system prepares our body for fight or flight in stressful situations and sometimes seems to give us superhuman powers in fearful or dangerous situations. Certain functions take place, like the release of adrenaline, which cause other things such as an increase in our heart rate so that more oxygen is delivered to our muscles when it’s needed.
It is the parasympathetic arm of our ANS that normalizes things after a threat is gone. Both branches of the autonomic nervous system work “automatically” to provide the body balance and well-being, referred to as homeostasis.
5 scientific advances in understanding dysautonomia and fibromyalgia
The American College of Rheumatology posed at their annual meeting, Dysautonomia may be the pathogenesis behind fibromyalgia (December 23, 2015). Two groups of patients were part of a study: those with fibromyalgia and those with rheumatoid arthritis. Martinez-Martinez LA, et al., discovered a strong correlation between dysautonomia and the fibromyalgia group. Shirley Pulawski had this to say about the paper.
“A consistent line of investigation suggests that dysautonomia may explain the multi-system fibromyalgia features, and that fibromyalgia is a sympathetically maintained neuropathic pain syndrome,” the researchers wrote. “The sympathetic nervous network is the main component of the stress response system.
Martinez-Martinez LA, et al. Paper #71. Presented at: American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting; Nov. 7-11, 2015; San Francisco.