Fibromyalgia and Allergies: Are They Related?

Perhaps you've tried all of the time and your body aches, but your doctor can't find anything specificly wrong with you. If this sounds all too familiar, you could have a chronic condition called fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia and Allergies Often Co-Exist

Fibromyalgia affects about two percent of Americans, and women are affected more often than men. If you fall into this group, you probably have pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as highly-tender spots spread throughout your body.

What makes things more complicated is the hazy relationship that exists between fibromyalgia and allergies. In fact, some people believe that sensitivities to certain things they eat and drink may trigger their fibromyalgia symptoms or make them worse. Exactly what may be triggering the reaction can be tricky to define, which leaves many people unsure of what, if any, lifestyle changes they need to make.

The majority of people who have fibromyalgia also have classic allergy symptoms, including a runny nose, nasal congestion, and difficulty sleeping. One hypothesis for the link between fibromyalgia and allergies is that changes to the nerves that occur with fibromyalgia can also lead to an allergic response.

In for those that suffer from fibromyalgia, the brain actually magnifies pain messages, making them feel much more extreme than they would be to someone else without the condition. A similar dramatic reaction also occurs in the nose, causing the lining of it to swell and become congested and painful, mimicking the symptoms of seasonal allergies but without the triggers.

Further compounding the fibromyalgia and allergy symptom link is the fact that fibromyalgia often causes muscles to tighten and put more pressure on different body parts, including the nasal passages. This can also cause your nose to become blocked and to create sinus problems, as well as related postnasal drip and cough.

Fibromyalgia and Allergies: Does any Direct Relationship Exist?

Keep in mind that there's no hard evidence to prove that fibromyalgia and allergies have such a direct relationship, but to some researchers, these assumptions make sense.

Along with the possible fibromyalgia and allergies connection, a variety of other factors can also come into play to make a person more susceptible to this illness. These can include such things like emotional and physical stress, as well as other health problems, including arthritis, lupus, other rheumatoid disorders, spine disorders and various types of traumas.

Take Control of Your Health

If you suspect you could have fibromyalgia, you'll want to talk to your doctor about your nasal symptoms and find out how best to prevent or at least manage them. You may also want to keep track of the things you eat and the symptoms you experience to see if there could be any food allergy link.

There's no cure for fibromyalgia, but many patients respond well to a combination of medication and alternative therapies to help them manage the discomfort on a regular basis.



American College of Rheumatology

The Mayo Clinic

US News and World Report