is fibromyalgia hereditary?

Post your questions about Fibromyalgia here for our experts to answer.

Moderators: talkhealth, talkhealth, talkhealth

2 posts
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:38 pm

by phlebo123 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:58 pm

is fibromyalgia hereditary?

My late father showed a lot of the fibromyalgia symptoms I have although was never formally diagnosed. I also have a cousin on my father's side who has fibromyalgia and relies on a wheelchair. I am now concerned because my 2 daughters are showing some signs ( very painful periods, IBS, headaches, tiredness ). Does fibromyalgia run in families? I would feel awful if I have passed this life limiting condition onto them.

User avatar
Wendy Green
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 11:27 am

by Wendy Green on Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:26 pm

Re: is fibromyalgia hereditary?

Hi phlebo123,

Recent research done mainly in the US suggest that there is around a 1 in 4 chance you will develop fibromyalgia if either of your parents have suffered from it; and it certainly sounds possible that there is a tendency to develop the condition on you father's side of the family.

Studies of DNA from family members of fibromyalgia sufferers have found several genes that could help explain why the condition appears to run in families. Each of these genes plays a part in the nervous system's response to things that hurt, e.g. pressure and heat. Many of these genes are also linked with depression and anxiety, which may be why certain antidepressant medications help ease fibromyalgia symptoms.

Researchers are now trying to link differences in people's pain thresholds to specific variants of certain genes. A variant of the gene that governs how well nerve cells recycle the neurotransmitter serotonin has already been linked to heightened pain sensitivity.

However there is a 75% chance that your daughters WON'T develop the condition, so I would try to stay positive and encourage them to look after their general health by eating well and taking regular gentle exercise. For more information on these topics please see my post under the heading 'Is it all in my head?'

Good luck :D
Wendy Green
Health Expert and Author ... _green.php

2 posts