New UAB study could radically change fibromyalgia treatment as we know it

This article was originally published on NationalPainReport.com. It is being republished here with permission from the editor. 

Could fibromyalgia be caused by an overreactive immune system? An upcoming study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham could fundamentally change the way fibromyalgia is treated.

For more than a decade, Dr. Jarred Younger‘s research has been guided by one theory: Fibromyalgia is caused by an overreactive immune system. This spring, he’ll finally prove once and for all if his theory is correct, and the outcome could profoundly shift the future of fibromyalgia research.

Beginning this month, Younger and his team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will inject up to 20 fibromyalgia patients and 20 healthy controls with ultra low doses of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a molecule that’s found on the exterior of certain infection-causing bacteria, which triggers the body’s immune system response. He anticipates the fibromyalgia patients’ immune systems will overreact to small doses of LPS while the healthy controls will show little or no reaction.

“If our hypothesis is correct, it’s going to tell us that fibromyalgia is definitely an immune central centralization condition, and therefore the treatments need to focus on novel types of anti-inflammatories,” Younger said. “What that means is we don’t have to worry about these other [body] systems. We shouldn’t focus on neurons. We shouldn’t focus on the autonomic nervous system. We need to focus on the immune system. What that will then mean is we need to go back and revisit anti-inflammatories [that are known to cross the blood/brain barrier] that have already been created but never tried in fibromyalgia. Maybe one of those will work very well.”

Drugs used for autoimmune conditions, like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, would be obvious contenders, but there are also dozens of over-the-counter botanical treatments that also might prove useful in calming an overstimulated immune system.

If Younger can finally prove fibromyalgia is the result of a malfunctioning immune system, it could lead to a big shift in the current approach to fibromyalgia treatment. The drugs approved to treat fibro – Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella – all work to calm the central nervous system. They do not affect the immune system. That could explain why none of these drugs work very well in fibro patients.

Younger is currently recruiting fibromyalgia patients who live near Birmingham, Alabama, for the LPS study. Patients will be required to travel to UAB on two days. On the first day, participants will receive an IV drip containing an ultra-low dose of LPS in a hospital setting and will then be monitored throughout the day with regular blood draws. A few weeks later, participants will return to UAB to repeat the same process – this time with a slightly higher dose of LPS.

Is fibromyalgia caused by an overreactive immune system? Dr. Jarred Younger's upcoming study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will either confirm or disprove his theory.

Dr. Jarred Younger

“The key here is we’re giving [LPS] at a lower dose than we’ve ever seen used in human research so that means we know this is ultra, ultra safe because the dose is so low,” Younger said. “We’re giving it at such a low dose that healthy individuals will not notice it at all. What I hypothesize will happen though is that in the individuals with fibromyalgia that same really low dose will be enough to have a hyper [immune system] response from them. We will be doing blood draws to look at all the immune components to see how the immune system is responding.”

If the fibromyalgia patients overreact to the LPS IV solution, “it will leave no doubt in my mind that we know what is happening in fibromyalgia, and it’ll outline a distinct set of steps we can do within a few years to hone in on an effective treatment,” Younger said.

Younger and his team expect to finish the LPS study by July and will probably announce their results in August.

If you have fibromyalgia and live in the Birmingham area, click here if you’re interested in participating in the LPS study.

Do you think fibromyalgia could be caused by a malfunctioning immune system? Share your opinion in the comments section below! 


  1. pratibha says

    hi, are the results announced? where can i see them, I am dying to get a permanent cure for this terrible disease.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Not yet. Should be soon. I’ll be posting an update when they’re available.

  2. Patricia says

    I have had a very stressful life since I was young, my hands have shaken badly since I was about 10, had a grand mal seizure at 16, ulcers at 12, got mono when I was young, and in 2011, They diagnosed me with Lyme Disease and mixed connective tissue disease, and in 2014 they said I have Lupus and Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue, and my spine is totally messed now. So I believe that maybe this has to do with your central nervous system and your immune system, I will be Glad to know what the results are, Because the Doctor where I live never really give you a complete answers, it’s always here take this or this and oh yeah by the way now you have this and this. Thank you for Sharing, I pray there are more People doing research.

  3. Betsy Johnson says

    Started seeing a chiropractic neurologist and has given me my life back.. his adjustments are more like reiki and often are calming down my over-active system. My MAST test showed histamines off the charts and taking 4, yes four Claritan a day helped tremendously. My fibro started after years of various crises that kept my cortisol high which creates havoc and shut down my thyroid at one point. The book
    by Daris Kharrazian “Why Do I Still have Thyroid Symptoms” explains why gluten is poison to those with Hashimoto’s as well as “The Healing Kitchen” by Alaena Haber and Sarah Ballantyne which helps tremendously… additives do not help our complex of issues. I have no doubt an over active immune system may well be the base of our problems

  4. Patricia Martin says

    Could any of the things you suggest help with Parkinson’s disease

  5. 123 meandering says

    I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I’ve had it for 7 years now, but it’s been in “remission” for about 5. Recently, it’s come back and I had to relearn what my triggers are. Sure bough, nightshade plants, but not only are they giving me pain, they are giving me a visible reaction too: itchy skin and raw mouth after eating them. I haven’t had a tomato in two weeks, I’ve had no pain. I do believe that Fibro is something more than just an unexplained pain; there is an explanation. I can’t wait to hear the results of this study.

  6. W.Kranendonk says

    What I am wondering is: Could Fibro be an extreme response of the body to severe stress? And therefore affect all systems?Have any of you had very stressfull childhood and maybe or defenitely also a lot of stress later in life?
    I,ve had a stressfull childhood, several operations, two car accidents, an eating disorder and a lot of stress later in life and have had Fibro for 8 to 10 years now (and osteoarthritis) and foodallergies, allergie to sun, migraines, allodynia, etc. .
    Any hope for a treatment is great!

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Yes, I had high stress in my childhood and adulthood, which I believe contributed to my fibromyalgia/Lyme. There are several studies now that link childhood trauma (and later trauma) to fibromyalgia. I’m not in any way saying that EVERYONE w/ fibro had a bad childhood, but it is a common denominator among a lot of us. If you’re interested in learning more about the link between trauma and chronic illness, you might want to check out the work of Irene Lyon. https://irenelyon.com/

    • Diana Church says

      I’ve had high stress all of my life too: a violent alcoholic parent, car accident, a drug addicted brother who is now living with HIV and is in long term care. I’m his POA of course. I helped my husband care for his mom who had Alzheimer’s, and we assisted my mom and stepdad as well. We have a daughter who is developmentally disabled and lives with us. The stress seems endless. My Fibro flares usually follow the more stressful situations.

  7. Kari Willis says

    I think this theory makes perfect sense. I have fibromyalgia. Two of my children have had major episodes where their immune systems turned against them. they have different dads so I am the common factor. Makes sense that our issues are similar if not related.

  8. Well, if you haven’t ruled out Lyme Disease and it’s Co-Infections then this is a waste of time and energy for those of us who were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, have positive markers for Lyme Disease, but don’t meet CDC’s criteria to be diagnosed for Lyme Disease. Please focus your time and energy on viral infections such as Lyme, because that is really what we have, even if we don’t meet CDC’s criteria.

    • Sharon M says

      Some of us do not test positive for Lyme. I have no markers and have never been exposed to it. I think that we need to give this a chance to see where it goes before saying that it is or is not something else.

  9. Carol Harrison says

    I did not have fibro until I had shingles. The pain and now fatigue too, have never gone away. My doctor looked at me like I was crazy when mentioned the lasting pain and she told me I was fat, to lose weight and I would feel better…I found another doctor immediately, who diagnosed fibro…Savella and the rest of the fibro drugs did not work. Cannabis works better than pharmaceuticals. I will hope for a useful outcome on this study.

  10. I would love to hear about your results I do believe you are on the right track. I was diagnosed at age 26 and now 42. I have tried a multitude of natural remedies as I don’t like drugs. The one that helps the most is magnesium which helps with inflammation.

  11. Sonja Haire, I just spent two hours last night listening to a talk on Mast Cell Activation Disease (or Syndrome in certain cases),on YouTube. You have some of the main symptoms of it as do I. This disease can over the years, bring on inflammation, Fibro, fatigue, pain, migraines, tremors, dizziness, near fainting, excess sweating, too fast pulse, low blood pressure, diarrhea or constipation, food intolerances etc. Please listen to the talk by typing in the docyor’s name on the search line of Google – Dr Lawrence Afrin. Take detailed notes and go back and read it all so you will remember it. It is treated by an Immunologist Allergist physician. You need to find out if you have it and if yes, start treatment so you don’t get sicker. Good luck!

  12. D Dorgan says

    I am late to this discussion, but I too hope for answers. Have had problems my whole life with sleep, energy and pain. Formal diagnosis in 2006. My mom had lupus and the rheumatologist I have feels that there is a definite immune component in FM as well as family genetics involved. After endless sinus infections for a couple of years, he sent me for immune testing. Surprise! I have markedly decreased immune function. Four of the six factors they test for are deficient. When the doc first saw me and noticed I have some vitiligo (lack of pigment in skin) she told me it was very likely I had some sort of immune problem. It will be interesting to see how these studies come out. I have FM, CFS and Raynauds. Please keep us posted.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      I will definitely be doing an update on the UAB study. Stay tuned!

  13. Claudia A. says

    Don’t think I’m crazy, well how could you not…I have RA, Fibro, osteo and DDD. I take lots of anti inflammatory meds. I can’t tell what’s doing what. The only thing I know is since my diagnosis my weight and BP have gone sky high. I get knots in my back that feels as though blood doesn’t move up abd down my spine which makes my BP soar. If I can get my upper back between cervical and thoracic spine I dont have the pounding in my head and BP is lower…yep this is the part where you roll your eyes and think I’m crazy. Am I really? When it’s really bad I feel like there’s a tennis size ball under my scapula in addition to the other knots.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Have you tried chiropractic? I know this sounds odd, but I find that chiropractors generally know more about anatomy and positioning of the body than regular doctors. They might able to make some adjustments in your back/neck/spine that would help give you some relief. Just an idea.

  14. I have been saying Fibromyalgia is a Autoimmune Disease for years. I have been hoping for more research to prove it. I already have two Autoimmune Disorders ( Graves Disease, Diabetes). The Graves Disease came Along about a year after I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. First I had three surgeries because of Endometriosis. I think I already had Fibromyalgia at that time in my 20’s. Then I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, then Graves Disease. My Liver enzymes went very high for no reason so I was tested for Autoimmune Liver Disease but it was negative. Something was attacking my Liver! Never figured out what was wrong but they returned to normal after about 3 years. Now about 3 months ago I was diagnosed with Diabetes. I have had Mutiple Chemical Sensitivity for many years. I was a Hairstylist for 25 yrs. and finally had to give up my career because of all this. I remember back 10 years ago I was telling my dogs Veterinarian about all my problems with Fibromyalgia and he told me if they would treat Fibromyalgia with MS medication it would make us feel a lot better. His take on Fibromyalgia was it was a lesser form of MS which is a Autoimmune disorder and I always believed he was right. I said I would rather be treated by my dogs Doctor! Lol

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Dr. Younger isn’t saying that he thinks fibro is autoimmune. Autoimmune means the body is attacking itself. He’s saying that he believes fibro is caused by a hypersensitive immune system. That’s different than autoimmune.

  15. Lorna Oleniuk says

    This would explain why I have a terrible reaction to bug bites and bee stings as well as multiple allergies to medications. When I reacted to a bee sting I was given a high dose of pregnisone for 5 days and for the first time I had no pain and had tons of energy! If only that was a good treatment option to stay on. Hope they figure this out soon!

    • Carolyn O'Daly says

      Perhaps you have polymyalgia rather than fibromyalgia? Prednisone is a good treatment for that. On the other hand prednisone generally makes anyone feel good…

  16. I think it is a great possibility. If I am correct in my understanding of this article, then I believe it possibly explains why Low Dose Naltrexone is helping a lot of people with Fibromyalgia. Everyone may want to look into using Low Dose Naltrexone, just look it up on the web.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Yes, you’re right. This is an extension of Dr. Younger’s LDN research and it would explain why LDN works so well for some people w/ fibro.

      • Mary Freeman says

        Low dose Naltrexone is not an option for every Fibromyalgia patient. My Fibromyalgia is severe and treatment resistant. I have failed Gabapentin, Lyrica and Cymbalta. A pain management doc put me on low dose Naltrexone, starting dose 5 mgs. After 3 months or so he increased it to ten. I never felt any kind of difference whatsoever. And Naltrexone can be a dangerous drug and should only be stopped by being stepped down on dosage under medical supervision. Naltrexone has been used regularly as a way for people who suffer from alcohol or drug dependencies to ease the cravings. I don’t think it should ever be considered as a front line treatment.

        • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

          I don’t think anyone in the fibro community would consider LDN to be a front line treatment. It’s generally tried when other medications have failed, and doctors are finally open to trying something different that wasn’t recommended by a drug rep. It does work well in some people but like everything else, it doesn’t help everyone. Your doctor obviously wasn’t very educated in LDN b/c he prescribed doses that are higher than what most fibro patients use. Doses usually fall around 3-4.5mg. Generally, people will start even lower than that (around 1mg, sometimes even less if they’re hyper sensitive to medications) and then titrate up to 3-4.5mg over a period of several weeks. I’m not surprised that you didn’t see any improvement on 5-10mg since that’s not a typical dose. With LDN, more is not always better.

          Naltrexone is used to treat alcohol and drug dependency at high doses (50mg).

          • Colleen says

            I’m on opioids so I will be starting ULDN (Ultra Low Dose Naltrexone). It helps make opioids work better and help with fibro pain (I also have pain from neck dissection surgery for cancer).

          • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

            I’m familiar w/ that. Dr. Ginevra Liptan discussed it in an article she wrote last year. I hope it helps you!

        • Brian Haviland says

          Sorry to see a comment about Naltrexone being a “dangerous drug.” According to this meta-analysis of studies involving nearly 5000 people “There was no evidence of increased risk of serious adverse events for naltrexone compared to placebo.” And note that this article included doses up to 250mg! Normal LDN doses are 4.5mg or less. I am an Admin in a Facebook group of over 19,000 LDN users. Members sometimes have to stop LDN before surgery in order to use opiate painkillers. This is rarely a problem and does not require “stepping down”; Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist and is not addictive. If a person is off their LDN dose for some time it’s possible that the underlying condition being treated may re-emerge. For more information: Low dose Naltrexone (LDN) for chronic illness & infections…. https://www.facebook.com/groups/108424385861883/

          Serious adverse events reported in placebo randomized controlled trials of oral naltrexone: a systematic review and meta-analysis…

  17. Glad they are doing research, but if Fibromyalgia was caused by an autoimmune reaction, then why haven’t the flares been controlled when I have been taking immunosuppressant meds for my autoimmune disease Sjogren’s Syndrome? I’ve been taking meds for my Sjogren’s since 2009 and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2013. Shouldn’t the fibromyalgia be under control then?

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      He’s not theorizing that fibro is an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune means the body is attacking itself. He’s theorizing that we have an overactive immune system – that’s different than autoimmune. Essentially, his simplified theory is that the immune system is being triggered by pretty much any and everything – diet, allergens, viruses, bacteria, etc. – and b/c the immune system is constantly responding, that leads to a cascade of symptoms – pain, fatigue, cognitive issues, gut issues, etc.

      • Dawn Walke says

        This makes a lot of sense to me because I have allergic reactions to a lot of stuff.

  18. Anna Lord says

    Fascinating. I know novel anti-inflammatories help my ME/CFS/FM more than anything, but only one — and one not known for being especially effective at crossing the BBB — has kept me stable for years; clarithromyacin. I also take Celebrex and Valtrex, which have helped in unique ways. I started LDN about a year ago and have found it significantly improved my mental capability, but not yet to the point of normal. (Going from 4mg to 5mg this week.) I’ve tried virtually every over-the-counter anti-inflammatory as well as every herbal remedy that claims even vague anti-inflammatory effects. Only curcumin is effective, but it is only effective at a relatively high dose — 4g 4x/day — and then only for a short while. So I use it sporadically. Tylenol is slightly more effective than ibuprofen, but neither are very helpful for ME/CFS/FM. Clarithromyacin is still my mainstay; if I have a severe flare, I increase the daily dosage until things calm down. I certainly don’t know why it works so well for me, I only know that it does. I’ve tried to back off to using just clarithromyacin and LDN and pulsing curcumin every other week, but then other symptoms of ME/CFS returned so I was forced to add back in the other meds. Oh, I also take 25mg of trazadone nightly with the LDN. Another novel anti-inflammatory. So, yeah, I’m all about the novel anti-inflammatories for keeping my disease in check. Look forward to your results.

    • What is LDN?

      • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says
        • Sue McCauley says

          I asked my Dr. about using LDN and he put me on it. The Pharmacist warned me that I could not take it while taking Tramadol. He stated that I had to be off Tramadol for at least a week before taking LDN and said he had to check with my Dr. But my Dr. said it was fine to take. Well it wasn’t i had such a bad reaction to it I can only imagine what it is like for someone to go through withdrawal from opioid addiction. I thought mabye i was getting sick but as soon as I stopped taking the LDN the reaction stopped.

          • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

            Hi Sue, there are mixed opinions on whether it’s ok to use LDN and tramadol together. There are people who use both, myself included. I always make sure to stagger my doses 6-8 hours apart. That way, the LDN doesn’t counteract the tramadol. What dose of LDN did your doctor start you on? Higher doses of LDN (3mg+) can often cause early side effects: nausea, some dizziness, headache, insomnia. These pass w/in a few days but can be worrisome in the beginning. People usually have fewer side effects when they start at a very low dose, around .5-1 mg, and build up from there.

    • Clarithromycin—isn’t that an antibiotic? I thought it was generic Biaxin.

  19. Ida Smith says

    I agree. I’ve already been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease-CVID. I feel my autoimmune infusion of Gammagard helps my fibromyalgia. Bless you Dr. Younger for taking on this research.

  20. Diana Damron says

    I do believe there is a link to an overactive immune system. I have dealt with allergy symptoms since the age of 8 and I will be 60 in August. I have had good results with the Cymbalta at bedtime but that may be due to the fact that I take 24 hr Allegra D daily. I also take Duexis which helps with pain and inflammation and lately also Hydroxyz at bedtime. My medical history is a little complicated with overlapping symptoms. Won’t go through the list; for now, but I have been told I am a carrier of Rhumatic diseases.

  21. Bronwyn says

    I would also like to add, in support of the lady who commented re “this condition being an autoimmune condition”, another who stated against same, that I too have always thought it to be an “Auto-immune Condition:, from the many sites that I have researched from over the years. I have been lead to believe that it is an Auto-immune condition, ie. a condition that attacks our Immune Systems….hence Auto-immune. As the symptoms in many are so close/similar to MS and Muscular Dystrophy (which both I have been tested for in the beinning by Very knowledgeable Physicians and Neurologists), and these are Auto-immune Conditions. Also, many also suffer/have symptoms of Hashimotos and Arthrites (which I do too,and arthritis of which ever variety),: these too, are Auto-immune Conditions, then perhaps the lady who feels otherwise, can she lead me to her site of information for me to read, please?

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Fibromyalgia is not considered to be an autoimmune condition based on the current research.

      • Ida Smith says

        Research is being conducted now at UAB to seek answers to whether Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune condition.

        • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

          Ida, UAB’s current research is not studying fibro as an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune means the body is attacking itself. The study they’re doing is looking at if the immune system is hypersensitive. That’s not the same as autoimmune.

  22. Bronwyn says

    I, like the 1st comment stated, agree that it seems we have along way to go, if even proven partly correct, then a suitable medication needs to be found. I have for a Long time, felt that if my readings (& believe to be connected) is to an over stimulation to a certain Virus (some say Varicelle), then why hasn’t anyone suggested we be given a Broad-Spectrum Anti-biotic over a Long Period of time, via an IV Route, to try and help us? The thing for me, now, is I seem to be able to at least control most of my pain, with what I have trialled to work; but it is the Constant Fatigue that wears me down more. I just wish at this stage, that I could find some energy to live just a little. I am now heading for 60, and have wanted to do “things” (travel etc), but at this rate, and the way they are still trying to find a cause, and then treatment, it looks like many of us may not see any real success. Also, if what I have read, and that this is Not a New Condition, but has come an Epidemics before, then all research and perhaps a treatment, will have to start over again?
    If I were to live anywhere close (I’m in Australia), I would like to help any research, but it does not seem to be on the Australian Government’s agenda at present. Hence, for me, it is plain old monetary contributions to those that are working towards same. thankyou.

  23. Stacey says

    No I disagree with this theory. I don’t get sick with colds or flus very often. Never get vaccinated against flu. I can be around contagious people and never catch anything ( 90% of the time). I would think if this was all related to immune issues I would be “sick” with other germs that are always near us.

    • Lynn Wilson says

      My two daughters have fibro – both have over-active immune systems and display symptoms from other immune system problems such as hyperthyroidism which changes to hypothyroidism and back to normal. It amazes the consultant! They never get colds or viruses and I am presuming that their immune systems are so overactive that they jump on anything that enters the system before it has a chance to develop.

    • Kirsten says

      Ya I totally agree, I’m never sick I have an awesome immune system, anti inflammatory drugs do nothing for me but rip my stomach apart

  24. Cynthia says

    No, I have had fibromyalgia all my life. I have never had any problems any immunizations (like some folks have said they have) with the exception of an extremely achy injection site or arm or hip / bottom (gamma globulin) and I have worked in and visited remote areas in North and South America, and Europe and the Baltic region.

    I wish them luck in their study. It may prove help for people who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, which is not how I was diagnosed. I am just worried that once again a physician and researcher is putting out false hope before the study to test his theory has been a) completed and b) results reported that support his theory. And, that is what needs to happen before drug testing for efficacy is even to be started. I think he is quite ahead of himself and folks with fibromyalgia need to realize there are many years ahead of research (and this is coming from someone who well knows).

    Some of us, like me, have different histories that do not support the one espoused in this article. For instance, throughout my childhood I would complain to my mom that my “skin hurt” and my “stomach hurt and I had lots of diarrhea” so I needed to stay inside and read. Our pediatrician diagnosed my “skin hurts” as “growing pains” and the stomach problems and diarrhea as “too fast digestion or nervous stomach.” It wasn’t until I was 19 that an excellent internist/rheumatologist diagnosed me with fibrositis (what they used to call fibromyalgia) and IBS-D after a what seemed to be a neverending series of tests. Oh, and I thought it was cool that I only slept a max of 5 hours a night because I would read to ignore the pain. And, not sleeping was helpful in completing my BA, MA and Ph.D. (when I was a child the pediatrician would tell my mom that I had to sleep 10 hours each night for my growing pains and stomach to be better). At nearly 59 I haven’t thought lack of sleep has been too cool for a long time.

    To find is, there is a long way to go on this research before thing that all is. Once again, solved for people with fibromyalgia.

    • well Im just happy that someone cares enough to even do research for a cure (instead of treating us as neurotic hypocondriacs)

      • Rachelann says

        I am with you Layne…….grateful for any and all research. I feel less and less forgotten and more and more believed. I just pray for any sufficient treatment to help me and the others who have very few years left for a quality life.

    • My story is so similar to yours, it’s like we’re twins, same problems in childhood. I’m taking pills to sleep but I still only get 4 hours. So many other problems like Depression, severe apnea and all the other issues we go through like extreme exhaustion in my case. I don’t know how there would be a fix for all. But I’m staying hopeful there will be a solution without having to take so many pills just to survive because quality of life does not exist for me.

  25. Nancy A. says

    There is a lot of autoimmune disease on both sides of my family. I know that fibromyalgia has never been classified as an autoimmune disease, but I’ve often felt that there must be some involvement with the immune system. I’m 63 years old now and I’ve had CFS and fibromyalgia for over 30 years. I’m also hypothyroid and have Raynaud syndrome. I’m hoping Dr. Younger’s research will help bring about new treatments for fibromyalgia.

    • Sue McCauley says

      Nancy, I also have Fibro, Hypothyroid and raynaud syndrome. My mother and sister also have been diagnosed with Fibro, I rarely get sick so immunity has always been good. In fact for the most part my health has been excellent. Now I worry about my son and the possibility of him getting this as he is always complaining of aching all over. Could be growing pains but heredity does play a role in this condition. I hope he does get some answers with his research.

  26. Diane Kay says

    Ketoprofen has been working for me for 25 years, along with low dose Ambien and Flexeril. So I agree fibromyalgia responds well to anti-inflammatory meds. I’ve tried everything else out there and nothing else works as well (except for Vioxx which is off the market).

  27. Jennifer says

    The doctor who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia said that the research she did showed that osteoarthritis can be a follow-up result caused by fibromyalgia which is not treated (by the guanefesin protocol). I don’t know. My Mom has both. However, her mother and grandmother both had osteoarthritis but neither had fibromyalgia. I have fibromyalgia primarily and I’m 52. I do have arthritis in my neck but also have a history of car accidents and whiplash (and migraines). I feel like I’ve had a sensitive nervous system my whole life and a series of events pushed me over the edge into fibromyalgia. I have other “sensitivities” to certain strong smells, loud noises, etc. but otherwise have a strong immune system, as far as I know! How I eat plays a big role in how I feel so I make good nutrition a high priority.

  28. Lesley says

    I think it’s definitely related to the immune system, somehow. I haven’t been able to get any kind of flu shot or vaccination without serious side effects (even though the docs say that is very rare!). Flu shot: fever and sick for a day. Pneumonia shot: high fever, entire side of body where I had the shot screams with pain when touched, and I can’t move my head/neck, and I am crying in bed for at least two days. If there’s any weird disease, I get it! Shingles? I get it. Strep C (the one that horses and college students get — I am over 50, and not a horse!) – I get it. If I go into a big crowd, (college football game, concert, Costco on a Saturday) I get a cold, and then bronchitis and then pneumonia. EVERY TIME. My immune system does not function like most *normal* folks, that’s for sure.

    • Lesley, when do you graduate and from which university? Wishing you the best in your studies!

  29. Lisa Radelet says

    Personally, I feel like my FM is more central nervous system related. My came on after living in an 18-month period of chronic constant stress, when my bipolar sister spun out of control and was in and out of psych wards and emergency rooms (and eventually killed herself), my son was diagnosed with depression and flunked out of college (he’s doing MUCH better now and about to graduate!), and my house flooded. My body was in a constant state of fight or flight, I stopped sleeping, and then the pain started and my sleep, etc., never went back to normal. I also developed a hypersensitivity to light, certain smells, damp weather, loud noises, stress and just a more sensitive nervous system. I don’t feel like I have a weakened immune system in any way I can tell. I don’t get sick more often or anything like that. Maybe it’s different for different people?

    • W.Kranendonk says

      You should check ou CPTSD and the You Tube video,s by Richard Grannon: Very helpfull!

  30. I think that fibromyalgia can be a misdiagnosis of autoimmune conditions. I found the gauifenesin protocol to be effective in treating my fibro without all the side effects of the antidepressants and other harsh treatments doctors use to mask the symptoms.

  31. CarolAnn Adams says

    How can we find out the results of the study. I wished I lived near Alabama because then I would want to be part of the study.
    I live in Cincinnati. I’m going to be telling my pain doctor or giving him a copy of this just to be sure he knows about it.

  32. Dr Bob Lawrence says

    Like other auto-immune conditions, fibromyalgia is a dysfunctional response a simple immune stimulus.

    The immune response is dysfunctional due to an underactive immune system, not overactive. Such conditions are made worse by dysbiosis, an imbalance of natural gut bacteria. This is why the most effective treatment is by first avoiding negative dietary factors and immune triggers, such as red meat, wheat and dairy, and supporting immune function by the main nutrients serving this purpose, ie, zinc, EPA, vitamin D3, and iodine, antioxidants, probiotics, plus low-dose naltrexone. The response can be quite dramatic!

    • Lisa Radelet says

      Fibromyalgia is not autoimmune. It may involve a disorder of the immune system as Dr. Younger suspects, but it’s not autoimmune.

      • Whatever! Looking forward to hearing more about Dr. Younger’s research. I think he may be onto something and at this point anything that may lead to a clearer picture of what the beast we know as Fibromyalgia may be, or not be, is welcome news. Just think, if researchers could get a clear picture in 3,4, or 5 years even, then maybe we could get a defined treatment that really, really helps in 10 years or so. Just maybe.

  33. Have any of you with FM plus lots of migraines following food reactions ever been helped by acupuncture specifically done in certain meridians that pertain to food intolerances?

    • Lesley says

      I had acupuncture treatments for this, twice a week, for three months, because I have chronic daily headaches/migraines. Sadly, it did nothing. I love acupuncture though. It just feels nice and pokey. I did get the “Daith” piercing in my ear, which, combined with the meds (see below) actually helped a little bit — plus it looks cool.

      My headaches are not caused by food intolerances (yes, I’ve tried gluten free, dairy free, yada yada. No change). The only thing that made a difference was Topamax (75mgs daily now). Miracle drug for me. Headache free, almost every day — plus it made me crave healthy green veggies like lettuce, cabbage, and celery, and lots of water. Lost almost 30 lbs in 6 months because I felt like walking and eating salad! Was super mad at my doctor that he kept this miracle drug hidden from me for so long! 🙂

      I hope this helps!

      • Lisa Radelet says

        Lesley, I’ve had good results from Topamax, too! I don’t have migraines but take 50mg at night to improve deep stages of sleep as suggested in Dr. Ginerva Liptan’s book. I feel so much better getting more restorative sleep and I’ve also lost a little weight (though not as much as you). But you’ve inspired me to keep up with my salads and walking!

    • I have FM plus migraines, and many food sensitivities, some of which can cause migraines. I tried acupuncture but it gave me horrible nerve pain so I didn’t repeat it. The only thing that keeps is to avoid the foods.

  34. Vicky lord says

    I think he is partly right as we already know the immune system is affected and i do believe the immune system is hypervigilant …however the immune system is controlled by the nervous system which is pathological too so to dismiss the nervous system and concentrate on the immune system may be a mistake. The problem seems to cause central sensitivity syndrome which can also cause wide spread pain. The 4 categories of pain responses are either nociceptor. Neuropathic. Inflammatory or central sensitivities. Maybe this is why the pain killers don’t work as the pain is secondary to inflammation .

    • I think you’re right, I have drawn the same conclusions.

      • Vicky lord says

        So I believe the way to treat it is not by pain medication but by using a “medicine” that does not treat pain but treats inflammation. Medical practitioners will deny that inflammation is the problem but I firmly believe it is .

    • Juanita Flores says

      I agree.

  35. Sonya Haire says

    I have severe fibromyalgia. I have been to so many Dr’s. This has happened a month after I passed out at work and hit my head. Since then I have been out of work 10 months and just keep getting worse. My tremors are very bad at times I have trouble walking. Do you think I will ever get better? Send like every Dr gives up on me and my condition.

    • Diane Kay says

      Sonya, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of fibromyalgia causing tremors. I think there may be something else going on in addition to the fibro. Have you seen a neurologist? If a Dr gives up on you, he/she wasn’t the right doctor anyway. Keep trying!

    • Scott Chase says

      Sonya, I have tremors and FM. I see a neurologist that specializes in movement disorders (MS, Parkinson’s & Parkinsonism). My neurologist prescribed me Sinemet (Carbidopa/Levodopa) 25/100 twice a day for low-dopamine, which has helped quite a bit. There are some fairly common gene mutations (e.g. GCH1, GS224) that can lead to all sorts of low-dopamine problems, including tremors, trouble walking and fatigue (FM).

  36. do you consider osteoarthritis as fibromyalgia I was told this by a doctor they informed me I had osteoarthritis of the neck and spine and I also have 2 degenerating disc’s in my lower spine and I have suffered from migraine headaches since the age of 10 and just recently the joints in my thumbs have started to cause me severe pain

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      No, osteoarthritis and fibro are two different conditions, but some people do have both.

    • Katharine says

      I had both my thumb joints replaced a couple years back. The pain is gone, but my strength is not good. Very hard to pinch now and drop things

    • Marcy Dobbs says

      I have fibro and osteo and psoriatic arthritis, which is autoimmune. Wondering how they all connect or if fibro and PsA do. Wouldn’t be surprised to find an autoimmune component to fibro.

      • Lisa Radelet says

        Marcy, in autoimmune conditions, the immune system is attacking and destroying some part of the person’s own body. In PsA it’s the joints and skin. With fibromyalgia, there’s no evidence that any specific part of the body is under attack by the immune system, so generally, it’s not considered autoimmune.


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