By Mouzayan Ginzarly, Physician at Aviv Clinics Dubai
Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes debilitating pain all over the body. People with FMS often also suffer from extreme tiredness, difficulty sleeping, brain fog, memory problems and mood issues. FMS affects 2%-4% of the population and is nine times more common in women than in men.
This mysterious musculoskeletal illness usually co-exists with irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and depression. Patients suffering with FMS also struggle with a spectrum of sleeping disorders such as insomnia (being unable to fall asleep), sleep apnea (interrupted breathing while asleep) and restless leg syndrome (uncontrollable twitching of the leg at the nighttime), which leaves then fatigued during the day.
While the exact cause of FMS is unknown, in many cases it appears to be triggered by either severe emotional stress or a physical trauma such as brain injury or viral disease. Recent studies have found that the syndrome is linked to patterns of increased connectivity (neuropathways) in certain parts of the brain that are related to pain.
Additionally, the patient’s nervous system is persistently in a high state of high activity. The cells that send pain signals to the brain are five times more active than those of a healthy individual. That makes any gentle touch feel painful. The lack of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that conveys messages between nerve cells, has been linked to the misinterpretation of mild pressure applied to muscles.
Another key symptom of fibromyalgia is sensory overload. An imbalance in the patient’s nervous system and neuropathways amplify the intensity of external stimulus related to the five senses. This is linked to feelings of confusion, emotional stress, and anxiety.
Clinical studies at the Sagol Center found that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) can improve the symptoms of Fibromyalgia (FMS) and enhance patients’ overall wellbeing and quality of life. The therapy involves breathing 100% pure oxygen in a special room, known as a HBOT suite. This, combined with the elevated pressure in the suite, increases by several times the amount of oxygen in the blood, which helps damaged tissue regenerate and heal faster.
Aviv’s unique medical treatment protocol, involving HBOT sessions and other therapies by a team of physicians, neuropsychologists, physiotherapists, physiologists, and nurses, kickstarts the healing process in damaged brain tissue and increases connectivity of pain neuropathways.
At the cellular level, HBOT improves the cell’s metabolism by enhancing the way mitochondria (the cell’s energy center) function, resulting in improved cell function. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treatment has also been proven to significantly decrease widespread pain, Fibromyalgia symptoms severity, Fibromyalgia functional impairment, quality of life, PTSD symptoms and psychological distress.
In conclusion, Fibromyalgia is a centralized pain syndrome marked with a highly active nervous system. While the exact causes of FMS are still not clear, scientific research has shown how HBOT is successful in curbing the symptoms of this illness by boosting cells’ metabolism and energy sources.