Can My Child Get Fibromyalgia If I Have It?

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The dreaded question – what’s the likelihood of my child getting fibromyalgia too? Is fibromyalgia hereditary?

will my child get fibromyalgia if I have it?

Long story short? There’s a higher risk that your child will get fibromyalgia than the general population, however there are factors that can mitigate it. Read on for more!

An article by Boston Children’s Hospital on Fibromyalgia says, “Relatives of people with fibromyalgia or similar pain disorders (e.g., myofascial pain syndrome) are at higher risk for fibromyalgia. For instance, one study found that about a third of children whose mothers have fibromyalgia also develop the disorder.”

This article says, “You are 8.5 times more likely to get the syndrome if you have a first-degree relative, such as a parent, sibling, or offspring, with the syndrome.”

However there are many factors here. The first is your sex. Women’s hormones seem to be more closely related to fibromyalgia. And it is estimated that about 9/10 people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women.

Another consideration is other conditions. There are other conditions that make it more likely you will also get fibromyalgia. These include autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Untreated myofascial pain syndrome can escalate into fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia can also develop after viral infections, such as covid.

There have been theories that fibromyalgia can be the result of poor quality sleep. Studies that mimic the sleep deprivation of fibromyalgia result in the participants experiencing pain, fatigue and brain fog.

In a pilot study about sleep they found children of mothers with worse fibromyalgia were more likely to sleep poorly, “This pilot study showed that the children of mothers with high Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire scores had sleep disorders. Maternal diagnosis of FMS negatively affects the sleep quality of children.” Determinants of sleep disturbance and sleep quality in children of mothers with fibromyalgia (2023)

is fibromyalgia hereditary

So what can we do to mitigate the risk?

This study states that, “Currently, FM is considered to result from an interaction between genetic factors and environmental factors”. So what can we change if not our genetics? Our environmental/lifestyle factors!

Teach our children (and model) good healthy human habits. The bonus is that they will support our health too!

  • Don’t do things like smoke, or over consume alcohol or sugar so that your immune system is in top shape.
  • Move gently.
  • Manage stress and actively rest (Yoga Nidra guided meditation!)
  • Work on your sleep – go hard on good quality sleep! Initiate healthy habits around your child’s sleep.
  • Take care of yourself when you’re sick – don’t try to keep going.
  • Cut the processed foods, reduce sugar, eat loads of nutritious foods..

What do we do if our child appears to be developing symptoms?

  • Ensure you have a healthy lifestyle.
  • Write down the symptoms and any context that seems important.
  • Keep your doctor informed.

They can’t make a diagnosis until a person has experienced more than three months of widespread pain, fatigue and poor sleep quality that isn’t explained by anything else. So keep them in the loop.

It feels like the incidence of everything bad is increasing. I feel the best thing we can do is to pursue a healthy lifestyle – for our current and future health. I hope something here has helped you.

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will my child get fibromyalgia if I have it

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