A Unified Field Theory of Fibomyalgia and Related Illnesses
Reported by Miryam Williamson
The following is a report on a presentation by MuhammadYunus, MD, rheumatologist and professor of medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria, at the Ohio '97 fibromyalgia conference, August 8-10, 1997. The conference was sponsored by the Fibromyalgia Alliance of America and Anadem Publishing Co. Any errors contained in this article are the author's, not those of Dr Yunus.
In a talk titled "Fibromyalgia and Other Members of the Dysregulation Spectrum Syndrome, " Yunus described the link between FM (fibromyalgia), CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome,) IBS (irritable bowel syndrome,) tension headache, migraine, and restless leg syndrome. He groups them under an umbrella he labels "Dysregulation Spectrum Syndrome," defined as "a common biophysical syndrome characterized by endocrine dysregulation and dysfunction." Yunus sees it as related to stress, but points out that not all stress is necessarily psychological. He said he used to use the term "dysfunctional," but has dropped that because the psychiatric community takes that to mean that these illnesses, FM included, are of psychiatric origin, which Yunus thinks is incorrect.
Yunus identifies these characteristics of the DSS paradigm:
IBS is more common in people with FM and FM is more common in people with IBS. This is not true of inflammatory bowel disease -- Chron's, ulcerative colitis, for example.
1/3 of patients with RA have FM.
He presented arguments against FM as a depressive illness:
He had a diagram of the synchronicity of FM causes and symptoms that I can't reproduce here but that you can draw: make a rectangle with poor sleep in the upper left corner, fatigue in the upper right, pain in the lower left, and physical deconditioning in the lower right. Draw two-headed arrows between poor sleep and fatigue, poor sleep and pain, pain and fatigue, pain and physical deconditioning, and fatigue and physical deconditioning.
A "couple of dozen" controlled studies of PWF have reported abnormalities in neurohormal functioning.
Yunus presented arguments in favor of IBS being a centrally mediated illness rather than a gut disease:
-- no gut pathology is found -- gut motility studies show inconsistency, but motor abnormalities are present only when the patient is conscious -- the central nervous sytem influences gut motility
Copyright ©1997, Miryam Ehrlich Williamson - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED