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Is Fibromyalgia An Autoimmune Disease?

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common conditions that affect your muscles and bones. It is often misdiagnosed because people don’t completely understand it. Additionally, the symptoms of this condition are widespread: joint and muscle pain and fatigue. Because of the generalization of these symptoms, it is difficult to tell whether or not you even have fibromyalgia.

Learning about the causes of fibromyalgia disease may let the doctors and spec lists improve their preventative measures and offer better treatment options so they can help manage the pain. However, chronic pain is only one of the main symptoms. There are three symptoms that are usually leading signs of fibromyalgia:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue 
  • Nerve dysfunction or nerve pain 

While there is no cure, plenty of treatments, exercises, and medication will relieve the pain and allow you to lead an active and normal life. 

Moreover, the treatment options for this disease typically center around pain management to reduce the most critical symptoms and help the person get back on their feet. Due to the many overlapping symptoms of fibromyalgia with most autoimmune diseases, most people initially think that this illness is an autoimmune disease.

Is Fibromyalgia An Autoimmune Disease?

An autoimmune disease is when the body starts attacking the host, typically because the body isn’t able to recognize the healthy cells from the harmful ones. When the immune system identifies normal and healthy cells as threatening and harmful bacteria, it will automatically target them by creating auto-antibodies that are meant to kill those healthy cells.

This “attack” causes significant damage to the tissues, and it also inflames the affected area. Inflammation is one of the core reasons why fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disease; fibromyalgia doesn’t cause inflammation. Additionally, there isn’t enough evidence indicating that fibromyalgia causes harm to bodily tissues.

Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose because many symptoms are associated with and similar to other conditions, which also include autoimmune diseases. Common conditions that have similar symptoms are:

  • Lyme disease
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid 
  • Restless legs syndrome 
  • Myofascial pain syndrome 

What Does Research Say?

Some autoimmune diseases are similar to fibromyalgia’s symptoms and characteristics. If you were to read about their individual symptoms, you might understand them better.

Basic Autoimmune Disease

Many autoimmune diseases have varying characteristics; however, they still have similar symptoms throughout. Some of those autoimmune diseases with the most common symptoms are:

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Psoriasis 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Thyroid diseases 

These diseases hold much the same symptoms and signs:

  • Swollen glands
  • Skin problems
  • Recurring fever
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive issues or abdominal pain 

Basic Fibromyalgia

The most common fibromyalgia symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue 
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme pain
  • Fever
  • Stiffness 


An old study from 2007 suggested that there are increased levels of thyroid antibodies in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Most people think that if they have one disease, they are immune to another. You are just as likely to develop another disease when you are already diagnosed with one.

Similarly, it is common to have chronic fibromyalgia pain while also harboring an autoimmune disease. Additionally, there are doctors who suggest that when one has either of those conditions, they are more likely to develop the other one. The possibility that you may have both conditions is what typically confuses doctors and also why most of the patients who have fibromyalgia often mistake it for an autoimmune disease.

While the possibility of having both diseases at the same time is extremely likely, the diagnosis is usually challenging because of the overlapping similarities.

Additionally, there is an animal study in the recent 2021 which indicates that there may be some possible autoimmune link. However, the study and the gathered evidence are not concrete enough to back these claims. 

Regardless of the characteristics and symptoms, fibromyalgia is not considered an autoimmune disease. And while it does not classify as an autoimmune disorder, this is not to say that it is not an actual condition. It is a chronic condition that requires serious treatment, exercise, and medication. 

Final Thoughts

It is common for people to mistake fibromyalgia for an autoimmune disease. Most of the symptoms and characteristics of both conditions are incredibly similar, creating confusion among doctors and patients alike. 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that throbs consistently. While there isn’t a designated cure yet, there are plenty of exercises and treatments one can opt for to alleviate the pain and have a chance at a normal life again.

Contact our experts at Midwest Ketafusion to find the best pain management for fibromyalgia. We take good care of patients and offer quality pain management treatment.



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