While this is merely one piece of the puzzle, it is a very important one. Please keep an open mind when reading this article.
Fibromyalgia, as you all know, is both a mystery and a serious issue in the world today. I have recently been researching the subject and came across this study carried out by scientists at Integrated Tissue Dynamics LLC (INTiDYN). This study was carried out back in 2013 so it is relatively new, to be honest. This research involved biopsying a section of skin from the hands of about 24 female fibromyalgia patients and then 9 healthy controls.
This led to the team discovering a large increase in sensory nerve fibers at specific sites within the blood vessels of the skin in the palms of the hands. According to a summary of the study, these sites are critical tiny muscular valves known as arteriole-venule (AV) shunts. These actually form a direct connection between arterioles and venules. This newly discovered pathology provides a logical explanation not only for extreme tenderness in the hands but also for the widespread pain and so forth of fibromyalgia.
In cold conditions the shunts mentioned above open wide and this allows the veins to literally bypass the capillaries and conserve heat. That makes the hands and feet feel cold. Dr. Albrecht has explained that this excess of sensory innervation could easily be the reason behind the tender or painful hands fibromyalgia patients experience.
Because of the pathology that is occurring in these shunts, the blood flow is being mismanaged. You see, our hands and feet contain a lot more blood than they need and serve as reservoirs for it in general. It is good to know that this could eventually lead to a form of treatment of some kind. That being said, knowing that it is not all in your head is a big win for sure regardless.
This study was published in the journal Pain Medicine. Dr. Frank Rice as well as Dr. Phil Albrecht worked on it and had hoped to do a follow-up but funding was stonewalled. They have said on multiple occasions that they have more information in their hands but haven’t quite gotten the funds up just yet to get something out and ready to publish in regards to this specific connection. For those who do not know INTiDYN specializes in nerve, pain, and skin research as a whole.
We hope that in time more research will be done and the world will be able to better understand this very real health issue. For more information on fibromyalgia in general check out the video below. What do you think about all of this?