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Why fatigue accompanies pain

Why are more women, than men, diagnosed with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia? Approximately, 94% of people with chronic fatigue report muscle pain. Nearly, 75% of people reporting chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain report having fatigue. Women are the majority of patients reporting these symptoms.

Katheleen Sluka, PhD, professor Graduate Program in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Irvine Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, found that a protein involved in muscle pain works in conjunction with the male hormone testosterone to protect against muscle fatigue.

Sluka, using animal studies, found the differences in fatigue between males and females depends on both the presence of testosterone and the activation of ASIC3 (an acid-activated ion channel protein that is involved in musculoskeletal pain). This suggests that they are interacting somehow to protect against fatigue, which may explain some of the differences we see in chronic pain conditions that include fatigue and why it occurs more often in women.

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  • john vollers April 15, 2008, 7:44 pm

    in practice I found that most chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia was seen in women and usually responded to a combination of testosterone and progesterone creams, and the women were dominant in estrogen making them also more susceptable to cancers and symptoms of menopause. The reason for this scenario was that women develop increased estrogen due to iced tea, coffee, sugars and exposure to petrochemicals such as cigarettes and smog. The estrogen displaces the sites of the other hormones causing the imbalance.

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