Fibromyalgia and Dizziness

Fibromyalgia and Dizziness

I personally have had bouts of vertigo, loss of balance and dizziness throughout my journey with fibromyalgia. It can be especially challenging for me when I have appointments. For example,when I go to the dentist I have them lower and raise the chair slowly and not lower it flat. Even still, I have to hold on to the counter for a minute once I get up. When I go to the hairdresser I wash my hair at home first, then she just wets it as necessary while she trims it. Laying back to get my hair shampooed will definitely trigger vertigo for me.

Vertigo is the sensation of the room spinning or tilting and is often accompanied by nausea. Only one episode of vertigo was actually bad enough to make me vomit. It can be caused by an inner ear imbalance. I typically experience it when laying on one side but not the other. I never seem to go more than a month or so before it’s back again. I’ve had the Epley Maneuver done and that relief lasted about 6 months. It was performed in an ENT office (ear, nose, throat). I have what is referred to as BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). I can’t watch spinning things or fast moving objects without feeling nauseas and closing my eyes.

I have experienced lightheadedness accompanied by nausea, so unpleasant. That happens mostly when my IBS flares. Also, if I stand too quickly I will feel momentarily lightheaded. I have never fainted, but have felt close to that on numerous occasions. No fun!

Dizziness can also cause us to feel off balance. I’ve fallen a few times, so now I’m good at stopping and holding onto something solid, or sitting until it passes. I wonder if we are more sensitive to these symptoms because of fibromyalgia, do you experience this?

Unsteadiness is a type of dizziness that makes you feel not-balanced. When I feel this kind of dizziness, I feel like I could just topple over and fall down. It’s interesting that it appears to most often affect older people rather than the young. I can attest to that in my own life.

You could think of it like this: when you get off a roller coaster that has a lot of upside down loops, your brain is attempting to catch up to your body being away from the ride. It causes unsteadiness and potentially nausea. So unpleasant!

Some common causes of dizziness and/or vertigo:

After you have been standing for a lengthy period of time

When you go from sitting to standing

Climbing up the stairs

When you are in a warm environment

After you have been exercising

After you have eaten a heavy meal

After you have experienced a lot of emotional stress

Some medications you take

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.


Can Fibromyalgia Be Hereditary?

Can Fibromyalgia Be Hereditary?

Did you know that siblings, children, and parents of someone with fibromyalgia are eight times more likely to get fibromyalgia than those families who don’t exhibit the disorder. It could be the result of a genetic tendency that is passed from mother to daughter. There may also be a hormonal component, which could explain why more women than men are affected.
The genetic tendency can be triggered by a traumatic event, such as:

a car accident

an extended hospital stay

an injury


giving birth

a viral infection
A stressful event such as:

a divorce

a death in the family

being in an abusive relationship
They will not necessarily result in someone getting fibromyalgia, but if you are predisposed, an event such as these, can trigger it.
Although my own symptoms began many years ago, they dramatically increased after the death of my father. Although there is not a specific gene, such as one for cystic fibrosis, there can be multiple genetic components that will predispose one to the disorder, given the right set of circumstances.
According to researchers fibromyalgia is 50% genetic and 50% environmental. In my immediate family, I have 2 daughters that have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. One daughter was 16 and one was 22, although both showed symptoms for years. I was in my mid 50’s when I was diagnosed, but I’ve had worsening symptoms for years. My sister doesn’t have it, but one of her daughters does. Does it run in your family? I’m curious to know why it seems to be passed down to daughters.
According to an article on
“Four different gene variants are strongly associated with the condition. Some of the genes play a role in the nervous system’s response to pain and pressure. Others are the same genes associated with depression which is why certain anti-depression medications help to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms. Even if you are not depressed, you may be prescribed antidepressants as part of your fibromyalgia treatment plan..

.Although there are links between certain genes and fibromyalgia, a specific gene has not been identified. In other words, it’s still too soon to for genetic testing or screening to be of any use.”
I’m hopeful in the future that there will genetic testing available for FMS. I believe they are close to developing a blood test that can confirm a positive diagnosis.

Although there is an increased risk of our children getting fibromyalgia, it is not a by any means a forgone conclusion.