Fibromyalgia Screening in Patients With Unexplained Chronic Fatigue

Christopher A. Aakre, MD, MSc


Menopause. 2021;28(1):93-95. 

In This Article

Central Sensitization and Sensory Hypervigilance

Fibromyalgia frequently occurs concurrently with other central sensitization syndromes: chronic headache syndromes, irritable bowel syndrome, painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, pelvic pain syndromes, temporomandibular joint pain, and multiple chemical sensitivities. In central sensitization syndromes, sensory output is generally amplified, producing a broad range of symptoms that are often not associated with structural pathology. Amplified sensory processing is not restricted to painful stimuli—often patients will report heightened sense of smell, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, temperature sensitivity, fatigue, and sensitivities to medication adverse events in addition to pain. Sensory hypervigilance can magnify the intensity and effect of common menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disruption.