Glutamate’s Role in Fibromyalgia
Some studies show that an abnormally high level of glutamate is common in people who have fibromyalgia. Usually, glutamate is concentrated at the area in the brain known as the insula. The insula is responsible for processing pain and emotions. The unusually high level of glutamate is an indication that this part of the brain is chronically overstimulated.
Aside from pain and emotions, the insula is also involved in the following:
- Eating disorders
- Motor skills
When a person has fibromyalgia, her sensory input can be heightened and this will lead to overstimulation. One of the most common symptoms that will result from this condition is anxiety. Furthermore, the motor skills of the patient will also be impaired and this can lead to balance problems and will make the patient susceptible to falls. Besides, a lot of fibromyalgia sufferers are also suffering from eating disorders.
Glutamate can also be found in some other areas of our body and not just in the nervous system. In this case, it functions as a hormone that can trigger pain.
One study suggests that exercise can help to minimize glutamate-related pain for people suffering from fibromyalgia. If this is the case, then this could probably explain the link between fibromyalgia and glutamate.