Is fibromyalgia hereditary?

Answer From Kevin C. Fleming, M.D.

Fibromyalgia isn't passed directly from parents to children, but the disorder does appear to cluster within families.

The odds of developing fibromyalgia are several times higher in the immediate families of people with fibromyalgia than in families in which no one has fibromyalgia.

In fact, studies of DNA from family members of people with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes have turned up a number of genes that could help explain why these disorders seem to run in families.

Each of these genes plays a role in your nervous system's response to pain. Some of the same genes are also associated with depression and anxiety, which may be the reason why certain antidepressant medications help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.

With

Kevin C. Fleming, M.D.

Oct. 07, 2020 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Acupuncture
  2. Antidepressant withdrawal: Is there such a thing?
  3. Antidepressants and alcohol: What's the concern?
  4. Antidepressants and weight gain: What causes it?
  5. Antidepressants: Can they stop working?
  6. Antidepressants: Side effects
  7. Antidepressants: Selecting one that's right for you
  8. Antidepressants: Which cause the fewest sexual side effects?
  9. Anxiety disorders
  10. Atypical antidepressants
  11. Blood Basics
  12. Caffeine and depression: Is there a link?
  13. Chronic pain: Medication decisions
  14. Clinical depression: What does that mean?
  15. Complete blood count (CBC)
  16. CPAP machines: Tips for avoiding 10 common problems
  17. Cupping therapy: Can it relieve fibromyalgia pain?
  18. Depression and anxiety: Can I have both?
  19. Depression, anxiety and exercise
  20. Depression: Diagnosis is key
  21. Depression in women: Understanding the gender gap
  22. Depression (major depressive disorder)
  23. Depression: Provide support, encouragement
  24. Depression: Supporting a family member or friend
  25. Endometriosis
  26. Endometriosis: Risk factor for ovarian cancer?
  27. Fatigue
  28. Fibromyalgia
  29. Fibromyalgia and acupuncture
  30. Fibromyalgia: Does exercise help or hurt?
  31. Fibromyalgia: Linked to other health problems?
  32. Fibromyalgia pain: Options for coping
  33. Fibromyalgia: Self-care tips
  34. Fibromyalgia and Neurontin
  35. Fibromyalgia or not?
  36. Fish oil and depression
  37. Headache
  38. Irritable bowel syndrome
  39. Depression and diet
  40. Lexapro side effects: Is breast tenderness common?
  41. Male depression: Understanding the issues
  42. MAOIs and diet: Is it necessary to restrict tyramine?
  43. Marijuana and depression
  44. Massage
  45. Mayo Clinic Minute: Restless legs syndrome in kids
  46. Mild depression: Are antidepressants effective?
  47. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  48. Natural remedies for depression: Are they effective?
  49. Nervous breakdown: What does it mean?
  50. Pain and depression: Is there a link?
  51. Pain Management
  52. Restless legs syndrome
  53. Savella may help fatigue
  54. Sed rate (erythrocyte sedimentation rate)
  55. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  56. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  57. Sleep apnea
  58. Sleep apnea and caffeine: Any connection?
  59. Sleep disorders
  60. CPAP masks
  61. Spastic colon: What does it mean?
  62. Tai chi
  63. TENS therapy: An option for fibromyalgia treatment?
  64. Integrative approaches to treating pain
  65. Lifestyle strategies for pain management
  66. Nutrition and pain
  67. Pain rehabilitation
  68. Self-care approaches to treating pain
  69. Treating pain: Conventional medical care
  70. Treating pain: Overview
  71. Understanding pain
  72. Treatment-resistant depression
  73. Tricyclic antidepressants and tetracyclic antidepressants
  74. CPAP: How it works
  75. How irritable bowel syndrome affects you
  76. Tai chi
  77. Vitamin B-12 and depression
  78. What is hot yoga?