Central sensitivity syndromes (CSS) are stress, pain and fatigue syndromes, and environmental illnesses,  that cause unpleasant symptoms. The symptoms can mimic those experienced by people with autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders and psychological disorders. 

In CSS abnormalities cannot be seen with a microscope or a picked up in standard medical tests.  Some abnormalities however may be picked up. with functional pathology tests or a SPECT Scan.

Central Sensitisation can be explained as

problems at the level of the brain and spinal cord (CENTRAL)

A nervous system in a wired, wound up and hyper-excitable state due to the way neuro-endo-immune cells communicate chemically and through other mechanisms.  (SENSITISATION)

These sensitised cells amplify , or make stronger, messages that we get from our senses. This can cause sensory stimuli that is not normally painful, e.g. light touch, soft sound to become painful.  (Allodynia, Hyperalgesia).

Examples of Central Sensitivity Syndromes?

Include those shown in the diagram below. FMS:  Fibromyalgia CFS:  Chronic Fatigue SyndromeMCSMultiple chemical sensitivity; IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); Migraines PTSD:  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder;  TT: Frequent Tension Type Headaches; PMS: Premenstrual Syndroms; MPS: Myofacial Pain

This list however, is not exhaustive. For example POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), which many people with ME/CFS experience can also be considered a CSS.

Diagram by Dr Yunus
Diagram by Dr Yunus


It is not uncommon for people to develop many CSS,  over a period of time.   This is why some people can experience lots of different symptoms. Up to 50 SYMPTOMS sometimes more!  

Source; Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center



Central Sensitisation was first identified in the chronic pain and fatigue syndrome Fibromyalgia more than 25 years ago by Dr Yunus.   It is linked to having a too high stressor load.  



Picture source:fibromyalgia and overlapping disorders by Dr Yunus





Diagnoses, Self-diagnoses, and Symptoms that May Suggest Central Sensitization Syndrome (Especially If Copious)
Abdominal bloating Abdominal pain, chronic abdominal pain Adrenal insufficiency (self-diagnosed), adrenal fatigue Alopecia, hair loss, trichotillomania Anxiety Atypical facial pain Atypical or non-cardiac chest pain Autoimmune disorder (self-diagnosed) Autonomic disorder (self-diagnosed) Black mold, toxic black mold (self-diagnosed) Brain fog, fibrofog Burning mouth syndrome Burning tongue Candida or chronic yeast infection Chiari malformation Chronic low-back pain Chronic non-specific lightheadedness Chronic pain Chronic pelvic pain Chronic prostatitis Chronic tension or migraine headaches Chronic testicular or scrotal pain Chronic whiplash-associated disorders Chronic widespread pain Complex regional pain syndrome Delusions of parasitosis Depression or bipolar disorder Dizziness Edema or swelling complaints not evident on examination Ehlers–Danlos syndrome Fatigue or chronic fatigue Fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalitis Hormone imbalance Hyperventilation Hypoglycemia (self-diagnosed) Immune deficiency (self-diagnosed) Interstitial cystitis, painful bladder syndrome Irritable bowel syndrome Joint pains Low testosterone or hypogonadism (with normal test results) Lupus (self-diagnosed) Lyme disease, chronic Lyme disease (self-diagnosed) Meniere disease Morgellons disease (self-diagnosed) Multiple chemical sensitivities Multiple drug allergies or intolerances (self-diagnosed) Multiple food allergies or intolerances (self-diagnosed) Myofascial pain syndrome Palpitations Panic disorder, episodes, attacks Pelvic pain, chronic pelvic pain, premenstrual syndrome Polycystic ovary syndrome Porphyria (self-diagnosed) Post-deployment syndrome Post-traumatic stress disorder Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) Pseudotumor cerebri Schamberg disease, soft tissue tumors Sick building syndrome Sjögren syndrome (blamed for multiple symptoms) Temporomandibular disorders, temporomandibular joint pain Thyroid disease (with normal test results, usually self-diagnosed) Tinnitus Vulvodynia, vulvar vestibulitis [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4422459/]






For list of scientific and medical articles on Central Sensitivity Syndromes click here 

Fibromyalgia and Overlapping Disorders: The Unifying Concept of Central Sensitivity Syndromes by Dr Yunus to read [Click Here] to read.

Pain Res Treat. 2012; 2012: 584573.
Published online 2011 Nov 17. doi: 10.1155/2012/584573
PMCID: PMC3236313
The Prevalence of Fibromyalgia in Other Chronic Pain Conditions
Muhammad B. Yunus *

Central Sensitivity Syndrome http://www.bcwomens.ca/Professional-Resources-site/Documents/Central%20Sensitivity%20Syndromes%20(CSS)%20one%20page%20summary.pdf






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