Understanding Fibromyalgia – Fibromyalgia – The Mysterious Condition
Fibromyalgia is also known as “chronic fatigue syndrome“. CFS is also called “Epstein-Barr Syndrome”. Although fibromyalgia and Epstein-Barr have since been diagnosed and recognized as two different illnesses, the CFS name is still attached to both. We will cover fibromyalgia in this article and leave Epstein-Barr for another.
Signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can include wide-spread body aches, sensitivity and pain when touched (even gently), fatigue, sleep disruptions, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, facial pain, tenderness in the back and shoulders, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, painful menstruation, irritable bladder and dry eyes, skin, and mouth.
There has not, at the time of this article, been a specific cause cited for fibromyalgia. However, many doctors believe that the following are contributing factors:
- Chemical changes in the brain
Injury or trauma, especially to the upper spine
Changes in muscular metabolism
Abnormalities of the autonomic (sympathetic) nervous system.
Risk of developing fibromyalgia seems to be higher in women and the age groups most affected tend to be those in their early and middle adulthood. It has, however, been diagnosed in children, men, and teens.
No conclusive evidence has been found as to whether sleep disorders are a cause, or a result, of fibromyalgia. But those who suffer from restless leg syndrome, night-time muscle spasms in one’s legs, or sleep apnea frequently develop fibromyalgia. Family history may also be a contributing factor. If one has a relative with this condition, one may be a higher risk for having it.
Further, if one has a rheumatic disease such as ankylosing spondilitis, rheumatic arthritis, or lupus, the likelihood of fibromyalgia increases.
Currently, there are no specific tests for diagnosing the disease. One may be tested for numerous other illnesses and diseases, and have those ruled out, before a physician decides to check further using the guidelines set forth by the American College of Rheumatology. For further information on those guidelines. go to:
Once diagnosed, there are many ways that the disease can be treated, BUT there is no cure for fibromyalgia yet. One’s physician may prescribe medications to treat the symptoms and could recommend that one seek out alternative, non-medical treatments for relief from the chronic pain associated with it. In the meantime, medical scientists continue to search for answers about this mysterious disease. With symptomatic treatment, along with some possible and achievable lifestyle adjustments, one can cope.
Fibromyalgia is not a progressive illness and there are no indications that it will lead to other diseases or conditions. One must be prepared, however, to experience the chronic pain, sleeplessness, depression, and anxiety which accompany it. This in turn can cause problems with one’s ability to work and maintain healthy familial and friendly relationships. And frustration from coping with this frequently misunderstood illness can add more complications to the conditions.
Stress can be a major factor in the intensity of one’s pain, due the further tensing of already-stressed muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It is important to help in educating those around you so that they have a better concept about what you are experiencing. Their understanding and coping when one has a particularly bad day can help to reduce your stress and, perhaps, help to alleviate your pain. Taking time out to relax, calm, and soothe one’s body and mind can also be beneficial to keeping the pain to a minimum.
In conclusion, if you suffer any of the symptoms, discuss it with your health care provider or doctor. After ruling out any other possible reasons for your suffering, he or she can help you with controlling your symptoms with pain relievers (over the counter or prescription), stress reduction (by medication and/or alternative treatments), and lifestyle adjustments.
One can also join a support group. Check with your doctor to find one in your local area. Or go online at:
http://www.fmnews.com or http://www.fmaware.org
These sites can provide you with excellent information, updated reports on the latest research, where to find support groups in your area, and free information with many topics on the subject of fibromyalgia.
If you are diagnosed with FM, know that you are not alone. There’s an incredible network of support out there which is helping to educate others about the illness.
See your physician or health care provider then join in with others who are suffering, or know someone who suffers, from this sometimes-overwhelming illness. Together, let’s teach more people to understand and cope.
Fibromyalgia Q&A: Understanding Fibromyalgia
- What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia also sometimes called Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Fibromyositis, Fibrositis, or Myofascial pain syndrome, is a continual disorder characterized by extensive musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, tenderness in contained areas of the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips sometimes referred to as multiple tender points or pressure points. It may cause sleep disorders, morning firmness, irritable bowel syndrome and nervousness.
- What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Though the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be unbearable, they are not serious. Symptoms may differ, depending on stress level, physical action, time of day, and the weather.
Pain is the main symptom, found in almost 100 percent of cases, particularly, pain and tenderness in some areas of the body when pressure is applied.
Fibromyalgia is a constant condition and symptoms may be continuous or irregular for years. Some of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia consist of:
- Sleep problems
- Gastrointestinal such as abdominal pain, bloating and constipation
- Lack of feeling or irritations
- Unrelieved headaches
- Sharp sensitivity to odours, noises, bright lights, different foods, medication and
- Dysmenorrhea and painful sexual contact
- Repeated urination, strong urge to urinate, and painful urination
- Fast or irregular heart rate, and breathlessness
- Bulging sensation in the hands and feet, although swelling is not visible
- Are there different forms of fibromyalgia?
Yes, there are actually different forms of fibromyalgia. These forms are categorized according to the symptoms a person experience. They are:
- Post traumatic – there is a record of a single incident such as a car accident the pre-dates the pain syndrome. The accident commonly is an effect of an intense tremor and wounding of spinal muscles. Patients first complain of headaches and afterwards complain of arm or leg stiffness or itchiness or pain.
- Repetitive Traumatic – The idea of this is that a repeated injury can add up to the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
- Mood related fibromyalgia – usually, most fibromyalgics suffer this syndrome especially if they are suffering from extreme anxiety and pain. As a result, to this, fibromyalgics develop mood disorders such as depression.
- Hormonal abnormalities such as hyperthyroidism – this commonly cause enlarged muscle tension, anxiety and sleep disorder (a perfect ingredient indicative of fibromyalgia).
- What causes fibromyalgia?
The causes for fibromyalgia are not identified. The condition creates unclear signs and symptoms connected with reduced blood flow to some parts of the brain and improved amounts of substance P believed to be a sensory neurotransmitter included in the message of pain, touch and temperature from the body to brain.
However, researchers have found some other potential causes, includes the:
- Autonomic malfunctioning of the nervous system
- Constant sleep problems
- Psychological strain or distress
- Malfunctioning of the immune or endocrine system
- Upper spinal cord damage
- Viral or bacterial infection underwent
- Is fibromyalgia a real disease or just in my head?
Patients with fibromyalgia know that the pain is real and not just a fake. Fibromyalgia specialist also know their patients are experiencing real symptoms.
In addition, there is now evidence that fibromyalgia patients’ intense feeling of pain is not just an illusion or imagination.
It is now probable to look at the brain and see accurately where it is active. This thorough brain scan is referred to as functional magnetic resonance imaging. There is no escaping the fact that there is malfunctioning sensory activity going on in the brain when Fibromyalgics undergo this series of brain scans.
Watch this video – Understanding Fibromyalgia: Mayo Clinic Radio
This article is from the Get Your Health Back – Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Freedom. It consists of a strategy filled with guides on sleep, pain, depression, anxiety, diet, exercise and fitness plans, diet plans and packed with 369 healthy and delicious recipes
To find out more about this program, visit the website – Get Your Health Back – Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Freedom
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