What should you know about Fibromyalgia?
The word fibromyalgia comes from the Greek word ‘myos’ that means “muscle”, and “algos” meaning “pain”, and ‘fibro’ in Latin meaning “fibrous tissue”.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder very common around especially in women. It is widely related to a condition called Arthritis. Fibromyalgia is known as a rheumatic condition, which causes tissue and joint pain.
Unlike Arthritis that is known to damage joints and cause inflammation that bases and gives birth to several other ailments. The only similarity Arthritis and Fibromyalgia have in common is the fact that Fibromyalgia causes fatigue and severe pain that undermines a person’s ability to lead daily life activities productively.
Fibromyalgia is an ailment which accelerates fatigue levels, musculoskeletal pain, insomnia, memory loss and mood swings. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
When do the symptoms show up?
Fibromyalgia symptoms can sometimes only start from a surgery, undergone physical trauma, infection or any type of psychological stress. And the symptoms seem to accumulate over time gradually.
Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men. Other people who have fibromyalgia symptoms include severe and tense headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.
There is no particular cure for Fibromyalgia, however, exercise, meditation, relaxation and stress control have been seen to help. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.
What are the common symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Some of the common symptoms of Fibromyalgia include:
- Body stiffness in morning
- Irregular sleep patterns
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Painful menstrual periods (Dysmenorrhea)
- Tingling of hands and feet
- Numbness in feet and hands
- Restless leg syndrome
- Sensitivity to cold or heat
- Fibro fog (memory loss issues, cognitive disorders).
Causes of Fibromyalgia
According to the experts, numerous factors can cause Fibromyalgia such as traumatic stress backed by any emotional scenario or incident. For instance, post-traumatic stress from a car accident can trigger it.
Some other possible factors also include:
-CNS (central nervous system) problems
-The way our genes regulate and how we process painful stimuli.
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia has to be made chastely on clinical grounds based on the patient’s history and physical examination done personally by the doctor. It becomes challenging for the doctors to diagnose patients with Fibromyalgia because they show up with many common symptoms relating to other diseases.
In this way, many patients have been misdiagnosed like seen having inflammation due to Arthritis, depression, chronic myofascial pain or systemic exertion intolerance disease.
Ultimately, In patients with chronic widespread body pain, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be made by identifying point tenderness areas. Fibromyalgia patients typically have at least 11 of the 18 classic fibromyalgia tender points.
Doctors may also inquire about a patient’s level of fatigue, sleep disturbances, and stress levels. According to the American College of Rheumatology, before the diagnosis of fibromyalgia can ultimately be confirmed, muscle pain must be present for longer than three months.
There are no blood tests or X-rays that specifically point the doctor to the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Tests are often done to exclude other possible diagnoses. Other lab tests may be performed to rule out other possible conditions. Once a doctor completes diagnostic tests, the following criteria will be used to determine if a fibromyalgia diagnosis is appropriate:
-Pain has been widespread in all four quadrants of the body.
-Pain has been present for at least three months.
-There is no other disease that would be causing these symptoms.
Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, treatment can at least relieve some of the symptoms. Since symptoms are diverse and vary among patients, treatment programs must be individualized for each patient as well.
Treatment programs are most effective when they are combined patient awareness, stress reduction, regular exercise, and proper medication followed. There are also alternative remedies and lifestyle habits that may help ease fibromyalgia symptoms.