Fibromyalgia (FM) is a medical condition that is believed to affect the central nervous system. It is a pain syndrome characterized by chronic pain, fatigue, and tenderness to touch.
It is the most common medical cause of chronic, widespread pain in the United States and affects 2%-4% of people, mostly women.
What Causes Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia syndrome has been shown to be genetic. The disorder frequently becomes evident after stressful events. The stressful events may be emotional (such as a traumatic life event), physical (such as a motor-vehicle accident), or medical (such as certain infections). The chronic pain of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and other health conditions and autoimmune diseases can trigger the development of fibromyalgia.
Pain- In fibromyalgia, patients suffer from acute and stabbing pain in muscle joints. The tendons, soft fibres, ligaments and cartilages are massively affected by fibromyalgia. Patients feel hour longed stiffed joints in the morning. Patients often experience cramps and burning sensation in body.
Fatigue- Fatigue means lack of energy and lethargic. Patients loose their working power. They experience tiredness in their arms and legs. Sometimes the sufferers feel that their heir arms and legs are tied with concrete blocks. They can hardly move their hands and legs. A strange drowsiness is always imposed on their mind and they can not concentrate on any topic. People loose their thinking power; this situation is called “brain fog”.
Sleeping disorder– The fibromyalgia patients have some sleeping disorder as well. It is revealed in a lab test that those people fall asleep much more easily but their sleeping depth is not so high; that means their sleep is not very deep. They can often awake from their sleep as they are constantly interrupted by some bursts, which lead to an awake-like brain activity. It is not always essential to go through a lab test to determine the sleeping disorder. If someone often awakes from sleep and have an unrefreshed sleep then it can be said that he is having some sleeping disorder. The fibromyalgia patients often see some terrible dreams in sleep. Moreover they experience some other sleeping disorders like breathing problems, teeth grinding, jerking of limbs etc.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome- 70% of fibromyalgia patients have this syndrome. Patients have several disorders in their bowel; such as abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal gas, gastroenteritis. They also have some indigestion problem. Some patients even cannot digest simple foods like rice, milk etc.
Chronic Headache- 80% of patients suffer from migraine or tension-type headaches, which are the most irritating syndromes of this disease.
Women often suffer from some feminine problems such as premenstrual syndromes, painful periods, and dizziness. Hormonal fluctuations in the menopausal states are noticed.
Patients become very sensitive to bright light, high power medicines, loud noise, aromas etc. They have black spots under the eyes. They also suffer from dry eyes and mouth as well.
There are both medical and non- medical treatments options.
Medical treatments frequently help manage the pain and sleeplessness from which fibromyalgia patients suffer. However, the non-medical treatments are really the basis of treatment for fibromyalgia.
Non-medical treatments for fibromyalgia include:
- Stress reduction
- Sleep disorders may require both medical and non-medical treatments.(Speak with your doctor on the options for this)
An exercise program is crucial in the treatment of fibromyalgia and should include stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercise. Many patients with fibromyalgia find it difficult to have a regular exercise program because they feel they are too tired to exercise and they may feel that their pain and fatigue worsen when they begin to exercise. However, numerous scientific studies have shown that exercise for fibromyalgia, especially aerobic exercise, can improve pain, physical function, and a sense of well-being. Starting slow and sticking with the exercise program is very important.
Low-impact aerobic activities such as swimming, water aerobics, walking, and biking are activities that those with fibromyalgia find helpful. Others find it helpful to exercise in the morning. Some also find yoga helpful for strengthening and stretching.
Stress reduction is important for the self-management of fibromyalgia symptoms. Many patients feel that their symptoms are triggered by stress. Stress reduction can be challenging. There are many stressors in life; some can be changed and others cannot. Stress reduction involves a combination of changing stressors that can be changed and learning to lessen the body’s stress reaction to the stressors that cannot be changed.
If you are suffering from fibro- speak to your doctor to see what treatment and management options are available for you.
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