Compliments of the season. I wish to have a better understanding of Fibromyalgia including causes, symptoms, risks and treatment.
Thanks Batutu for your question, Fibromyalgia can be defined as a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
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Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. 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 symptoms?
- Widespread pain. The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
- Fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time.
- Cognitive difficulties. A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
What are the causes?
The cause of fibromyalgia is not known yet, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together. These may include:
- Genetics. Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.
- Infections. Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
- Physical or emotional trauma. Fibromyalgia can sometimes be triggered by a physical trauma, such as a car accident. Psychological stress may also trigger the condition.
What are the risk factors?
- Fibromyalgia is diagnosed more often in women than in men.
- You may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia if a relative also has the condition.
- If you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
What are the complications?
The pain and lack of sleep associated with fibromyalgia can interfere with your ability to function at home or on the job. The frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition also can result in depression and health-related anxiety.
How is it diagnosed?
- Blood tests such as complete blood count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- Rheumatoid factor
- Thyroid function tests
What are the treatment options?
- In general, treatments for fibromyalgia include both medication and self-care. The emphasis is on minimizing symptoms and improving general health. No one treatment works for all symptoms.
- Medications can help reduce the pain of fibromyalgia and improve sleep, such as the use of pain relievers and antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs.
- A variety of different therapies can help reduce the effect that fibromyalgia has on your body and your life. Examples include: Physical therapy and Occupational therapy and Counseling.
Self-care can help, such as reducing stress, getting enough sleep and exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy foods.
Alternative medicine such as Massage therapy which helps to reduce your heart rate, relax your muscles, improve range of motion in your joints and increase production of your body’s natural painkillers. It often helps relieve stress and anxiety.
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