Are you suffering from a long-standing pain in multiple areas of your body while all your investigations are normal and no plausible cause can be identified for your suffering? If yes, you might be suffering from Fibromyalgia. Living with this problem can become exhausting and depressing.
Often, it is a misdiagnosed condition. Most patients get tired of searching for an answer, while their physicians have advised every possible test but could not find a valid reason or name to their suffering. It can get frustrating!
Keep reading to understand all about this missed out disorder which is not that uncommon.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by a chronic widespread pain or pain at multiple sites, fatigue, problems with sleeping affecting the patient’s mood causing anxiety, depression, and thus affecting the daily routine.
Causes of Fibromyalgia:
The exact cause responsible for fibromyalgia is not yet understood fully.
Some researchers believe that the brains of people having fibromyalgia process the pain signals differently. The pain-sensitive cells in the brain misinterpret or overreact to the normal pain signals.
Both genetic and environmental factors have a contributing role to play.
Some of the following environmental factors apart from a strong family history could be:
- Trauma, repetitive injuries, & accidents
- Some viral or bacterial infections
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Symptoms of Fibromyalgia:
- Pain: Widespread pain, tender points throughout the body, pain in the muscles for more than 3 months are common symptoms of fibromyalgia. Some patients report pain moving to different parts of the body with different sensations, ranging from dull aching, burning, throbbing to sharp pains at times. Twitching, tightness in the muscles, excessive painful response to simple pressure stimuli, such as touch and hugs, are commonly observed in the sufferers.
- Fatigue: Tiredness is often the first presenting symptom in these patients. The heaviness of body and inability to carry daily activities due to lack of energy may also prevail. Muscle weakness could cause easy dropping of the things, such as pens, cups, keys, and other things, from your hands which are often missed out and dismissed in the history of the ailment by the patients.
- Sleep Disturbances: Often patients of fibromyalgia complain of unrefreshing sleeping patterns and drowsiness even after adequate or long sleeping hours.
- Fibro Fog: Irritability, depression due to an undiagnosed or worse less understood condition is obvious. Difficulty in concentrating, inability to perform multiple tasks, problems in remembering the things and thinking, and associated anxiety are collectively referred to as Fibro Fog due to the fuzzy feeling that they experience.
These are some common symptoms observed in this disorder. Other symptoms, such as facial pain particularly around the jaw, cramping pain in the abdomen, and problems with urination or passing stools, are also reported by some patients.
Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia:
Speak to your Doctor!
Although there is no lab test nor any investigation scans that can diagnose this condition, your doctor can help you by ruling out other possible diseases with similar symptoms by recommending a few tests.
There are well-defined diagnostic criteria set up by the scientific committees which can lead to the diagnosis in your case based on the proper case history, thorough examination, and understanding the tender points.
Thus, discussing with your doctor is important.
Treatment for Fibromyalgia:
There is no universally accepted treatment regimen for fibromyalgia. In the conventional line, the treatment is directed at symptomatic management. The patients of fibromyalgia often land up taking over-the-counter painkillers, antidepressants, and antiepileptics for years together with temporary relief and harmful side-effects.
Physical exercise, mind-body therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) have been shown to provide some relief.
Although this disease is neither degenerative nor fatal, chronic pain often creates an impact on the patients’ both physical and mental health. The ability to cope and function well in society is hampered over time.
Homeopathy is strongly recommended for treating the cases of Fibromyalgia where patients are tired of being disappointed with painkillers. Homeopathic medicines can help in targeting the increased sensitivity to the pain providing relief at physical at the mental plane. The vitality of the patient can be improved and a state of well-being can be achieved. Lifestyle changes with self-care strategies focusing on lowering the stress levels and managing the pain are also important.
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