What is Fibromyalgia?
While many people associate being in pain with simple arthritis, it could be a much more prevalent problem. However, they could suffer from Fibromyalgia. It is a disorder that is characterized by widespread pain in the muscle and skeletal tissue that is paired with fatigue, sleep and memory and mood issues, also referred to as “Fibro fog”.
While there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, its symptoms can sometimes begin after physical trauma, surgery or infection, but symptoms often gradually accumulate over time with no singular cause. Although, it is known that woman are more likely to develop Fibromyalgia than men.
Widespread pain: This pain is mostly highlighted as being a constant full ache that lasts for at least three months. For this pain to be consistent with Fibro is needs to be on both sides of the body, and both above and below your waist.
Fatigue: With their sleep often disrupted by the pain associated with Fibro, patients often wake up feeling tired and without energy. They are often diagnosed with other sleep disorders including restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.
Cognitive difficulties: Often referred to as “Fibro Fog”, this symptom greatly effects patients focus, and concentration.
How can you get help? Unfortunately there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, but there are some really helpful treatment options out there. Since Fibro has a wide array of symptoms it might be best to take a mixture of medications or treatment options. Here are some great options:
Antidepressants – While you might think these are only for people with depression, they can offer great treatment for Fibro. Antidepressants raise levels of chemicals such as serotonin and norepinephrine that help subside and control the pain associated with Fibro.
Anti-seizure medications – While these medications may prevent seizures, they also prevent nerves from sending too many pain signals to the brain.
Muscle Relaxers – They may reduce, pain and tenderness in joints and bones, while also improving sleep.
It is best to avoid prescription pain medication as they typically do not work and are very addictive.
It is important to get effective treatment for Fibromyalgia as soon as possible, as the pain and lack of sleep associated with the illness can affect your ability to function at home or at work.
Doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together. These may include:
Genetics. Fibromyalgia typically tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder. So if your know someone in your family, it might be best to take warning signs seriously.
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.
As always, while there is no cure speaking with a doctor to find your best course action is a step in the right direction. Medications taken along with proper exercise and relaxation can make living with Fibro significantly more tolerable.