Fibromyalgia is a serious chronic condition which causes pain and stiffness of the muscles. People who suffer from fibromyalgia also experience chronic fatigue, restless sleep, anxiety, depression and awakening feeling very tired. The condition is formerly known as fibrositis.
Fibromyalgia is the most common condition affecting the muscles and it leads to chronic pain and eventually chronic disability. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. The pain that happens isn’t followed by tissue inflammation, so the people suffering from fibromyalgia do not develop body deformity. It doesn’t cause damage to the internal body organs either. It is not similar to other rheumatic problems because it does not disable or deform the body permanently.
People with fibromyalgia tend to have so called tender points on their bodies. Those are certain places on the legs, shoulders, neck, hips, and arms. These body parts hurt when they are pressured. The most often symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- Morning stiffness
- Tingling sensations in the hands or feet
- Painful menstrual periods
- Loss of memory
- Problems with concentrating and thinking
What causes fibromyalgia?
The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown to this day, but several factors can be linked to the condition, such as:
- Certain diseases
- Repetitive injuries
- Stressful events
- Stressful lifestyle
While it is possible for fibromyalgia to occur due to factors mentioned above, it can also occur absolutely on its own. Some genes can also be linked to fibromyalgia, causing the people who have this particular gene (or genes)to be more sensitive to things other people would be affected by at all.
Who does fibromyalgia affect?
Science has proven that between 80 and 90 percent of the people with fibromyalgia are women. This doesn’t mean men or children can’t be and aren’t affected by it, they most certainly can. However, most people with fibromyalgia are diagnosed in their middle age.
The diseases that are often known to be linked to fibromyalgia are:
- Spinal arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
People (especially women) who have a family history of fibromyalgia are more likely to develop it than those who don’t.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
Fibromyalgia is one of those conditions that can be very hard to treat. It is very important to get in touch with a doctor who is very familiar with the condition in order to get proper treatment. If you suffer from fibromyalgia, the doctor you would want to search for should be a physician, a general internist or a rheumatologist. Once you do get you proper treatment prescribed, stick to it. The treatment often consists of: exercising; eating healthy; sleeping well and getting enough sleep; exercising; taking the medicines the doctor prescribed.
If not treated, some of the following difficulties may occur:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw stiffness
- Chest pain
- Problems breathing
- Weight gain
- Skin problems
- Vision problems
- The feeling of pain all over
- Hypersensitivity to cold and heat
- Mouth dryness
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic headaches
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
There are no specific tests that can be done to diagnose fibromyalgia. In order to give you the right diagnoses, your doctor will have to refer to your medical history and he will have to rely on a physical exam. In order to exclude some other illnesses that may be present along with fibromyalgia, the doctor may run several blood tests. Other tests, such as a glucose test is also possible, because high glucose levels can cause problems similar to the ones fibromyalgia causes. Hypothyroidism can also cause problems quite similar to the one fibromyalgia causes; therefor a thyroid test can also be done.
Is fibromyalgia an actual disease?
No, fibromyalgia is often called a disease by a mistake but it is not actually a defined disease. Fibromyalgia can cause you to ache all over, but still, it is not a disease, it is a syndrome. A syndrome is a set of several symptoms, signs and medical problems, while a disease is a medical condition with clear defined symptoms.