Fibromyalgia (also known as fibrositis and fibromyositis) is a common chronic disease. Symptoms of fibromyalgia are characterized by constant pain throughout the body, abnormal fatigue, and troubles sleeping. This disease typically affects women of ages 20 to 50. However, it can also occur in men and people of all ages.
Some people develop fibromyalgia for no reason. For others, it occurs after a traumatic experience, such as emotional trauma, an accident, overworking, hormonal changes, or even viruses.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Exposed
In the past, it was difficult to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It was thought that the pain was “all in their head” or imagined. However, fibromyalgia is now recognized as a disease.
The disease has symptoms that are commonly found in other diseases, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis, which makes it more difficult to diagnose.
Your doctor will review your medical history and do a physical examination to rule out other causes of your symptoms. The pain you feel must be generalized and lasting more than three months.
The pain has to be both above and below the waist and on the left and the right side of the body, as well as on the front and the back of the body. In addition, when pressure is applied to the 18 tender points on the body, pain must be felt on at least 11 of these points.
The individual will unlikely experience these pains unless applied by a doctor who is familiar with these tender points and the disease itself.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia vary for each person, and the symptoms can change hourly or daily. Common symptoms include fatigue despite getting a good nights rest, morning stiffness, headaches and migraines, gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or constipation, pain during temperature changes, swelling, numbness, tendency to feel sad, anxious, or depressed.
Other symptoms include muscle weakness, memory loss, and lack of concentration. Symptoms may also increase or worsen when individuals are stressed.
This disease may affect your everyday life. You may find it tough doing certain activities such as working, housekeeping, taking care of children, or even hobbies due to your lack of energy.
For some individuals, the changes caused by the disease causes them to feel very stressed, depressed, or anxious. Joining a fibromyalgia support group can be helpful.
Can Fibromyalgia Be Cured or Treated?
Although a cure for fibromyalgia has not been found, the symptoms can be treated. The best way to manage the disease is to adjust your lifestyle. It’s important to listen to your body and to adjust your life to it.
Rest, exercise, heat, and reducing stress can improve your quality of daily life.
Exercises such as swimming or walking can help reduce pain. Using breathing techniques to manage your stress and heat and massages can also relieve some of the pain. Some individuals find over-the-counter pain medication helpful in relieving muscle stiffness and pain.
Your doctor may also prescribe tricyclic antidepressants. This medication can help relieve pain and reduce depression symptoms. Some even find that this medication helps reduce sleep disturbances.
Therapy Options for Fibromyalgia
However, some individuals who would rather not take these medications have some alternative ways of dealing with their pain and symptoms. You may find that alternative therapies and medicines are helpful in relieving the pain associated with this disease. These therapies can include acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, chiropractic, naturopathy, and osteopathy.
If you notice that you are experiencing the above symptoms of fibromyalgia, it is important to consult a professional about it. Booking an appointment with your family doctor is helpful, but he or she may refer you to a rheumatologist or another specialist. Only professionals will be able to properly diagnose you with this disease.
Fibromyalgia Symptom Checklist – Do You Have It?