What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder whose main characteristic is musculoskeletal pain accompanied by other symptoms which will be discussed later in the article. It is said that this condition amplifies sensations of pain by affecting the way pain signals are processed by your brain. It is said that it affects more women than men but chances are that children can also be diagnosed with this. This commonly happens to people who are middle aged. It is a chronic condition for which people consult a neuro doctor for treatment.

 Fibromyalgia Symptoms 

The symptoms and signs of Fibromyalgia feels like a constant ache. Some common symptoms of this chronic condition has been listed below for your understanding:

  1. Feeling of fatigue all the time
  2. Facing trouble while falling asleep
  3. Experiencing nonrestorative sleep or sleeping for a long time but not feeling like you got rest
  4. Feeling tired or exhausted very fast
  5. Feelings of anxiety, depression and mood swings
  6. Constant headaches
  7. Having trouble in paying attention or concentrating
  8. Experiencing cramps, dull ache or pain in the lower belly area
  9. Dry eyes
  10. Experiencing soreness in the back and even acute lower back pain
  11. Interstitial cystitis or other bladder problems

If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms then consult a Neuro physician.

Who is at Risk? 

There are certain risk factors that we have mentioned below for your reference:

  1. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with this than men
  2. Risk of getting this increase with an increase in age. However, children may also develop this.
  3. If there is a family history of fibromyalgia then chances of you getting it are high.
  4. If you have RA or lupus, then there are chances of you getting this too.

Let us also understand what causes fibromyalgia flare ups:

  1. Illness like the flu
  2. If you are going through any stress
  3. If you have any injury

Fibromyalgia Causes 

The exact Fibromyalgia causes are not really known. However, there are some potential reasons for fibromyalgia that experts have been able to identify which might cause this:

  1. Infection from a past illness such as a pneumonia or the flu can trigger this or make the existing symptoms worse.
  2. Genes also play a role and hence if a family member has it then you can get it too
  3. It has also been linked to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in people who have gone through severe emotional or physical trauma.
  4. Stress often causes hormonal changes which can then lead to fibromyalgia.

How is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?

 Fibromyalgia diagnosis cannot be done through any medical test, lab test or an imaging scan. A doctor usually conducts these tests to rule out any other possible causes and reasons of chronic pain that you are experiencing. Symptoms of fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases sometimes overlap and hence at times it becomes difficult for a health care provider or your neurologist to detect one from the other. If you have been experiencing widespread pain on both sides of the body and both below and above your waist for a period of three months or longer, then most like your doctor is going to diagnose you with this condition. However, never do self-diagnosis, always consult an expert.

 How is Fibromyalgia treated?

 As of today, there is no exact treatment for fibromyalgia. Doctors instead focus on reducing the symptoms improving quality of life of their patients. Like,

  1. Suggesting various self-care strategies
  2. Encouraging the patient to make lifestyle changes for a healthier life
  3. Prescribing certain medications that will help in reducing the symptoms.

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How can Fibromyalgia be prevented? 

The prevention of fibromyalgia depends on certain lifestyle changes and home remedies that an individual should be cognizant about. Some common things that can be done to prevent it:

  1. Work on reducing your stress by trying out meditation, therapy, deep-breathing exercises and other stress management techniques.
  2. Try and get adequate amount of sleep daily. Since fatigue is one of the common symptoms of this disease, it is best to start by ensuring you get enough rest. Start by practising good sleep habits like going to sleep and waking up at a certain time.

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July 15, 2022

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