Everything You Should Know About Fibromyalgia

Finding a fibromyalgia treatment for those who suffer from the chronic condition is no easy task. Considering that it is still a lesser understood health issue, diagnosing and treating fibromyalgia can be a challenge. If you or someone you know is experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms, the first step to treating it and easing the pain is by understanding everything you can about the condition. 

From researching the symptoms to look out for and considering the potential causes to learning the best methods of treating unpleasant symptoms, researching and understanding fibromyalgia can help immensely in the long run. So, let’s dive into it. Here’s everything you should know about fibromyalgia. 

What Is Fybromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional or mental distress, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who have fibromyalgia may also be more sensitive to pain than other people without the condition.

Fibromyalgia, while it can affect people of all ages including children, is usually diagnosed during middle age. Women are twice as likely to have fibromyalgia as men, but the reasons and risk factors for this are not yet fully understood. The most difficult part of fibromyalgia for many patients who suffer from the excruciating muscle pain, brain fog, and unmanageable fatigue that can come from fibromyalgia is that there doesn’t seem to be an efficient way to make these terrible symptoms go away. 

That is why it is important to pay attention to your body and take note of the symptoms you may be experiencing, as it takes much time to diagnose fibromyalgia. But the sooner you are able to figure out whether or not you have the condition, the faster you can create a plan for managing pain and creating a lifestyle that works for you. 

What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disease related to the nervous system. However, the symptoms often involve pain in the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons. The reason for this is because your nervous system is not property understanding certain signals, and it is instead perceiving them as muscular or skeletal pain. Therefore, many people who suffer from fibromyalgia first mistake it for other diseases, such as arthritis. 

In general, the most common sign of fibromyalgia is feeling chronic pain throughout your body for more than three months. However, there are a wide variety of other symptoms to look out for if you think you may be suffering from fibromyalgia. These symptoms and signs of fibromyalgia include:

  • Pain and stiffness all over the body
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Problems sleeping
  • Brain fog or problems with thinking, memory, and concentration
  • Headaches or migraines 
  • Swelling or tingling in the extremities (hands and feet)
  • Pain in the face or jaw
  • Digestive problems 

While these are all telling signs of fibromyalgia, not everyone experiencing these symptoms or similar symptoms has fibromyalgia. Similarly, not everyone with fibromyalgia experiences these symptoms all the time. It is always a good idea to discuss your physical and mental concerns with a healthcare professional who can help diagnose and treat any conditions you are experiencing. 

What Causes Fybromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is still widely misunderstood. While the symptoms of the condition are defined and understood by the medical community, the actual cause of fibromyalgia seems to come from a range of different origins. A variety of factors have been associated with the onset of the chronic pain condition, but more research is needed to determine if they are accurate. However, the possible risk factors or causes of fibromyalgia include:

    • Sex: As stated previously, women are twice as likely to develop fibromyalgia in their lifetime.
    • Trauma: It is thought that a traumatic event, either physical or emotional, can trigger the onset of fibromyalgia.
    • Repetitive Injuries: An injury caused by repetitive stress on the joints. 
    • Genetics: fibromyalgia seems to run in certain families, but identifying the initiating genes is still under ongoing research.
    • Infection or Illness: Some research shows that symptoms of fibromyalgia are associated with illness recovery, such as a viral infection.
  • Stress: Stress may be a potential cause of fibromyalgia, and it is believed to make already existing symptoms of the condition worse. 

Doctors usually diagnose fibromyalgia using the patient’s history, physical examination, X-rays, and blood work. By eliminating the possibility of other diseases, doctors can conclude an official fibromyalgia diagnosis. 

How To Treat Fibromyalgia

While there is no way to heal or get rid of fibromyalgia, there are steps you can take to manage symptoms and ease the widespread pain. Doctors who specialize in treating conditions like fibromyalgia may recommend some of the following treatment plans:

  • Medications: A doctor might prescribe you medication or refer you to over-the-counter pain relief options.
  • Exercise: Aerobic movement and muscle strengthening exercises may help improve symptoms of fibromyalgia. 
  • Stress Management Techniques: This may include wellness practices like acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and massages.
  • Good Sleep Habits: Prioritize sleep and the habits that support a good night’s rest. 
  • Healthy Diet: Eating anti-inflammatory foods and healthy meals may help improve the overall quality of life. 
  • Therapy: This can help treat underlying mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. 

If you are experiencing the above symptoms, get the help you need and contact your doctor or primary health care provider today.