Answering Some Of The Common Questions On The Condition Of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is one of those conditions which often times raises more questions than any actual answers are given. The condition of Fibromyalgia is one that occurs when symptoms such as overall body aching, pain, as well as extreme fatigue are felt. Estimates show that more than more than 5 million Americans above the age of 18 are affected by the condition of Fibromyalgia, with 80% to 90% of those individuals being female. There are many questions that have been brought up about the condition of Fibromyalgia, but thankfully because of research, clinical trials, and studies conducted by scientist, physicians, and patients more answers are coming to light every day. Discussed here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the condition of Fibromyalgia and some information to help answers those questions and provide re-assurance to those who might be suffering from the condition of Fibromyalgia.
What is the Cause of Fibromyalgia?
Unfortunately at this time the specific cause of the condition of Fibromyalgia isn’t clearly known, however researches have been able to pinpoint a number of factors that they believe leads to a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. These factors are as follows:
- Family History of Fibromyalgia
- Exposure to Stressful or Traumatic Events (i.e. car accidents, infections or illnesses, being sent to war, injuries caused by performing the same action repetitively).
- Development of another Disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, or lupus).
- Immune System Dysfunctions
- Hormone Irregularities
- Alterations in certain pain-related chemical transmitters (such as nerve growth factor, substance P, serotonin, or norepinephrine).
- Exposure to Toxins or Alcohol Poisoning
- How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?
According to the American College of Rheumatology an individual can be diagnosed with the condition of Fibromyalgia if they meet a certain criteria and have a certain set of symptoms and signs. The two criteria are that (1) chronic pain must have
existed for a period of 3 months or longer, and (2) that at least 11 of 18 total Tender Point locations must be diagnosed by a physician. Often times the process of diagnosing the condition of Fibromyalgia involves both the meeting of the criteria as well as the elimination of other conditions or diseases which can present with similar signs and symptoms. Because of the difficult diagnosis patients can sometimes go for long periods of time experiencing their symptoms without any real diagnosis or pinpointed causative factors to their symptoms, this can be extremely frustrating. However, it is possible for a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia to be medically given, therefor anyone who experiences the common symptoms or signs of Fibromyalgia should ask their doctor if Fibromyalgia could be the cause of their issues.
3. What are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
The two main symptoms of Fibromyalgia are chronic pain and extreme fatigue. However, there are commonly other signs and symptoms which many Fibromyalgia patients deal with on a regular basis. These other symptoms of Fibromyalgia include: headaches, migraines, muscle pain or weakness, moderate to severe fatigue, insomnia, difficulty with concentration, short term memory, or remember facts, abdominal issues such as bloating, nausea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as issues with urinary infrequency, numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or even feet, and symptoms of stress, depression, and even anxiety. The symptoms of Fibromyalgia can vary greatly among those who suffer from them; they can even vary during specific times of the day, or during periods of increased stress, as well as weather changes or hormonal fluctuations.
4. What are the Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia?
Because Fibromyalgia is a condition which is often the byproduct of another disease or illness treatment can be difficult, not impossible, but difficult. Treatment usually utilizes the collaborative efforts of a physician, rheumatologists, as well as therapist that can perform different techniques for treating the symptoms. Treatment options include pain management, sleep management, relaxation techniques, as well as other therapies such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, acupressure, aromatherapy, breathing techniques, home remedies (such as heat or cold compresses) or even supplements or biofeedback. In order for a Fibromyalgia suffer to begin finding relief from their symptoms and feeling better it is important that an overall healthier lifestyle be adapted to, suggestions include getting enough sleep, proper exercise, proper nutrition, and learning to set boundaries which will allow for better management of the symptoms to occur.