The Rundown On Fibromyalgia
What is Fibromyalgia? That is a question that will be heard quite often for those who are trying to explain the condition of Fibromyalgia as well as the symptoms and treatment plans that are available for Fibromyalgia. First of all it is important to know that while Fibromyalgia may be very much misunderstood it is not a new condition. Symptoms of conditions having Fibromyalgia like symptoms were spoken of by physicians even back into the 1800’s. It has been known by several different names including myalgia, muscular rheumatism, spinal irritation, and chronic rheumatism. The name Fibromyalgia is actually derived from the Greek language meaning “pain in the muscles and fibers”. It is not a condition which lies all in the head, it is not an imagined disease, the symptoms are real and a diagnosis, while difficult to pinpoint, is possible. When Fibromyalgia was first recognized by its current name in the early 1980’s by the American Medial Association as a true physical illness, in 1993 it was officially declared as a syndrome and Fibromyalgia was given an ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems) code.
Types of Fibromyalgia
There are two schools of thought regarding the types of Fibromyalgia. However, these two types are considers as both Primary and Secondary Fibromyalgia.
- Primary Fibromyalgia is the most common and most universally accepted type of Fibromyalgia. Primary Fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed when no other underlying diseases are present and when at least 11 of 18 specific tender points have been confirmed. Another form of Fibromyalgia that have been classified under the Primary category are concomitant Fibromyalgia which takes place alongside other seemingly unrelated conditions like osteoarthritis or scoliosis.
- Secondary Fibromyalgia is when Fibromyalgia occurs after being triggered by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, hypothyroidism, HIV, cancer, or even a physical or emotional trauma. This type of Fibromyalgia is also referred to as post-traumatic Fibromyalgia. Often times Secondary Fibromyalgia is categorized when less than 11 of the 18 specific tender points have been recognized.
A diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is probably how a lot of the misunderstandings surrounding the condition came about. There aren’t currently any specific lab tests or x-rays that can be completely in order to precisely diagnose Fibromyalgia. Most often Fibromyalgia is diagnosed when processes of elimination of other like conditions are ruled out and when two specific criteria are met. These two criteria for Fibromyalgia diagnoses include (1) widespread chronic pain that has lasted a period of at least 3 months, and (2) when a minimum of 11, out of 18, specific tender points have been recognized when pressure is applied.
The condition of Fibromyalgia is described by many different symptoms, which is part of the reason that Fibromyalgia is so very difficult to diagnose and treat. However there are some common symptoms that relate to the condition of Fibromyalgia, while every Fibromyalgia sufferer may not experience all of the symptoms listed, these are the symptoms that are most commonly recognized under Fibromyalgia. The common Fibromyalgia symptoms are:
- Chronic Muscle Pain
- Numbness and/or Tingling
- Cold Sensitivity
- Low Grade Fevers
- Dry Eyes and/or Skin
- Migraine Headaches
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There is no one specific treatment plan or approach for Fibromyalgia and unfortunately at this time there is no cure for the condition of Fibromyalgia. Most often the most successful form of treatment for Fibromyalgia is to treat the symptoms that the individual Fibromyalgia sufferer is experiencing. A few of the types of Fibromyalgia treatment options are the use of traditional medicine, supplements, herbal remedies, specific lifestyle changes, and even the use of what is deemed as alternative treatments. A brief overview of each of these treatment options will be given below:
- Traditional Medicine treats Fibromyalgia with the use of antidepressants, anticonvulsants, as well as narcotic type medications can aid in decreasing symptoms of pain in regards to Fibromyalgia. However, these medications should only be used as a last resort as they can become habit forming or cause negative side effects.
- Supplements such as Magnesium, B-Complex Vitamins, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Melatonin, 5-HTP, SAMe, Ribose, as well as Brown Seaweed Extract have all been proven helpful in relieving certain Fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Herbal Remedies – can include the use of Ginko Biloba and others depending on the type of symptoms that are being presented because of the Fibromyalgia.
- Lifestyle Changes such as stress reduction, overall health, as well as sleep improvement can aid in decreasing the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
- Alternative Treatments can include the use of massage, water therapy, acupressure, acupuncture, yoga, aromatherapy, biofeedback, Myofascial release therapy, as well as chiropractic care. Each of these forms of alternative treatment can provide their own unique way of helping to relieve Fibromyalgia symptoms.