What You Should Know About Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia (FMS) isn’t classified as a disease but rather as a syndrome, condition, or disorder. More women than men have fibromyalgia probably because of stress, which is a known factor in the development of this condition. Fibromyalgia is also highly complex and confusing because it often overlaps the symptoms of other diseases or is linked with other ailments indirectly. Millions suffer worldwide from it and there isn’t any cure.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The main symptom of FMS is prolonged, persistent pain involving the joints and muscles. This pain has been documented in certain areas called trigger points and categorized in 18 pairs on both sides of the body. Having pain in 11 of these pairs for 3 months or longer helps to get this disorder diagnosed. Other symptoms include stiffness, sleeplessness, anxiety, fatigue, depression and cognitive problems in thinking and memory. There have been instances of pain in the facial muscles of the jaw, called temporomandibular syndrome, which makes it hard to chew and some people even experience clicking or snapping noises when chewing. Irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches and a heightened sensitivity to touch, light, and sound are also indicative of this disorder. Anyone with fibromyalgia really has to learn a new lifestyle in order to handle the pain and try to live a somewhat normal life.
Because there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a different approach has to be taken in order to have the “new normal” life. Managing the pain is first on the list. This is usually done through medications. Finding relief need not be totally dependent on drugs, however, there are so many different ways to cope and manage fibromyalgia and a good place to start is with a support group. People with fibromyalgia can share ideas to help relieve the discomfort, encourage you emotionally, and comfort you when times get tough. It’s worth looking into.
Exercise, mild to moderate, is essential to keeping active. Developing better sleeping habits will help deter insomnia which often leads to anxiety and then depression. You might say it’s a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped. Swimming, hot soothing baths, acupuncture, yoga and chiropractic therapy have all had positive results too. When exercising, be sure to start slow and not overdo it and use low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, or tai chi.
I think the most important way of living with fibromyalgia is to have a positive attitude. There’s a lot of help out there and all you have to do is seek it and you shall find it. As mentioned earlier, support groups are a great way to get information and treatments that have been used successfully. Check with your doctor, community hospital, or family clinics to find a support group near your area. Using a variety of treatments will help better control the symptoms of fibromyalgia.