Fibromyalgia: What You Need to Know About This Chronic Disorder

A long-term musculoskeletal disorder, fibromyalgia causes painful muscles and joints. It is also usually accompanied by other issues such as fatigue, depression, memory problems and lack of sleep. Also sometimes referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome or FMS, there is no known treatment for it. However, there are numerous medications that may help in having the symptoms managed. Exercise, relaxation techniques and other at-home remedies may help a lot too.

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Experts say that fibromyalgia is more common in women than men. The exact cause why this painful condition strikes is unknown. However, it is believed that it is due to certain factors, including genetics, infections, and emotional or physical trauma. Due to the pain involved as well as other problems, fibromyalgia may have a considerable impact on a person’s ability to function at home or work.

Continue reading to know some of the most important things about this long-term musculoskeletal disorder that is said to affect as many as 5 million Americans that are 18 years old and above.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

One of the hallmark symptoms of this condition is widespread pain. Those who suffer from it report that the entire body hurts, although it is possible for certain areas such as the neck and back to feel more painful. Experts believe that individuals with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain due to the alteration of certain chemicals in the brain.

It’s not unlikely for someone with fibromyalgia to suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders like sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome or RLS. Because of this, the person may awake feeling exhausted. Fatigue is something that many sufferers of this chronic disorder report.

Fibromyalgia tends to cause so many other problems. Some of them include headaches, depression, anxiety, and irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, which causes cramping or pain in the abdominal area.

Fibromyalgia Causes and Risk Factors

The root cause of fibromyalgia is yet to be determined by the experts. However, they say that certain things may be related to the development of this painful and chronic problem. Since fibromyalgia tends to run in families, which means you may be at risk of having it if a relative suffers from it, the condition may be due to certain genetic mutations.

Experts say that fibromyalgia may be triggered by certain infections or diseases. Some people who have the condition report that it developed after experiencing severe emotional or physical trauma.

Conditions Associated with It

Often, several different conditions are associated with fibromyalgia. Since the disorder is the musculoskeletal type, it’s not surprising why other problems that come together with it tend to be rheumatic in nature, which means they are issues that concern the bones, joints and muscles.

Many fibromyalgia sufferers also have arthritis such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Others are diagnosed with temporomandibular disorder or TMD as well as ankylosing spondylitis, a condition which is characterized by the inflammation of the joints and tissues of the spine. Lupus, an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells, may strike together with fibromyalgia.

Treatments and Home Care

Up to now, there is no available treatment for fibromyalgia. What doctors can do in order to help in reducing the pain involved as well as other symptoms or complications is prescribe certain medications. For instance, pain relievers may be administered to help in managing the widespread pain. Antidepressants may be prescribed for someone with fibromyalgia to help in stabilizing the mood and to deal with depression.

There are numerous at-home caring strategies that can benefit a person with fibromyalgia. It is important for stress to be managed in order to prevent the aggravation of the symptoms. Moderately exercising on a regular basis can help in reducing muscle and joint pain. Pacing one’s self is important in order to prevent fatigue. Definitely, it’s a must for the fibromyalgia sufferer to opt for nutritious foods and have a healthy lifestyle.

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