Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. – CDC
It is a common chronic syndrome that is not an autoimmune disorder but can cohabit with an autoimmune disorder like Arthritis (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus).
Fibromyalgia inflates painful sensations by impairing the way the brain processes pain signals. The condition affects women more than men.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Pain occurs around the body, affecting both sides of the body and below the body.
- Not getting proper sleep due to the pain felt all the time can lead to fatigue.
- Inability to focus adequately.
- Irritable bowel.
- Quick weight gain.
- Anxiety and depression.
- Problem breathing.
- Problem urinating.
- Vision impairment.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
The causes of fibromyalgia are not known to healthcare professionals and experts. The general idea bounced back and forth is that the brain reduces the pain threshold, thereby making interpreting minimal pain a major pain.
The next theory is also how the spinal cord and the nerves overreact to pain pulses. With that in mind, some factors can influence the working theories, thereby leading to the condition.
Genes: The tendency for a family member to get the condition if another member of the family has it is high. Gene mutations play a major role.
Trauma and Stress: Physical damage to the body caused by an accident or fracture or even emotional trauma can trigger fibromyalgia. Emotional or physical stress from childbirth, completed surgery, etc. can trigger the condition.
Infections: Infections or injuries have been linked to causing certain types of arthritis. The same might be said about fibromyalgia. In this case, it is either it triggers or exaggerates the condition
The condition majorly affects women, it is likely to develop with a family history of it, and also stands a high chance of it being triggered if you have an autoimmune disorder such as arthritis. The condition is more pronounced in people between the age of 30 and 50 years old. Children can develop the condition too.
There is no clear-cut diagnosis for the condition, hence it's a common misdiagnosis. However, a doctor can diagnose the condition if you have been having all-around body pain for more than 3 months and beyond. Certain tests and examinations will be carried out to rule out other conditions that can cause you pain. Also, the doctor might be looking out for other symptoms as expressed above
There is no cure for fibromyalgia. There are medication, therapies, and lifestyle adjustments that can improve the condition. As there is no cure, the treatment is done to aid in reducing the effects of the symptoms your body might be going through.
- Over-the-counter painkillers.
- Anti-seizure drugs.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy.
- Stress management therapy.
Lifestyle adjustments include:
- Regular exercise.
- Inclusion of fruit and vegetables into your diet.
- Reduced sugar intake.
- Reduced meat intake.
- Maintain moderate body weight.
Since the cause is not known, the best prevention practice would be to:
- Achieve the recommended sleep time.
- Maintain a nutritious and balanced diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Treat and manage arthritis properly.
- Consciously avoid stress-induced events to the best of your ability.
- Speak with a healthcare professional if you are going through depression or processing a heavy loss.