Fibromyalgia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

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    This is a type of health condition that is characterized by musculoskeletal pain that is widespread and is usually accompanied by issues such as fatigue, memory loss and mood issues and also issues with sleep. There is research that suggests that this disorder greatly amplifies the painful sensations. This is because of the way it affects the brain and as a result it affects the way the brain and also spinal cord process signals that are painful and non painful.

    The symptoms of this disorder normally begin after some particular events. This includes things such as physical trauma, infection, surgery or very significant stress psychologically. In some cases, the symptoms just accumulate over time without there being a single event that can be classified as a triggering event.

    It is also important to note that women are much more likely to develop this disorder. People who have fibromyalgia very often also have tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety.

    While no particular cure can be recommended for this disorder, some treatment modalities can go a long way in helping manage the condition better. This usually involves making the use of a variety of medications in order to control the symptoms associated with the disorder. Other things such as exercise and relaxation and stress-reduction techniques also have been proven to help ease the symptoms.

    Symptoms

    The main symptoms of this disorder are the following. People with this condition will experience pain that is widespread. The pain that is caused by this disorder has very often been described as being a kind of pain that is like a constant dull ache. It normally lasts for a period of three months at least. In order for the pain to be classified as

    being widespread, the pain must be present on both sides of the body and also above and below the waist.

    People with this condition also experience tremendous amounts of fatigue. This can in fact be so severe that it can interfere with daily activities. People with this condition report that their sleep is often disturbed by pain and also things like restless legs syndrome, or sleep apnea. This severely weakens the quality of sleep and as a result the people with fibromyalgia will regularly awaken tired, even though they had slept for a decent amount of time.

    The people who suffer from Fibromyalgia also face difficulties with their cognitive functioning. A symptom that goes by the name of “fibro for” has the potential to impair the ability to focus and to also pay attention. Patients normally report facing a lot of difficulties with concentrating on mental tasks. It is important to note that the disorder will very often coexist with many other conditions, including:

    Chronic fatigue syndrome

    Irritable bowel syndrome

    Headaches and migraines

    Painful bladder syndrome

    Depression

    Anxiety

    Postural tachycardia syndrome

    Causes

    There are a lot of researchers who are of the belief that nerve stimulation that is repeated has the effect of causing the brain and also the spinal cord in patients with this disorder to change. The change that takes place usually involves a serious increase in the levels of some particular chemicals within the brain that are responsible for signalling pain. Furthermore, the receptors of pain in the brain almost seem to be able to develop a sort of memory of the pain and hence, it becomes sensitized. What this implies is that the brain of a patient with this disorder will very likely overreact to signals that are both painful and nonpainful.

    Some of the risk factors that lead to the above mentioned are the following:

    Genetics This disorder usually runs in families. So there may very well be certain genetic mutations that may qualify you as being more at risk of developing this disorder.

    Infections  Research suggests that there are some illnesses which appear to trigger and also aggravate the symptoms of the disorder.

    Physical or emotional events. This condition can sometimes be brought upon by certain physical events such as a car accident. If a person is under prolonged psychological stress then that may also trigger the condition.

    Treatments

    The pain from this disorder can be serious enough to actively hamper the ability to complete daily functions. Therefore, it is an extremely good news that treatment can actually help manage the pain that comes with this condition.

    1. Pain relievers

    The use of medication in order to treat the pain from this condition is quite common. The physician you have may very likely prescribe you medications which are essentially pain relievers. This includes stuff like aspirin, naproxen sodium and also ibuprofen. These drugs can really help people who are suffering from the illness by reducing inflammation and muscular aches, and providing better sleep.

    1. Antidepressants

    Although these types of drugs can really help with pain as well, they do very often come with a lot of side-effects. Make sure you clearly discuss the issues that may arise from using this drug in order to treat FM. In many people, antidepressants cause a wide range of nasty side effects which include nausea, loss of sexual appetite and also weight gain.

    1. Light therapy

    Morning light therapy can be a very effective complementary treatment option for this disorder. It can really help by improving the patient’s functionality and also easing their sensitivity to pain. This is perhaps achieved by changing the pattern of sleep in such a way that seems to help ease the issues that are caused by fibromyalgia.

    About the Author Antonio Meltzer

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