Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain, leading to lack of sleep, exhaustion, and weak memory.
Sometimes its symptoms appear after surgery, physical trauma, infection, or major psychological stress. Its symptoms develop slowly over time, without any single triggering event.
Studies have shown that women are at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia than men. Most people with fibromyalgia may experience temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, stress headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety.
Although there is no such treatment for this condition, medications can help prevent the symptoms. Also, stress reduction, exercises, and meditation help to control it.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
The latest research indicates that the cause tends to be a multiple-hit hypothesis, including genetic disposition (hereditary characteristics) complemented by a series of triggers, like trauma, infection, and stress.
Here is a closer look at why people get fibromyalgia:
Previous illness may cause fibromyalgia or worsen its symptoms. Pneumonia, flu, GI infections, such as those caused by bacteria Shigella and Shigella, and the Epstein-Barr virus all have potential associations with fibromyalgia.
It's hereditary as it usually runs in families. If there is a family member with fibromyalgia, you are most likely to experience it, too.
Researchers suggest that specific gene mutation might play a vital role to avoid fibromyalgia. In fact, they have come up with some potential genes which affect the transmission of signals of chemical pain between nerve cells.
People who are undergoing severe emotional or physical trauma may develop fibromyalgia. The disease has been related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Stress can have long-lasting effects on the body, as with trauma. Stress causes hormonal changes in the body which may lead to fibromyalgia.
Health care providers don't completely understand what causes the common chronic nature of pain with fibromyalgia. One hypothesis is the brain decreases the tolerance for pain. Sensations that hadn't been painful before become uncomfortable over time.
Another study shows that the nerves overreact to pain signals
They become much sensitive that they cause exaggerated or unnecessary pain.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Most common symptoms are:
Widespread Pain - The pain caused by fibromyalgia is often defined as a persistent dull ache that usually lasts for three months or more. The pain must appear on both sides of your body and above and below the waist.
Fatigue – Individuals who have fibromyalgia sometimes awaken exhausted, even after sleeping for a long duration. Sleep is also disrupted by pain, and there are many sleep disturbances in other patients with fibromyalgia, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
Cognitive Difficulties - A widely named "fibro fog" syndrome damages the ability to concentrate, pay attention, and focus on mental activities.
Fibromyalgia causes several painful conditions, including:
- Migraine and other types of headaches
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Presently, there is no cure for this disorder. However, its treatment includes improving the quality of life and reducing symptoms with:
- Lifestyle changes
Medicines can soothe pain and allow you to sleep better. Physical and occupational therapy boost energy and reduce body tension. Techniques for exercise and reducing stress will make you feel better, physically and mentally.
You may want to seek help and guidance. It may mean attending a support group with a therapist. It will help you get advice from people who are having the same journey as yours.
Living With Fibromyalgia
Having fibromyalgia may reduce your quality of life as you may experience consistent fatigue, pain, and other symptoms every day. The condition gets worse with the misunderstanding about fibromyalgia. Because these symptoms are common, most people don't identify these as the cause of fibromyalgia.
It is essential to know that your condition is real and you must go for a treatment that works for you best. Try a few techniques in combination or go for more than one therapy to control this condition and have a healthier life.
Consider discussing it with people you can rely on like:
- A therapist
- Close family members or friends
- Healthcare provider