Fibromyalgia is a long-term, chronic condition. It causes muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and exhaustion. The pain might come and go. The disease has no known origin, but stress and genetics may put someone at risk for it. Medicines, lifestyle modifications, and other therapy can provide some comfort, although there is no cure for depression.
Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 4 million people in the United States or 2% of the population. This disease can affect anyone, even youngsters. It affects twice as many women as males. As we get older, we're more likely to notice symptoms. Fibromyalgia can occur in up to 20% of people with other chronic illnesses, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or sarcoidosis.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is a mystery to doctors. It may be a genetic trait. Symptoms can be triggered by a variety of factors, including:
- Examples of stressors include prematurity, terrible life events such as abuse, accidents, etc.
- Viral infections and other diseases are examples of medical problems.
- Other mood disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety
- Poor sleep
- Lack of exercise
Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread muscle and joint pain, poor sleep, and fatigue. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for the condition. You could also have:
- It could be a sign of depression or anxiety
- Diarrhea and constipation are examples of digestive issues
- Pain in the face or jaw (temporomandibular disorders)
- Migraines or headaches
- Memory lapses and difficulties
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
A definitive test for fibromyalgia does not exist. Fibromyalgia can only be diagnosed through a physical exam and your symptoms. Blood testing should rule out anemia or thyroid disease to rule out other possible reasons for weariness. The diagnosis is based on your symptoms and your family's medical history.
Most people aren't as sensitive to pain as those with fibromyalgia. Tender spots or parts of your body that are particularly sensitive to touch might be assessed by your healthcare professional. For a diagnosis, three months of widespread pain, exhaustion, memory and attention problems, poor sleep, signs of sadness, and irritability syndrome must be present.
Generally, fibromyalgia treatments entail both medication and self-care. There is a strong emphasis on reducing symptoms and improving overall health. While no single treatment can address every symptom, various methods can have a cumulative effect.
Some medications can help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Among the most popular options are:
- Pain relievers: Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), and naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) are all examples of over-the-counter pain medicines. Over time, the pain will intensify if you take opioids, which have a long list of adverse side effects and addictive properties.
- Antidepressants: In some cases, the fibromyalgia-related fatigue and pain may be relieved with milnacipran (Savella) or duloxetine (Cymbalta). Your doctor may prescribe amitriptyline or cyclobenzaprine to help you sleep.
- Anti-seizure medication: Certain types of pain can often be alleviated by medications intended to treat epilepsy. Pregabalin (Lyrica) was the first drug licensed by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) to treat fibromyalgia, while gabapentin (Neurontin) is occasionally beneficial in lowering the symptoms.
A wide range of therapies can help alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms and improve your quality of life. The following are a few examples:
- Physiotherapy/ Physical therapy: strength, flexibility, and endurance can all be improved with the help of a physical therapist. Consider water-based exercises as a good option.
- Occupational therapy: is usually offered by an occupational therapist. He helps you understand how you can reduce physical stress on your body by altering your work environment or how you should perform specific tasks.
- Counseling: speaking to a counselor can help you believe in your skills and learn how to deal with stressful situations more effectively.