A disorder that involves symptoms such as extensive musculoskeletal pain, sleep problems, exhaustion, and mood and memory issues. By altering the way your brain and spinal cord interpret both painful and non-painful information, fibromyalgia may increase the intensity of pain.
An event such as a physical injury, surgery, infection, or severe psychological stress, is often the catalyst for the development of symptoms. There may be no single triggering event in other cases when symptoms build up over time.
Fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men. There are many people who suffer from fibromyalgia who also suffer from tension headaches, TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) issues, and IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome).
Despite the lack of a proper cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help alleviate its symptoms. Exercise, stress-reduction techniques, and relaxation may also be beneficial.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by the following basic symptoms:
- Acute pain: For at least three months, many who suffer from fibromyalgia say they experience dull and continuous pain. The pain must be felt on both sides of the body and above and below the waist in order to be called acute and widespread.
- Fatigue: While many people with fibromyalgia claim to have slept for lengthy amounts of time, they typically wake up feeling fatigued. Patients with fibromyalgia often suffer from various sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea, as a result of the pain, they experience when trying to get some shut-eye.
- Cognitive problems: Fibromyalgia, or "fibro fog," is a symptom that makes it difficult to concentrate, pay attention, or focus on mental work.
Fibromyalgia frequently occurs in conjunction with the following medical conditions:
- Irritable bowel syndrome – An inflammatory condition of the bowels
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
- Migraine and other types of headache,
- Chronic bladder discomfort or interstitial cystitis
- Disorders in the temporomandibular joint
- Anxiety / Depression
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
Researchers believe that fibromyalgia patients' brains and spinal cords change as a result of repeated nerve stimulation. An abnormal increase in the brain's levels of neurotransmitters that signal pain is at the root of this transformation.
To make matters worse, pain receptors in the brain appear to develop and even become hypersensitive to stimuli that aren't actually unpleasant. Many reasons may be at play in the occurrence of these shifts, such as:
- Genetics: Fibromyalgia tends to run in families, so it's possible that some genetic mutations increase your risk of acquiring the condition.
- Infections: Fibromyalgia may aggravate or be made worse by certain illnesses.
- Emotional or physical events: It is possible that a physical event, such as a vehicle accident, can cause fibromyalgia. The disease can also be triggered by a high level of ongoing psychological stress.
The following factors can cause fibromyalgia:
- Your gender: Women are more often told they have fibromyalgia than men.
- Family history: If a parent or sibling also has fibromyalgia, you may be more likely to get it too.
- Other ailments: You may be more likely to get fibromyalgia if you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus.
Fibromyalgia can have a negative impact on your capacity to perform at home or work because of the pain, exhaustion, and poor sleep quality it causes. Depression and anxiety related to one's health can emerge from the difficulty of dealing with an illness that is frequently misunderstood.