What is Fibromyalgia?
Severe pain, anxiety, abdominal problems, and depression. These are just a few symptoms that fibromyalgia exhibits. Fibromyalgia is considered as a syndrome rather than a disease due to its many symptoms. With multiple symptoms acting simultaneously, patients find it hard to determine that they are affected with the condition. It does not also cause any physical deformities, like that of arthritis, nor does it affect any internal organs, which it makes it even harder to diagnose.
So what is fibromyalgia? And how does it affect a person?
Coined from the New Latin word fibro which means fibrous tissues, the Greek word myos which means muscles, and algos which means pain, fibromyalgia is often characterized by widespread pain affecting several parts of the body and more specifically the tender points found in the shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. Pain intensifies when pressure is applied to these tender points which today serve as the main diagnostic procedure to determining fibromyalgia for reasons that laboratory tests reveal no indications.
Fibromyalgia is commonly found in women between ages 35 to 55. There are also cases documented in men, children, and the elderly. It occurs independently or can even be associated with another disease. The causes are generally unknown while treatment is relatively difficult and may require a combination of methods throughout a considerable amount of time.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Often categorized as a fatigue disorder, the most prevalent symptom that fibromyalgia exhibit is pain — severe and widespread pain. Imagine feeling pain all over the body without knowing what triggers it. The condition can be excruciating and to some may even be disabling to incapability to cope with simple day to day activities.
Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS exhibits a wide spectrum of symptoms which includes:
- Widespread pain
- Morning stiffness
- Sleep Disorder
- Cognitive or memory impairment
- Abdominal Problems
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Other symptoms include significant weight gain, menstrual cramps, dizziness, nausea, poor eyesight or impaired vision, chronic headaches, involuntary twitching of muscles, weakness, and problems related to skin, hair, and nails.
The good news is that fibromyalgia is not degenerative in nature. Although symptoms are chronic, pain however fluctuates throughout the course of the day. Since the condition is also associated with sleep disorders, pain may be more prevalent during the morning as compared to most parts of the day. Menopausal or premenstrual conditions that result to hormonal imbalance may also result for fibromyalgia symptoms to intensify from time to time.
The proper combination of prescribed treatment, therapeutic program, proper diet and nutrition, physical exercise, and supplementation may improve overall condition and physical health.
What are the ways to relieve the many symptoms caused by fibromyalgia?
There is no single way to treat fibromyalgia. Each individual will require a different set of methods and treatment programs. Being comprised with multiple symptoms, it also follows also that treatment may be of various methods and techniques. With pain as its main and most significant symptom, most people who suffer from this condition would think that addressing pain issues, its triggers, and origins would be the most appropriate solution to combat the disease.
Experts on fibromyalgia however believe improving quality of sleep will yield better results and will improve health conditions considerably. Below are a few tried and tested treatment procedures and programs for fibromyalgia which are often applied together
- Prescription Medication
- Physical Therapy or Trigger Point Therapy
- Physical Exercise
- Proper Diet and Nutrition
The four above listed treatment options addresses a specific area that covers treatment of fibromyalgia which is why these options are often included within one treatment program. Medication reduces pain, relieves anxiety, and sleep disorder. Physical therapy or trigger point therapy covers the area of relaxation and recovery. Physical exercise aims to recover from weakness and restore physical strength while proper diet and nutrition with the help of select natural supplements relieve stress and address overall health and physical well-being.
To read more about fibromyalgia, click here.