Fibromyalgia Syndrome

maftab92 By maftab92, 30th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Public Health

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic condition of widespread pain and profound fatigue. The pain tends to be felt as diffuse aching or burning, often described as head to toe. It may be worse at some times than at others. It may also change location, usually becoming more severe in parts of the body that are used most. Patients with fibromyalgia also experience sleep problems, extreme fatigue, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms, in combination with tenderness of specific areas on the body.

Fibromyalgia and Pain

Fibromyalgia involves muscle, ligament, and tendon (connective tissue) pain and stiffness, which does not affect the joints. This condition is similar to arthritis because of the pain but it is not arthritis as arthritis has different features other than pain like inflammation or joint swelling, Joint deformity weight loss and there are approximately 100 types of arthritis.

In fibromyalgia there is no inflammation, swelling, edema or deformity. There is no relationship between fibromyalgia and puffiness. If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia and having puffiness, you better get your Thyroid Functioning Test (TFT) done. Puffiness is associated with hypothyroidism not with fibromyalgia.

The main feature of fibromyalgia is 18 specific anatomical sites on the body, which are affected by pain and stiffness.



The main symptoms of Fibromyalgia are:
• Chronic pains and aches
• Headaches
• Stiffness
• Jaw-related face and head pain
• Disturbed sleep
• Severe and chronic fatigue
• Difficulty concentrating
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Diarrhea and abdominal bloating
• Cardiovascular problems (dizziness, palpations)
• Bladder irritation

Causes of Fibromyalgia

1. Though there is no known reason of fibromyalgia but most researchers believe fibromyalgia results not from a single event but from a combination of many physical and emotional stressors.
2. Some researchers believe that fibromyalgia could be the result of genetic predispositions.
3. Some have speculated that lower levels of a brain neurotransmitter called serotonin leads to lowered pain thresholds or an increased sensitivity to pain.
4. Some interesting studies show that women have approximately seven times less serotonin in the brain. That may explain why fibromyalgia is more common in women.
5. Another theory states that fibromyalgia is caused by biochemical changes in the body and may be related to hormonal changes or menopause. In addition, some people with fibromyalgia have low levels of human growth hormone, which may contribute to the muscle pain.

Diagnosis

There is no specific test to diagnose fibromyalgia. So the diagnosis is made on the basis of:
1. A history of widespread pain that has lasted over three months. Widespread means the pain affects the four parts the body - the left, right, and top and bottom sides.
2. The presence of tender points in 18 sites of the body. At least 11 of these points need to be tender for a fibromyalgia diagnosis to be confirmed.

Drug Treatment

Drug treatment involves pain killers, antidepressants and sleeping pills. Since there are certain side effects of drug treatment, so one should try alternative methods first.

Alternative treatment for Fibromyalgia

Each patient is different and will require individualized treatment. Treatment will usually include some or all of the following:
• An active exercise program
• Acupuncture
• Psychotherapy
• Behavior modification therapy
• Chiropractic care
• Massage
• Physical therapy

Tags

Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Pain, Sleep Problem

Meet the author

author avatar maftab92
I am a clinical psychologist from Pakistan. I am running my own clinic to help people overcome psychological problems.

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Comments

author avatar drelayaraja
30th Jun 2010 (#)

very informative and well researched.

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author avatar maftab92
30th Jun 2010 (#)

Thanks for your feedback.

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author avatar Euphonos
30th Jun 2010 (#)

Have never heard of this!!! good work

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