Know Your Pain: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder in which a person feels widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Fibromyalgia is one of the most misdiagnosed diseases, even after fibromyalgia is the second most cause of chronic body pain. As many rheumatic diseases can mimic fibromyalgia such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Lyme disease, and lupus. They have symptoms of widespread pain along with joint involvement.

Related: 6 reasons you feel tired more than usual.

Other conditions which may mimic fibromyalgia:
  1. Hypothyroidism: Fatigue and constipation are the symptoms that may mimic fibromyalgia. Get your TSH level checked.
  2. Rheumatic diseases: Rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Lyme disease, and lupus have symptoms of widespread pain along with joint involvement.
  3. Medicines: Statins are used to lower cholesterol levels, may cause body pain.
  4. Metabolic insufficiencies: Vitamin D, Vitamin B, and Ferritin deficiency may cause body pain especially lower leg.

What causes fibromyalgia?

There is no known cause of why some people get fibromyalgia. The assumptions may include:

  • Hereditary. Fibromyalgia seems to run in families.
  • Women. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men.
  • Emotional or physical abuse. Children who are abused are more likely to have the condition when they grow up.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some people have this mental health problem after a terrible event, like war, a car crash, or rape. These events are also linked to fibromyalgia in some people.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Other diseases. A painful disease like arthritis may increase your chances of getting fibromyalgia.
  • Fewer movements. Exercise is one of the best treatments for fibromyalgia you already have. It can help turn the pain volume down.

What are the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia?

The most important symptom of fibromyalgia is muscle and joint pain all over the body accompanied by fatigue, which is the reason behind the most misdiagnosed disease. Symptoms are:

  • Pain and tender points: In most cases, fibromyalgia pain is all over the body but at some points, the pain can be deep and sharp. At this point, it hurt when you press them with the finger.
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems: Sleep is light and easily disturbed and when you get up after you sleep you are not refreshed and exhausted.
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Gastric complaints like diarrhea and constipation.
  • Sometimes tingling and numbness in hands
  • Painful menstrual cramps in women
  • Morning stiffness: People with fibromyalgia need to loosen up after getting out of bed the same as in rheumatoid arthritis. People may suffer from morning stiffness usually sticks for around half an hour every day.

Treatment for Fibromyalgia

As we do not know the cause of fibromyalgia there is no specified treatment for it. Although homeopathy may help you in this if you take medicine from a good homeopath. Otherwise, drugs, lifestyle habits may help decrease pain and improve sleep. Generally, antidepressants, painkiller or NSAIDs are given to treat pain, fatigue, and depression. Regular exercise may reduce your stress and pain and improve your sleep.

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