Have you been experiencing pain in muscles and bones that has lasted for a long period of time? Has this pain been widespread and caused you to be in bed the entire time? If the answer is yes, then the chances are that you suffer from Fibromyalgia.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a rather unknown and frequently misunderstood chronic medical condition. It is concerned with a dull aching pain in the muscles and joints that affects the mobility of the person. You can characterize Fibromyalgia based upon the pain you experience. However, this is also one primary reason why people would never detect this condition in the first place.
There is no one single way of testing how much pain a person feels. In addition, pain is often associated with a long list of other illnesses. Because of all of this, Fibromyalgia is thought to be some other disease. As a result, the wrong medications are prescribed that may not exhibit any changes.
Experts in the field of medicine believed for a long time that Fibromyalgia was not a real disease. Since there were no objective tests to quantify the pain, doctors used to classify the symptoms as “hysterical” or fake.
They thought that the patient described all the signs as a way of getting a fake prescription. Even for patients who had both anxiety and fibromyalgia, they were never prescribed medications for the latter disease. Which in turn made their symptoms worse.
Now there is a need more than ever to recognize Fibromyalgia as a real disease. The symptoms are valid and its pertinent for the doctor to acknowledge what the patient says. Fortunately, there is a positive trend that is being observed. Research studies are revealing medications that can help ease out the problem. In addition, amendments in daily life can also bring about a meaningful change.
The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The best way to characterize fibromyalgia is through the pain that the person experiences. Patients with this condition will have trigger points on different parts of their body. These are the areas of tenderness which are prone to pain.
Even just a slight touch of the finger can cause a sheer amount of discomfort. These trigger points act as a way to diagnose the illness. Your doctor would look out for the areas which are more likely to experience the pain. Apart from that, there is a long list of other symptoms, the patient with Fibromyalgia will go through.
The following is a list of all other medical symptoms that are associated with this disease.
- Severe fatigue.
- Insomnia and disturbed sleep pattern. This is often followed by a long haul sleep afterward.
- A headache and migraine.
- Triggering of mental symptoms like depression, anxiety.
- Lower abdominal pain that kills hunger.
- Difficulty in achieving concentration.
These symptoms occur side along the pain. The medical explanation is that the normal brain mechanism is disturbed during the entire process. The brain starts releasing certain chemicals in reaction to the pain.
You should see a doctor if your pain has lasted for more than 3 months.
The triggering points of Fibromyalgia
As mentioned earlier, there are triggering points where the pain is likely to be experienced. In total, research studies have come up with 18 such points. If 60% (11 out of 18) of these points are covered then you will be diagnosed with the condition.
The points are located in the aforementioned regions.
- Upper chest area.
- Hips and knees
The way to check fibromyalgia is to press these triggering points. If the person experiences pain as a result, then likely chances that he/she suffers from the condition.
How is fibromyalgia caused?
A lot of research has been carried out to understand the disease in its entirety. Yet, there remains no conclusive evidence to suggest what actually causes Fibromyalgia.
Scientists have come up with their own understanding, but they are insufficient conclusions. Fortunately, what we have available is a link between different causes that will help us to understand the illness better.
Some of the common causes are mentioned in the following subheadings.
Fibromyalgia may be caused due to a prevailing infection in the body. If you have any history of that sort then chances are that you may suffer from the condition. In other cases, certain infections may be responsible for worsening Fibromyalgia.
A number of scientists believe that Fibromyalgia is a genetic disorder. Meaning by it has the tendency to pass from the parent to offspring. There are genes, that if mutated, may result in its development.
So, if your family history is characterized by Fibromyalgia, chances are likely that you will be inflicted as well. However, stronger evidence is needed to exactly know the gene that is responsible.
An excessive amount of stress
Yes, if you are someone who suffers from long-term stress then you put yourself at a greater risk. There is evidence to suggest a relationship existing between Fibromyalgia and stress. What really happens when you are under mental pressure is that your hormonal balance gets disrupted.
This imbalance then leads to the condition developing as a result. On the other hand, people who suffer from anxiety disorders may also exhibit similar symptoms. The physical side effects might be associated with Fibromyalgia.
Who is at risk of Fibromyalgia?
For every illness, there exists a risk factor. A certain group people are more prone to infliction than others. What that means is that if you fall under the risk factor, then your chances for development greatly increase.
As with the case for the causes of the condition, exact risk factors remain unclear. However, it is easier to know about them by tracing a link with the abovementioned causes.
So, if you are someone who takes loads of stress or has faced any sort of trauma then your risk increases. Your brain and the nervous system starts working abnormally. It may secrete hormones that induce the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
On the other hand, gender, family history, and certain diseases are also the risk factors of Fibromyalgia. If you fall under either of the three then your chances of being diagnosed are high.
Almost 90 percent of all cases reported of the condition is of women. That is true as for reasons unknown, females stand at a greater chance than male counterparts.
As there has been researched to suggest genetics being a cause for the illness, your family history becomes a risk factor. Any member in your family who suffers from the condition puts the future offsprings at higher risk.
Certain diseases like Rheumatic Arthritis may not directly contribute to Fibromyalgia. However, it might make the symptoms worse.