What is Fibromyalgia?
What is Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a disorder about which little is known, however, in the medical news, studies are bringing more and more information to light. While we know it affects muscles and tendons and produces a great deal of chronic pain, a concise definition is difficult to pin down. Studies have shown that there are actually two types of Fibromyalgia but both produce similar symptoms.
What is Fibromyalgia? Symptoms
Fibromyalgia sufferers will typically also have the following symptoms:
- Digestive disorders such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Muscle stiffness
- Sleep disorders
- A burning pain which is known as fibromyalgia pain
- Dyscognition, or brain fog, also known as fibro fog
- Aching tender points over the body
These are the tip of the iceberg though, and the fibromyalgia symptom lists are very long.
What is Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia Syndrome
The definition of a syndrome is an illness with many symptoms. Fibromyalgia is a definitely a syndrome simply by that definition. In fact when a doctor is trying to diagnose what is wrong with the patient they will do so by adding together the many symptoms of fibromyalgia. There is no particular test for fibromyalgia, it will not show up on a blood test or urine test – that simply doesn’t exist. Many doctors are still left wondering what is fibromyalgia.
The doctor will check a series of points on the body to see if they are tender, often on the neck and shoulders, these are a great help with fibromyalgia diagnosis. That along with testing to see what it isn’t, known as testing by exemption, will lead the doctor to the final diagnosis.
What is Fibromyalgia? Disease
Since a disease is defined by pain, yes, fibromyalgia can be called a disease. However this should not be confused with a degenerative disease, which it is not. While people who have fibromyalgia can get worse, similarly they can also improve. The disorder will not completely disappear but certainly it can be managed. Managing fibromyalgia calls on the sufferer trying different sorts of therapys, since different therapys suit different people. Alternative therapys are popular and effective. There are always new therapys being discussed in various health articles. Herb supplements are very useful too.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
While there are no definitive causes of fibromyalgia there are a few possible situations that may trigger the disorder. Many researchers feel that there are two types of Fibromyalgia. Because there are other researchers who feel there are many different types of fibromyalgia, it shows that there is even more difficulty with the question what is fibromyalgia.
Secondary fibromyalgia is a result of other disorders and can be suffered alongside a disorder or after the original disorder has occurred.
Possible fibromyalgia causes include:
- Physical injury
- Arthritis in the spine
- Lyme Disease – even after Lyme disease has been treated, Fibromyalgia can occur
- Because it is linked to hormonal difficulties, as in primary Fibromyalgia, endometriosis can cause Fibromyalgia
The first type, known as primary or idiopathic fibromyalgia, is thought to be caused by the following fibromyalgia causes:
· Sleep disturbances – very severe sleep disturbances which continue over a long period of time
· Chemicals and hormones in the brain which affect pain signals
· Psychological and emotional difficulties
· Muscle abnormalities
Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Treatments for Fibromyalgia can be effective – however health professionals only treat the symptoms, not the actual disease.
There are some drugs that can help the treatment of fibromyalgia, such as Guaifenesin and Lyrica (pregabalin), although drugs should be considered a short term therapy. Other drugs such as antidepressants, muscle relaxers, sedatives, painkillers are sometimes used. Medications which ease symptoms or help with fibromyalgia pain, or encourage restful sleep, or even help fight the exhaustion that goes hand in hand with fibromyalgia. There is frequently fibromyalgia news announcing new medications.
More information can be found at the AFSA, American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association.
Fibromyalgia treatments also include holistic therapys such as heated water therapy, reflexology and acupressure and acupuncture. They are effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms.
Another way of coping with fibromyalgia involves diet, and there are many so called fibromyalgia diets available. However, each fibromyalgia diet should be tailored to the patient because of the variety of symptoms and reactions to the foods involved.
So, while fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose, we can see many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia here, and why it is so difficult. For a long time people will ask What is Fibromyalgia – but here is a good overview of the condition, and it will give you an answer for the friends and family who will ask what is fibromyalgia?