Fibromyalgia

Definition

Fibromyalgia is defined as widespread musculoskeletal pain. It is often accompanied by memory & mood disturbances, as well as fatigue, and sometimes sleep disturbances. 

Cause

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but doctors believe it may be attributed to multiple factors:

Genetics

This disorder tends to run in families, which leads doctors to believe that genetic mutations may leave certain patients more susceptible to developing the disorder

Infections

It is believed that fibromyalgia may be aggravated or triggered by infections

Physical/Emotional Trauma

Psychological stress may be a trigger for fibromyalgia, and sometimes physical trauma can in the long run lead to fibromyalgia. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties.

Pain

This pain is described as a dull ache is constant and lasting upwards of 3 months. Fibromyalgia is considered to be the cause if the pain experienced is occurring on both sides of the body, above & below the waist.

Diagnosis

Fibromyalgia can be diagnosed if a patient, with no other underlying medical issues that can cause pain, exhibits widespread pain for three or more months.

There are no laboratory tests that confirm fibromyalgia, but your treating physician may run other labs to rule out any other conditions that could be the cause of the symptoms. 

Treatment

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but medications can help alleviate symptoms.

Primarily, pain relievers (over the counter types) are the go-to choice of treatment. Sometimes, there may be a need for antidepressants to alleviate pain & fatigue, or use of muscle relaxants to help regulate sleep.

It is noted that exercise, meditation (to induce relaxation) and other stress-relieving measures may help reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Therefore, physical & occupational therapy may be encouraged.

Counselling with a professional may also be indicated in order to create healthy stress-coping habits.

Alternative Medicine may also be another route that a sufferer of fibromyalgia can turn to in order to reduce stress and relieve pain symptoms. Acupuncture, massage therapy and even Yoga can be considered.