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Find out about Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a set of symptoms that exist together. While there is no confirmatory test to diagnose fibromyalgia, people with this syndrome have anxiety, depression, widespread pain, tender points on the body, and incapacitating fatigue. More than 12 million individuals in the U.S. have fibromyalgia, which affects mostly women between 25 and 60 years of age.

Find out about Fibromyalgia

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia causes persistent, crippling fatigue, achy pain all over the body, and mood disturbances. Also, areas of the body become tender to touch. The muscle aches are described as feeling "pulled" or "overworked," which occurs without exercise or physical exertion. Other fibromyalgia symptoms are:

  • Muscle twitching, burning, and/or swelling
  • Deep stabbing muscle pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel
  • Numbness and/or tingling of the fingers and toes
  • Incontinence
  • Hypersensitivity to heat or cold
  • Dry mouth, eyes, and nose
  • Joint pain and stiffness

Causes of Fibromyalgia

Researchers have not discovered a cause for fibromyalgia. At present, they are exploring chemical imbalances and hormonal disturbances that are known to alter nerve function. Some experts theorize that fibromyalgia is associated with trauma, heredity, a chronic illness, or stress. One well-accepted theory is that low levels of serotonin (a brain neurotransmitter) causes low pain thresholds and an increased sensitivity to pain.

Also, another theory is that low pain thresholds, in people with this condition, are the result of increased presence of "substance P," a chemical that amplifies pain signals.

Where Are Fibromyalgia Tender Points?

Fibromyalgia tender purposes tend to be symmetrical within the body. they're set each higher than and below the waist round the neck, chest, ought towers, hips, and knees. The tender point should cause pain in this actual space once the doctor presses on that with enough force to show their nail white. It should be painful in the exact spot that's being pressed.

The eighteen tender points for fibromyalgia include:

  • Lower neck before
  • fringe of higher breast
  • Arm close to the elbow
  • Knee
  • Base of the os within the back of the top
  • Hip bone
  • higher outer cheek
  • Back of the neck
  • Back of the shoulders

Risk Factors of Fibromyalgia

Hereditary : There is a genetic tendency associated with many rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions. Some researchers believe that genes regulate the way a person processes a painful stimuli, so some people react more intensely to pain than others.

Female Gender : Women are ten times more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men. Many clinical studies show that women have seven times less serotonin in the brain, which is why they suffer more with fibromyalgia.

Menopause : Also, another theory associates biochemical changes in the female body with this chronic condition, holding that hormonal changes and low levels of growth hormone contribute to muscle pain.

Poor physical conditioning : This involves a lack of exercise and strength.

Trauma to the brain or spinal cord : Involves factors such as an accident, injury, trauma, illness, or emotional distress.

Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

There is a new and controversial blood test used to diagnose fibromyalgia, called the FM/a test. This blood test identifies markers produced by the immune system in people with fibromyalgia. Regardless of this test, most physicians diagnose fibromyalgia based on the presence of symptoms, since there are no clinical manifestations or objective findings to support the diagnosis. To rule out the existence of serious illnesses and diseases, the doctor will likely conduct a series of tests. These include:

Thyroid test : To rule out under or overactive thyroid gland.

Chemistry studies : To assess for diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, and numerous diseases.

Complete blood count : To check for anemia and suppressed immunity.

Antinuclear antibodies : To evaluate for autoimmune conditions.

Lyme titers : To check for Lyme's disease.

Rheumatoid factor : To screen for rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatment of Fibromyalgia

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, and each case is treated differently. The goal of treatment is to alleviate symptoms, prevent worsening of the condition, and to improve quality of life for the patient. Common therapies include:

Medications : FDA approved drugs include Lyrica, Savella, and Cymbalta. Also, low doses of tricyclic drugs have been proven to help, such as amitriptyline and flexiril. Many doctors prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for the anxiety and depression, including Paxil, Zoloft, and Celexa. For severe pain, tramadol, ibuprofen, and Cox-2 inhibitors are used.

Aerobic conditioning : This involves aerobic and cardio exercises.

Strengthening activities : This involves muscle strengthening exercises.

Behavioral therapy and counseling : This involves learning techniques to cope with the condition. 

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