Fibromyalgia is a very common disease. It’s incidence is increasing day by day. Infact it’s a pain disorder defined by widespread pain that can be in any part of the body and can move around. Many people complain pain in multiple sites of body.
#1: WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder. It got its name and official definition by the American College of Rheumatology in 1990. It’s is largely neurologically based, and that much of the pain is the result of the brain amplifying signals from the nerves. In true words the sensitivity to pain increases. It’s not a new disease. It has centuries of history, with multiple name changes and discarded theories along the way.Fibromyalgia is defined by characteristic is widespread pain that can be in any part of the body.
#2: HOW COMMON IT IS?
It’s one of the commonest pain disorder. Chronic widespread pain, the cardinal symptom of fibromyalgia (FM), is common in the general population, with comparable prevalence rates of 7.3% to 12.9% across different countries. It means it is seen in around 1 out of 10 people. It’s more common in females than males. More seen in middle aged young population. It’s incidence is common in stressed working population.
#3: WHY IT OCCURS?
There are multiple causes of fibromyalgia. Many chronic diseases like rheumatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis etc associated with it. Stressed lifestyle, illness, injury increases the pain episodes. Sleep disorders are very common association. The pain of fibromyalgia can be dull, stabbing, throbbing or burning. It can be constant or can come and go, and the intensity can vary as well.Fibromyalgia tends to run in families, leading researchers to believe that it has a genetic cause. In many cases of, a parent or close relative has the condition.Being overweight or obese may trigger fibromyalgia. But maintaining a healthy weight can reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.
#4: WHAT HAPPENS IN FIBROMYALGIA?
A history of widespread pain lasting more than three months – affecting all four quadrants of the body, i.e., both sides, and above and below the waist. Total 18 points are there in body where pain is significant.There are 18 tender points—a classic fibromyalgia symptom—located all over the body, including on the neck, chest, back, and knees. Patients who have fibromyalgia experience pain in at least 11 of the 18 tender points. There are many hypothesis for such pain. But it occurs due to central sensitization of pain receptor. The pain tolerance level decreases. That’s why non painful activities also cause pain. Sometimes normal walk, household activities also cause severe disabling pain. The pain is associated with irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disorders, several psychiatric comorbidities. Many people with fibromyalgia have memory and concentration problems. This is often referred to as “brain fog” or “fibro fog.”
#5: WHEN TO VISIT A DOCTOR?
Fibromyalgia is a treatable condition. Visit a Neurologist if the pain is disabling. Sometimes psychiatry consultation and rheumatology consultation might be needed. The pain is difficult to treat, but not impossible to relieve completely. Many patients need cognitive behavioral therapy. Regular exercise, good sleep and avoidance of stress can decrease the painful episodes.
#6: HOW TO LIVE WITH FIBROMYALGIA?
Living with fibromyalgia is difficult. But some measures can decrease the pain attacks.
- Take a Very Hot Bath: When pain symptoms are more severe, take hot birth. It will decrease the pain episodes.
- Exercise – Regular exercise decreases pain intensity and painful episodes.
- Be happy – Stress increases the pain intensity and frequency. So decrease your stress level. Be happy and try to decrease your expectations. Stress increases pain and pain increases stress.
- Prioritize Your Sleep – Sleep is too much needed for people living with fibromyalgia. Good sleep decreases pain frequency.
- Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids—which are found in foods, such as salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, and olive oil—can help reduce fibromyalgia-related pain.
- Decrease your weight and visit your doctor regularly.
- Coffee is good for patients with fibromyalgia. Can increase your consumption your chocolate. Limit too much sugar intake.
Fibromyalgia is treatable. Little awareness can improve symptoms. Please read and share.
Mease PJ, Clauw DJ, Arnold LM, Goldenberg DL, Witter J, Williams DA, Simon LS, Strand CV, Bramson C, Martin S, Wright TM. Fibromyalgia syndrome. The Journal of rheumatology. 2005 Nov 1;32(11):2270-7.
Mease P, Arnold LM, Bennett R, Boonen A, Buskila D, Carville S, Chappell A, Choy E, Clauw D, Dadabhoy D, Gendreau M. Fibromyalgia syndrome. The Journal of Rheumatology. 2007 Jun 1;34(6):1415-25.