As you know by now, I recently got a formal diagnosis of fibromyalgia. With my parental responsibilities, the occasional migraines and the new pain, things haven’t gotten easier but, we fight on, making the best out of every day. To deal with this disease, an understanding of what it is, how and why it occurs is important.
Fibromyalgia, which also goes by the name Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a long-term medical disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain. The pain is widespread, and it is comes accompanied by fatigue, memory, sleep and mood issues. According to research, fibromyalgia amplifies the painful sensations because it affects the way the brain processes pain signals.
Even more unfortunate is the fact that Fibromyalgia isn’t treatable because the exact cause is unknown. It is, however, believed that Fibromyalgia is related to abnormal levels of some chemicals in the brain as well as changes in the way the central nervous system processes pain messages as they are carried throughout the body.
Scientists also believe that fibromyalgia develops because of genes inherited from your parents.
While the exact causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, it is often thought to be triggered by a physically or emotionally distressing incident such as an injury, birth or breakdown of a relationship. Should you have been involved in an accident, Diamond and Diamond are personal injury specialists who can help.
Who is affected?
More women than men suffer from fibromyalgia and it affects seven times more women than men. It is also common in individuals aged between 30 and 50 years. While there could be more people affected, it is difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia, and there are no specific tests for the condition.
Also, most people suffering from fibromyalgia tend to suffer from tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, anxiety, interstitial cystitis (painful bowel syndrome) and depression.
The Symptoms of fibromyalgia
Widespread pain – this is the main cause of fibromyalgia. It feels like a constant dull ache lasting for more than three months.
Cognitive difficulties – this is a symptom often referred to as fibro fog. It impairs your ability to focus, pay attention and to concentrate on taxing mental tasks.
Fatigue – pain disrupts sleep, and you often wake up tired. Dealing with the pain from fibromyalgia also predisposes you to sleep apnea among other diseases.
How to Deal
Stay on the meds. You may feel like you have had enough of the medicine and the pain may not feel extreme at the moment, but you need to take those meds for symptoms relief. I have found out that having a medical journal is of great help. I have also learnt the fundamental benefits of working with a fibromyalgia specialist.
Try complementary therapies like acupuncture for pain relief. I had a few sessions and found it really beneficial.
Be active. Regular exercise is important in dealing with fibromyalgia as it eases pain and fatigue. You should also engage in more of balance exercises.
Keep your energy up. While exercising works, getting enough sleep but not oversleeping works a lot.
Avoid stress and stressful situations. Feeling overwhelmed and having feelings of worry and anxiety will exacerbate the pain. You should opt to go with the flow and avoid crisis situations.
Pay attention to your diet. You can have cheat days but, eating nutrient-filled foods will make you healthier and you will keep other lifestyle diseases at bay.
Finally, you should make your family and friends aware of your medical condition. You need their support and understanding. There also are fibromyalgia support groups like Fibromyalgia Action UK which are of great help. Also, stay optimistic.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.