Fibromyalgia is a very real health condition with several people. As one of the more discomforting and traumatic diseases, it causes widespread and chronic pain throughout the body. The pain is often accompanied by mood or memory problems, fatigue and tiredness. Till now doctors are unsure about the causes of fibromyalgia although inflammation if one big factor. Doctors also feel that the condition influences the brains pain receptors to amplify painful conditions in the body. According to statistics almost 4 million Americans suffer from Fibromyalgia which is common more to women than men. It usually affects those in the age range of 35 to 45 while some patients may experience symptoms earlier. Here are 14 symptoms of fibromyalgia.Advertisement
1Tiredness and fatigue
Regardless of how much you rest, if you have fibromyalgia, the pain does not go away. Fatigue is also a symptom that continues in spite of the rest. With fibromyalgia, you may find yourself tired even after waking up from sleep in the morning.
2Restless and poor quality of sleep
Accompanying the pain in fibromyalgia is restless and poor quality of sleep. Some people also experience difficulty in sleeping or may have interrupted sleep. Sleep disorders are also common when suffering from fibromyalgia such as restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea.
Brain fogging or fibro fog is another symptom of fibromyalgia. It causes cognitive dysfunction that results in poor ability to focus, poor attention span, easily being distracted, forgetfulness or losing things. Some may also find it difficult to keep up with conversations because of the inability to process information faster. This is one aspect that affects people more than the pain itself.
4Anxiety and mood problems
Because of the chronic pain, fibromyalgia impacts the central nervous system in a negative way. Anxiety because of the traumatic condition is common. With the additional lack of sleep, patients tend to suffer frequent mood swings and intense anxiety.
Due to the trauma, anxiety, poor sleep, pain and mood swings, fibromyalgia easily cause depression in any patient. The chronic pain with its accompanying problems can be intense and overwhelming in a negative way and this is when depression sets in. The feeling of helplessness of one’s situation is a constant problem causing mental worry. It is extremely important to get professional help for regulating sleep which may reduce the emotional upheaval of the condition.
6 Increases sensory overload
A Fibromyalgia researcher say Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, Doctor Benjamin Natelson says that “uncomfortable and painful sensations of fibromyalgia may be part of your brain’s unusual way of processing pain.”Advertisement
This means that those suffering from fibromyalgia experience increased levels of sensitivity to pressure and even touch. They are sensitive to loud sounds, changes in temperature and various flavors of taste. The same experience is what makes them even more susceptible to feeling extra pain.
7Irritable bowel syndrome
This is a common bowel disorder that people experience even without fibromyalgia. Independently it can be quite a problematic condition affecting one’s quality of life so one can imagine when accompanying fibromyalgia, what the experience must be like.
Doctors say that IBS and fibromyalgia have a common factor and that is the hypersensitivity of the brains reaction to stimuli in matters of light, touch, and temperature changes.Advertisement
8Painful menstrual periods
Women affected with fibromyalgia may be affected by pain menstruation simply because of the common mechanism that increases the brain’s response to pain. While you need to consult your doctor for suitable medication, rest with your knees elevated and a hot water bottle or bag on your pelvis may relieve the pain.Advertisement
Almost 75% of patients suffering fibro experience body stiffness especially upon awakening. The physical rigidity is similar to inflammatory or rheumatoid arthritis. If such problems continue with accompanying systems, see your doctor immediately. Sometimes, these symptoms may fade within 15 minutes while in others it may last all day.Advertisement
10Trigger points that evoke pain or tenderness
This is again similar to arthritis where patients of fibromyalgia have certain trigger points or spots on the body that are especially prone to producing painful sensations in uneven frequency. Pressure applied to such points increase the pain so remedies like acupressure are not an option.
11 Abnormal digestion
Along with IBS, abnormal digestion issues and bloating are also symptoms of fibromyalgia. More than 75% of patients will experience indigestion, IBS, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. A healthy diet as recommended by your doctor is of utmost importance here.Advertisement
12Numbness, swelling or tingling
More than 50% of patients suffering from fibromyalgia will also experience the pins and needles sensation also known as parathesia. These sensations may last for a few minutes but in others it may be frequent and consistent.Advertisement
13Sensitivity to temperature
Fibromyalgia patients find it very hard to regulate their body temperature. Thus fluctuations in temperature are ill-received by patients of fibro making an environment either too hot or too cold for them. These symptoms are also similar to arthritis.Advertisement
14Itching and burning
Due to the increased sensations of pain, Fibro patients may also experience heightened bouts of itching and burning form skin problems. Even a small rash will cause severe discomfort to people suffering from fibromyalgia.Advertisement
What is the best way to treat fibromyalgia?
While the first course of action should be to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and medication, there is also much you can do to relieve your symptoms at home. Try to get adequate sleep. Avoid sleeping during the day. Avoid caffeine, spicy food and alcohol especially before bedtime as these are stimulating foods that might aggravate the problem further.Advertisement
Make sure you intiate a routine of going to bed the same time everyday and waking up at the same time. Observe mood calming activities like listening to soft music, or walking. Practicing de-stressing activity like meditation, Tai Chi and yoga is also a good idea. Massage and acupuncture from certified practitioners is also helpful where fibromyalgia is concerned.