Fibromyalgia is quite literally a pain to deal with. This debilitating illness causes sufferers chronic pain. In the more severe cases it can also cause extreme fatigue. Although this disease is not life threatening or contagious, it can severely alter the way those afflicted with it live their lives. Fibromyalgia causes chronic joint, muscle and ligament pain. Some sufferers have also reported bladder abnormalities, trouble swallowing as well as numbness and tingling.
There is currently no known cause for fibromyalgia. However, doctors and researchers have come up with several possible causes for the disease. Some of these theories suggest the following: stress, genetic predisposition, hypodopaminergia, physical trauma, psychological factors and growth hormone secretion (GH).
- Stress: Researchers have found fibromyalgia present in sufferers of other stress related disorders such as: chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Genetic Predisposition: Doctors believe fibromyalgia could be polygenic as there have been a large number of family members with the disorder in the case studies conducted.
- Hypodopaminergia: It is believed that when there is insufficient dopamine (a neurotransmitter) in the body it develops fibromyalgia.
- Physical Trauma: Studies have shown that trauma to the neck increases the risk of fibromyalgia.
- Psychological Factors: Depression has been shown to be a major factor in the development of fibromyalgia.
- Deficient Growth Hormone Secretion: People with fibromyalgia have been shown to have abnormal levels of certain growth hormones in their systems.
Although the list of fibromyalgia symptoms is short, they can still be extremely painful and depressing. The symptoms include the following: pain, fatigue and fibro fog.
- Pain: Fibromyalgia pain can be described as throbbing and achy. Sufferers must deal with sore muscles and ligaments in the back, neck, hips and shoulders. Pain tends to be worse in the mornings.
- Fatigue: Because of the amount of fatigue associated with fibromyalgia, it is sometimes misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome. In extreme cases sufferers are unable to do their jobs because no amount of sleep makes the fatigue go away.
- Fibrofog: Sufferers become depressed because of memory loss and an inability to concentrate because of mental haziness.
Because there are only a few symptoms, some might think fibromyalgia is not a serious disorder. However, even with few symptoms this disease can be harder to deal with than other diseases. Fibromyalgia affects the entire body from head to toe. Because there is no specific known cause for it, treating the symptoms at times can prove to be difficult.
As there is no known cause for fibromyalgia, there is no cure. However, there are some steps sufferers can take to manage their fibromyalgia. These steps include: reducing stress, getting enough sleep, exercising, and healthy lifestyle and consulting a physician.
- Reducing Stress: By reducing stress your body can relax better and your sleep will be more restful.
- Getting Enough Sleep: By putting a limit on your daytime napping and going to bed early you will have less fatigue. You should also try not to oversleep.
- Exercising: Exercising can greatly reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It is also a good idea to enlist the help of a physical therapist who can help you choose the right workout routines for your condition.
- Healthy Lifestyle: You will find yourself exhibiting a more positive attitude if you eat healthier and limit your intake of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and sugar.
- Consulting A Physician: Letting your doctor know of any changes in your condition is a key step in treatment. If your doctor knows how much or how little pain you are in he/she can adjust any medications you are taking accordingly.
With proper treatment and a few lifestyle changes you may be able to overcome the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia and get back to living a normal pain free life.