What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects people physically, mentally, and socially. Fibromyalgia affects the way your brain processes pain, amplifying painful sensations throughout the body. Although there is a better understanding of the disease today, fibromyalgia can often be misdiagnosed as another disease.
Fibromyalgia is one of the most prevalent chronic pain conditions with 10 million people suffering from the disease in the United States. Also known as FM, the disease occurs in adults and children of all ages and ethnic groups though it is disproportionately more common in women. According to the National Institute of Health, 80 to 90 percent of people who are diagnosed are women. FM usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50 and diagnoses are more common in families with a history of the disease.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Even though the exact cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown, researchers believe the development of the disease is related to irregular levels of certain chemicals in the brain. These chemical imbalances affect the central nervous system and how it processes pain messages carried throughout the body.
While research surrounding fibromyalgia is still inconclusive, it has been observed that the condition can often be triggered by stressful or life-changing events, such as:
- Serious injury or infection
- Death of a loved one
- End of a romantic relationship
Symptoms of fibromyalgia-like pain and fatigue are considered subjective meaning they cannot be determined or measured by medical tests. People diagnosed with fibromyalgia usually report one or more of the following symptoms:
- Widespread increased sensitivity to pain
- Muscle twitching or tightness
- Extreme fatigue
- Anxiety or depression
- Cognitive problems (memory loss, difficulties focusing)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
If you think you may have fibromyalgia, consult a medical professional. Although there is no cure for the condition, fibromyalgia treatment is available to help alleviate some of its symptoms.
If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there are treatments you can follow to help reduce the severity of the condition. Treatments are often a combination of prescription medications and natural remedies like CBD for fibromyalgia. Lifestyle changes are also recommended to help relieve some of the symptoms associated with the disease.
Some of the most common and effective treatments for fibromyalgia include:
- Medication: Antidepressants and painkillers are generally recommended though many patients prefer natural alternatives like CBD oil for fibromyalgia.
- Therapy: Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling can help with both the mental and even physical symptoms of the condition.
- Lifestyle: Relaxation techniques and exercise programs have been found to have significant benefits for people suffering from fibromyalgia especially when it comes to coping with pain.
Other treatments include massage therapy, yoga, meditation, and acupuncture. Fibromyalgia is a serious condition that should not be left untreated as it can lead to more serious physical and mental conditions over time. For more information about Fibromyalgia, visit theNational Fibromyalgia Association.