Fibromyalgia Disease, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment
What is fibromyalgia disease?
Fibromyalgia Disease (fye-bro-mye-AL-ja) is a disorder that causes aches and severe pain all over the body. People with the fibromyalgia also have “tender points” throughout their entire bodies. Tender points are very specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs and also on other parts of the body that hurt when pressure is put on these parts.This disease often affacts the muscles and also the soft tissues of the body.In some people this disease also causes restless leg syndrome, numbness or tingling and also the various problems of bladder.
Fibromyalgia Disease Symptoms
Fibromyalgia has various kind of symptoms and these symptoms are not specific.Symptoms vary from one person to another based on his/her body conditions.However the main symptom is very severe pain across the body.
There are factors affecting the level of symptoms due to which either they can get better or worse depending on these factors.Some are as follows,
- Stress level(low, medium,extreme)
- Changes in whether(envirmental factor)
- Physical condition(activeness)
The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are as follows;
This very important symptom.Person suffering from this disease feel a lot of widespread pain throughout the entire body, especially in the muscles regions and soft tissues of the body.The pain continues all the time but conditions mey be different.This pain could feel like the burning sensations,a sharp or stabbing pain and also could feel like an ache.
Patients with this disease usually face the extreme sensitivity against light, temperature,heat or cold.Even a slightist touch can be very painful.Condition like heperalgesia and allodynia can also be observed in this condition
Stiffness and fatigue
Fibromyalgia can make feel stiff. The stiffness may be most severe when the patient is in the same position for a long period of time
Fibromyalgia can cause fatigue (extreme tiredness). This can range from a mild, tired feeling to the exhaustion often experienced during a flu like illness.
Severe fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain patient of all your energy. If this happens, one may feel too tired to do anything at all.
Cognitive problems (‘fibro-fog’)
Cognitive problems are issues related to mental processes, such as thinking and learning. Patient suffering from this disease may face trouble remembering and learning new things problems with attention and concentration slowed or confused speech
If fibromyalgia has caused you to experience pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders, you may also have frequent headache
These can vary from being mild headaches to severe magrenes, and could also involve other symptoms, such as nausea (feeling sick).
Fibromyalgia Disease Causes
It’s not clear why some people develop fibromyalgia. The exact cause is unknown, but it’s likely that a number of factors are involved.
Here are some of the main factors thought to contribute to the condition:
Abnormal pain messages
One of the main theories is that people with fibromyalgia have developed changes in the way the central nervous system processes the pain messages carried around the body. This could be due to changes to chemicals in the nervous system.
The central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) transmits information all over your body through a network of specialised cells. Changes in the way this system works may explain why fibromyalgia results in constant feelings of, and extreme sensitivity to, pain.
Research has found that people with fibromyalgia have abnormally low levels of the hormones serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine in their brains.
Low levels of these hormones may be a key factor in the cause of fibromyalgia, as they’re important in regulating things such as:
- your response to stressful situations
These hormones also play a role in processing pain messages sent by the nerves. Increasing the hormone levels with medication can disrupt these signals.
Some researchers have also suggested that changes in the levels of some other hormones, such as cortisol (which is released when the body is under stress), may contribute to fibromyalgia.
Research has suggested that genetics may play a small part in the development of fibromyalgia, with some people perhaps more likely than others to develop the condition because of their genes.
If this is the case, genetics could explain why many people develop fibromyalgia after some sort of trigger.
Fibromyalgia Disease Treatment
Treatment for fibromyalgia tries to ease some of your symptoms and improve quality of life, but there’s currently no cure.
Your GP will play an important role in your treatment and care. They can help you decide what’s best for you, depending on what you prefer and the available treatments.
You may need to take several different types of medicines for fibromyalgia, including painkillers and antidepressants. These are described below.
Simple painkillers that are available over the counter from a pharmacy, such as paracetamol, can sometimes help relieve the pain associated with fibromyalgia. However, these aren’t suitable for everyone, so make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with the medication before using them.
If over-the-counter painkillers aren’t effective, your GP (or another healthcare professional treating you) may prescribe a stronger painkiller, such as codeine or tramadol.
However, these painkillers can be addictive and their effect tends to weaken over time. This means that your dose may need to be gradually increased and you could experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them. Other side effects include diarrhoea and fatigue (extreme tiredness).
These can also help to relieve pain for some people with fibromyalgia. They boost the levels of certain chemicals that carry messages to and from the brain, known as neurotransmitters.
Low levels of neurotransmitters may be a factor in fibromyalgia, and it’s believed that increasing their levels may ease the widespread pain associated with the condition.
There are different types of antidepressants. The choice of medicine largely depends on the severity of your symptoms and any side effects the medicine may cause.
Antidepressants used to treat fibromyalgia include:
- tricyclic antidepressants – such as amitriptyline
- serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – such as duloxetine and venlafaxine
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – such as fluoxetine and paroxetine
A medication called pramipexole, which isn’t an antidepressant, but also affects the levels of neurotransmitters, is sometimes used as well