Fibromyalgia is a disorder classified by widely spread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia intensifies the painful sensations by affecting the way the brain is processing pain signals.
Symptoms begin sometimes after having a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gather gradually over time with not a single triggering event.
Women are more than men to likely develop fibromyalgia. Many people who have fibromyalgia are also diagnosed with tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
While cure for fibromyalgia is not present, medications can help in controling the symptoms. Measures that may help are exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction
Fibromyalgia symptoms include:
- Widespread pain. The pain which is associated with fibromyalgia which last for at least three months is usually described as a constant dull ache. The pain to be considered widespread, it must occur on both sides of the body and above and below the waist.
- Fatigue. People with fibromyalgia disorder often are tired when awake, even though long periods of sleeping is reported. The pain is disrupted often by sleep , and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
- Cognitive difficulties. A symptom commonly called to as “fibro fog” which damages the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
Fibromyalgia disorder often exists parallel with other painful conditions, such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Migraine and other types of headaches
- Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
Fibromyalgia – Causes
Causes for fibromyalgia are not known by doctors, but it most likely involves various factors which are working together which may include:
- As fibromyalgia tends to run in families, and there may be some genetic mutations that may make the disorder development more susceptible.
- Some illnesses or infection may appear to trigger or elevate fibromyalgia.
- Fibromyalgia can sometimes be aggravated by a physical trauma, such as a car accident. The condition can also be triggered by psychological stress
Why does it hurt?
Researchers have believed that repeated nerve stimulation can cause the people’s brains with fibromyalgia to change. An abnormal increase is involved in this and changed in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). The brain’s pain receptors in addition seem to become more sensitive and develop a sort of memory of the pain , meaning the receptors can overreact to pain signals.
Fibromyalgia risk factors may include:
- Fibromyalgia is diagnosed genarally more in women than in men.
- If having a family history of fibromyalgia it may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia if a relative also has the condition.
- If have other disorders such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, it may be more likely that fibromyalgia will be developed.
The pain and lack of sleep caused with fibromyalgia can be an interference with the ability to function at home or on the job. Depression and health-related anxiety can also be resulted when the frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition