Pain Management Specialist
A Guide to Dealing with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition marked by constant flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia and joint pains. However, the disease has no visible symptoms. There are also no known causes for the disease. While some believe stress to be a trigger for fibromyalgia, other theories suggest that physical and emotional factors such as a prior illness lead to the onset of this disease. This leads to fibromyalgia patients being often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Almost 80% of fibromyalgia patients are women. While the disease is not lethal, it can make daily life difficult.
The criteria for fibromyalgia were established only in the late 1900s. In addition, the symptoms of this disease present themselves differently in each patient. This makes diagnosis very difficult.
Constant pain all over the body is the most common symptom of fibromyalgia.
You may also feel constantly tired, and unable to get a restful sleep.
Some fibromyalgia patients also suffer from depression or anxiety and an irritable bowel syndrome.
Fibromyalgia patients may also feel hyper sensitive to cold or heat, and feel numbness in fingers and toes.
Fibromyalgia has no known cure, and like arthritis, treatment for this disease addresses its symptoms. Most treatment programs include a combination of drugs, physical therapy, and behavioral techniques.
Pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication and antidepressants are the two types of drugs administered to fibromyalgia patients. However, these should not be counted on as a long-term solution, as the side effects of these medicines can cause additional problems. Therapeutic massages and chiropractic manipulations can also help ease the pain. Along with this, it is also important to rest and relax. This helps reduce stress which often triggers fibromyalgia symptoms.
To get a better night's sleep, try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. A warm glass of milk or chamomile tea just before bedtime can also help induce sleep. As far as possible, avoid taking sleeping tablets, as the body can soon become dependent on these.
Though you may constantly feel tired, increasing the day to day activity levels can have a positive effect on your health. Consider adding low-intensity activities such as walking, cycling, yoga or dancing to your daily routine. Complement these with a well-balanced, nutritious diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables. If you or a loved one has fibromyalgia, bad days may not be prevented. But with treatment, they can be controlled.