What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a kind of disorder which is characterized when a person has musculoskeletal pain with some other symptoms including mood swings, memory loss, fatigue and lethargy, and insomnia.
Fibromyalgia is the second most common condition which affects our bones and muscles. This disease is often misdiagnosed and even misunderstood. The most common symptom of this disease is fatigue, muscle pain, and joint pain.
Although, there is no definite cure of fibromyalgia, a combination of medicines, exercising, a healthy way to manage stress, and good healthy eating habits may eradicate these symptoms assuring you can lead a normal life.
The real cause of fibromyalgia are not exactly known but doctors suggest that it is a problem with how the brain and the spinal cord process pain signals from our nerves.
Fibromyalgia is common among women, or if you have another very painful disease such as an infection or arthritis. Fibromyalgia is also common among those who have mood disorders for instance anxiety problems and depression.
If people in your family have fibromyalgia you are more likely to get this disease and it is also common among people who rarely exercise or were emotionally abused.
In America, fibromyalgia affects almost ten million people and its symptoms might be very difficult to determine.
Researchers have said that the one who suffers from the symptoms of fibromyalgia must suffer from its symptoms and these symptoms must be present for at least three months until then they can be sure that it really is fibromyalgia affecting the person.
How to diagnose fibromyalgia in men and women
Fibromyalgia is more common in women than it is in women but men do also experience fibromyalgia. The symptoms in men might differ and common symptoms that men face during fibromyalgia include chronic pain and a lot of pain.
The intensity of pain and other symptoms in men are not as severe as to that of women and this difference is due to the hormones and in women, this problem is more common as fibromyalgia is linked to their menstrual cycles.
Fibromyalgia symptoms in women
The basic and primary symptom of fibromyalgia is pain and some other common symptoms include:
- Pain in the head, neck, shoulders, joints, chest, elbows, hips etc
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Very painful menstruation period
- Irritable bowel and bladder
- Extreme leg pain
- Sensitive to changes in temperature such as lights and sounds
Some other symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The simplest definition of the symptoms of fibromyalgia is that you ache all over and have immense pain in each and every part of your body. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- You have severe muscle pain, burning, itchiness, twitching or tightness.
- You feel weakness or lethargic in performing routine work.
- You have insomnia, or you cannot sleep well.
- You feel nervous, depressed, stressed or worried
- You have trouble concentrating and you forget stuff called as fibro fog
- You have tender points
The best way to fight fibromyalgia
Doctors have led to this discovery that exercising is one of the main things known to fight fibromyalgia and its symptoms.
The real problem however, is that when a person is in so much pain, he or she cannot possibly think of doing exercise let alone perform it.
With the strong effects of fibromyalgia, lady gaga revealed that she had to continuously rest. She mentioned that she might have had about a million pain creams which she would keep on using in hope for the pain to subside.
The real problem that has not led to any solution regarding the diagnose of fibromyalgia is that the medical community does not know about it at all so there is a lot of error and trial in it. There are medicines that are available for this disease, but you cannot be sure that they will work or not.
A lot of patients who suffered from fibromyalgia used to take painkillers got rid of the pains associated with this disease but lady gaga told that these medicines used to give her terrible side effects and that she preferred not to use them unless she faced some real emergency.
The complete diagnosis and symptom checklist of fibromyalgia
When you wish to find out about what condition you have if it is fibromyalgia or any other condition, you can check with this following checklist and find out for sure about your condition.
The checklist can be seen to determine and be sure about the condition which you are facing. The checklist includes:
- Worse condition of fatigue
- Activity level decreased and very lazy
- Sore throat
- Reoccurring flu illness
- Swollen lymph nodes in neck and underarms
- Trembling and confusion
- Repeatedly feeling either too hot or too cold
- Sweating excessively in the night
- Low body temperature
- Low blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Nasal allergies
- Getting cold hands and cold feet
- Symptoms worsened by traveling
- Dryness of eyes and mouth
- Getting thirsty again and again
- Hair loss
- Teeth problems
- Not able to concentrate
- Depressed and lonely mood
- Changes in personality
- Pain in eyes
- Pain in the urine and in the bladder
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
Some tests and diagnosis for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is very difficult to diagnose because the symptoms it has are very similar to that of other illnesses. This needs to be properly diagnosed before reaching any conclusion and before starting any medication.
In the year 1990, an attempt was done to diagnose fibromyalgia by using the number and the location of the tender points in the body known as the trigger points.
This was followed by the perception that if a patient has consistent pain for 3 months then it means he or she might be suffering from fibromyalgia.
In the year 2010, a new diagnosis of fibromyalgia was conducted which was that the trigger points in the body are 19 conflicting the old criteria which mentioned 11 trigger points. The new diagnoses also mentioned fatigue, waking up all tired and not refreshed, facing memory problems etc.
The job of the doctor is to assess your condition properly and properly examine the areas that are tender before starting any medication.
There are no tests, X-rays or labs that can diagnose fibromyalgia so it is really very difficult to diagnose it right away.
However, to clear doubts some other diseases tests can be done to find out more about fibromyalgia. If nothing else fits, then it probably is fibromyalgia.
Gluten-free diet in order to diagnose fibromyalgia and to improve it
In the United States of America, two to three percent of the total population is affected by fibromyalgia and women suffer from it more instead of the men.
Due to fibromyalgia, one must be suffering from severe pain in the entire body especially in the muscles, tendons and the ligaments. Muscle pains and fatigue is the most obvious symptom of fibromyalgia.
A research conducted revealed that some foods alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia such as a gluten-free diet. Removing gluten and eliminating it from your diet will help to reduce inflammation, and reduce the pains and give a lot of improvement to the fibromyalgia symptoms.
Apart from gluten-free, some other foods were pointed put which were told to be avoided in order to eliminate the symptoms of fibromyalgia. These foods are pasta, candy, cake, pie, gravy, salad dressings, processed meat, soya sauce, croutons, bread, cereal cookies, and cake.
Eating a healthy diet is known to improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. If you develop a healthy diet, you can find it easier to deal with fibromyalgia.
Healthy foods include poultry and fish which is not marinated, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, potatoes, rice, corn, broths etc. Get these foods which are fresh and which promote a healthy lifestyle.
With the intake of these foods, it will be much easier to fight fibromyalgia and one can lead a very healthy lifestyle as well.
Why should you consult a health advisor to fight fibromyalgia?
A physical therapist is capable of treating fibromyalgia as he/she must have had a great background in the study of the movement known as anatomy and kinesiology. Your physical therapist will then create stretching and strength related programs in order to meet all your needs individually.
A physical therapist works with all types of patients of all ages, from infants to adults. They even provide health-related services to improve mobility, give relief to pain, and to limit disabilities.
A physical therapist working with his patient will make sure to restore the fitness and health of his patient in order to provide a full recovery.
How can therapy help to cure pains associated with fibromyalgia?
Although, there is no evident cure for treating fibromyalgia it is known that physical therapy might help to ease the pain associated with this disease. Physical therapy also helps to reduce stiffness in the muscles and weakness and fatigue.
Apart from exercise, a physical therapist might use other resources to treat fibromyalgia such as a deep tissue massage or else by doing ice and hot packs for the purpose of hydrotherapy.
With the help of these techniques, physical therapists help to reduce the pains associated with fibromyalgia and help to move the joints through some exercises.
Fibromyalgia, a sneak peek into it?
One of the main issues regarding fibromyalgia is that this disease is somewhat invisible. A person might look completely healthy to strangers but still must be facing this disease. Studies reveal that majority of the sufferers of fibromyalgia are women, and that men rarely come across this disease.
Since the one having fibromyalgia looks completely normal on the outlook many people consider that the person suffering is completely fine.
Lady Gaga revealed that none of her doctors ever doubted her pain. It was clear that lady gaga struggled with great difficulty with this disease and she revealed in her documentary that she calls herself pathetic for being in pain.
What else can be done to get rid of the pain in fibromyalgia
Your physical therapist might use a variety of tools for fibromyalgia patients. Some of the tools which a physical therapist uses include:
- A deep tissue massage
- Water aerobics, aerobic conditioning
- Exercises for pain relief
- Strengthening and stretching exercises
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS units
- An ultrasound
It is not necessary that a physical therapist might make use of all of these techniques in order to treat fibromyalgia. He might use one of them or even all of them depending on the severity of the condition or the intensity of the pain.
Fibromyalgia along with exercise to ease the pain
Exercise is known to be beneficial and a relief to fibromyalgia. It might not be too easy in the starting but it is worth trying to exercise to get relief from the pain.
It is not easy to pluck up the courage to exercise while having fibromyalgia but if you take up your doctors advice and start aerobics it will be very beneficial for you.
Medication, education and exercise, all these factors play a great role in managing fibromyalgia. With time, exercise reduces pain and tenderness with pain so it is very important to exercise along with this disease.
Expert physical therapists say that they start the exercise regime slowly in the beginning and once the symptoms of fatigue and pain and under control, the pace is gradually increased.
The first step taken by physical therapists is to assess the current situation of the patient after which they can recommend start exercising. Firstly, they check the level and stamina of the patient and try to improve their stamina.
Initially, only 20 to 30 minutes of exercising are done and that too twice a week. Once the patient is quite set and has gained pace, the exercising span is increased.
Physical therapists not only make the patients exercise but they also encourage them and make them confident enough to set goals and fight with this disease.