Widespread pain, fatigue, anxiety
Learn more about this chronic illness and get proper treatment.
Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. The word “fibromyalgia” comes from the Latin term for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek ones for muscle (myo) and pain (algia).
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder associated with widespread pain in the muscles and bones, areas of tenderness, and general fatigue. Symptoms like these are considered subjective, which means they can’t be determined or measured by tests. Because its symptoms are subjective and there isn’t a clear known cause, the disorder is often misdiagnosed as another disease, or not diagnosed as anything at all.
Although it’s more widely accepted now than previously, some doctors and researchers don’t consider it a real condition. It is a complex and mysterious chronic pain disorder. Doctors and researchers are still doing further studies to better understand this condition.
Who is likely to get fibromyalgia?
For unknown reasons, between 80-90 percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. However, men and children also can be affected. Most people diagnosed with the disorder are middle aged, although the symptoms often manifested earlier in life. It is also suggested that some people are more likely to develop it because of genes inherited from their parents.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. However, there are a number of factors involved. Researchers believe that the disorder is related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain which intensify painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
In many cases, the condition appears to be triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, vehicular accidents, surgery, giving birth, infection or significant psychological stress such as the breakdown of a relationship, and death of a loved one. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
Many researchers are examining other causes, including problems with how the central nervous system processes pain. It is being speculated that a person’s genes may regulate the way his or her body processes painful stimuli. According to this theory, people with the disorder may have a gene or genes that cause them to react strongly to stimuli that most people would not perceive as painful. There have already been several genes identified that occur more commonly in fibromyalgia patients, and NIAMS-supported researchers are currently looking at other possibilities.
Why should you seek medical help?
Fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry on daily activities. The goal to treat this condition is to manage pain and improve the quality of life. Because of the associated pain, it makes sleeping difficult and also leads to depression.
Given its misleading symptoms, fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat. It is important to find a doctor who is familiar with fibromyalgia and its treatment, like the staff at Advanced Health and Wellness Center. We have customized solutions to combat your fibromyalgia and reduce pain.