The fibromyalgia is part of rheumatologic diseases, however, unlike this, its cause has not yet been discovered. It is a disorder that is characterized by causing fatigue and chronic pain in different parts of the body, but also triggers symptoms that affect other parts of the body. Millions of people in the world suffer from fibromyalgia, however, this condition is more common in women than in men and usually manifests between the ages of 20 and 50.
Diagnosing fibromyalgia is not an easy task, since its symptoms are a mixture of manifestations associated with other diseases, which is why it is necessary to exhaustively rule out a series of conditions before making the diagnosis. Although people with fibromyalgia have muscle pain most of the time, the health of their muscles, joints, and bones is not affected by this disease.
In eSalud.com we invite you to continue reading this article so that you know in depth fibromyalgia: causes, symptoms and treatment.
Causes of fibromyalgia
At the moment, for fibromyalgia a specific cause has not been found, therefore more attention is usually paid to certain elements that can trigger this condition and to certain factors that make a person more predisposed to suffer it. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to any of these triggers:
- Physical or emotional trauma, since the disease usually appears after such a major event.
- Abnormal and unexpected response to pain.
- Viral infections
- Sleep disturbances
- Be a woman and be between 20 and 50 years old.
Other factors associated with causes of fibromyalgia are:
- Alteration of substances that intervene in neurochemical processes, such as serotonin or tryptophan , which cause a greater intolerance to pain.
- Alteration of the correct blood supply to the brain.
- genetic predisposition, since 28% of children of affected people contract the disease.
- The XMRV retrovirus is believed to be associated with fibromyalgia.
- Important depressive symptoms before the disease manifests itself. However, depression is also one of the most characteristic symptoms of this condition.
Given that fibromyalgia is a disease that causes manifestations in almost the entire body, it is believed that its symptoms originate from a central disorder that increases sensitivity to pain in various parts of the body, but especially in the tissues. The psychological factor is also considered a trigger for the symptoms, since many people have been diagnosed or have a major pain crisis after an accident, loss of life, surgery or trauma. With that said, let’s find out below what the symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- Pain is the most characteristic symptom of the disease and can be moderate or severe. The areas of the body where a person with fibromyalgia feels pain are known as tender points, and the most common are the soft tissue at the back of the neck, lower back, shoulders, chest, elbows, knees, and hips. In general, these are sources of pain and the symptom radiates to other areas through them. The pain experienced may be burning or stabbing.
- Although the joints are not affected by the disease, people with fibromyalgia experience morning stiffness.
- The pain may be mild and worse with physical exercise, weather, stress, or emotional changes.
- The pain is worse in the morning and gets better throughout the day. For this reason some people wake up in pain, although this symptom is also worse at night, to the point of waking people during rest.
- Fatigue is a symptom that is present in 70% of people with fibromyalgia, which is why despite having slept they wake up tired.
- Sleep disturbance is also present among the symptoms of fibromyalgia, many people claim not being able to fall asleep and others complain of not being able to maintain it throughout the night.
Other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, but which can vary from person to person, are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Muscle contractures.
- Migraine-type headache.
- Palpitations and increased body sweating.
- The extremities may feel colder than usual.
- Jaw pain
- Dry eyes and mouth.
- Difficulty concentrating and memory lapses.
- Anxiety and depression.
- Feeling unsteady, losing your balance, or dizziness.
- Numbness and tingling in the extremities.
- Decreased physical capacity when exercising.
Unfortunately there is no cure for fibromyalgia, therefore the goal of treatment is to help people control pain and relieve other symptoms so that they can enjoy a good quality of life. Treatment for fibromyalgia may include the following:
Consumption of medications : the doctor should prescribe drugs intended only to alleviate the symptoms that the person manifests, since excessive consumption of medications can worsen the symptoms, for this reason it is not recommended to take preventive treatment. Among the most common drugs prescribed to a person with fibromyalgia are: analgesics, anti-inflammatories, anxiolytics, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants and antidepressants.
Physical activity . While physical exercise can make fibromyalgia pain worse, it doesn’t too. Therefore, the ideal is to attend one-on-one classes in which the whole body is worked 2-3 times a week and which understands the stretching and mobility of certain muscles of the body with the intention of controlling pain in the short term. Gymnastics, dance, and any type of aerobic activity are ideal for people diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Psychological therapy . It is important for the person with fibromyalgia to learn to accept and live with their illness, and one way to achieve this is by treating symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Making the person face their situation, assume it in a positive way and change their perception of pain are very effective actions that have been shown to improve the symptoms of the disease and even reduce the intensity of pain.
Fibromyalgia is a disease that must be treated in a multidisciplinary way, that is, the person must be cared for by different medical specialists such as physiatrists, psychologists and rheumatologists.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.