Fibromyalgia disorder currently affects over six million Americans. The disorder causes an intense pain all over the body and especially in the tender points. It can cause a person to constantly feel fatigued, be in pain, can cause loss of sleep and sleeping disorders, and can cause deep depression.
Anxiety often comes from the fibromyalgia disorder. Some patients become severely depressed after suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms for an extended period of time because the disorder begins to make them feel as if they are useless. Not being able to do the same tasks at the same pace or with the same pleasure as in the past is an extremely frustrating thing.
The cause of fibromyalgia is currently unknown, making diagnosis a very tricky and elusive task. The disorder is sort of a ghost because it cannot be detected by most tests. Some physical examinations may provide some insight to physician’s but the ultimate diagnosis is really a judgment call.
While the condition affects all people from all demographics, women are typically more susceptible to developing the condition than men. The research of the disorder has begun to increase over the past decade but not many answers have been found. Currently, fibromyalgia does not have a verifiable cure.
Pain Is the Number One Symptom
Pain will be the number one symptom most people suffering from fibromyalgia will experience. Where the most pain will be felt depends completely on the patient and their condition, but the pain stemming from fibromyalgia usually is felt by a burn or aching of the muscles, sometimes causing stiffness. Chronic pain can last for months without some form of treatment.
The pain can be so severe that patients sometimes lose sleep because of it. Extreme fatigue usually sets in after a few weeks of having fibromyalgia because the body is not able to rest.
Diagnosis Is Tricky
As mentioned before, because fibromyalgia is such a peculiar disorder with no identifiable cause, a proper diagnosis of the condition may be rather elusive for some physicians. Seeking out a rheumatologist may be helpful for those seeking a doctor with some expertise on fibromyalgia.
As of late, there does not currently stand an absolute blueprint for the fibromyalgia disorder because its symptoms vary from patient to patient. Moreover, this is no exact test that will absolutely tell a physician that a patient has fibromyalgia. The most common test done is a physical examination that will have the doctor check the tender points on a patient’s body, such as the neck, the upper and lower back, the chest, the elbows, the knees, and the hips.
New Research Is Affording Support
Many doctors may not believe that a patient is suffering from fibromyalgia. This may happen because the doctor is unaware of how to diagnose the disorder or they are just completely unaware of its existence. However, recent research has made some conclusions about fibromyalgia.
Research has attempted to explain the body’s central nervous system is overly sensitive to pain when a person has fibromyalgia. A recent study had two groups have heat applied to their hands. One group was a group comprised of healthy people and the other group was comprised of fibromyalgia patients.
The fibromyalgia patient group’s pain from the heat continued to accumulate after the heat was applied to their hands in several different application times. This differed from the group of healthy persons whose pain subdued when the heat was no longer being applied. While it has been confirmed that the central nervous system plays a role, the answer to why the central nervous system becomes so sensitive has not yet been answered.
Natural Remedies Can Help
Not all cases of fibromyalgia require that a patient be prescribed pain-relieving medications or anti-inflammatories. Some patients have acknowledged that when they tried some natural remedies, there symptoms were eased or relieved, although only for a short period of time.
Meditation and daily exercise can prove very beneficial for those that are seeking relief from the heave symptoms associated to fibromyalgia. Massages and acupuncture have also been known to provide some temporary relief to patients and help them to at least get some sleep at night.
However, just as there is no blueprint for the fibromyalgia disorder, there is not set natural remedies that will work for every patient. Patients must experiment with different remedies before making a decision on which remedy works best for them.
Vitamin D Plays a Role
Over the past couple of years, research has shown that low levels of vitamin D and the presence of the fibromyalgia disorder have a strong correlation. Low vitamin D has been known to cause muscle and bone pain, so it is easy to believe that low levels of vitamin D at least play some role in the development of fibromyalgia, even if it is a minor role.
It is a bit premature to suggest that vitamin D supplements could possibly be a cure for fibromyalgia patients, but there is almost no denying the vitamin plays a role in its development. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplementation could provide fibromyalgia patients with some relief and reduce the amount of medications they need to take.
Exercise Does Help
The last thing someone with fibromyalgia wants to do is to go to the gym. However, recent research suggests that maintaining a regular workout regimen can help provide fibromyalgia patients with relief for their symptoms, including pain, stress, and fatigue. Working out can also work to allow someone suffering from fibromyalgia to sleep better at night because his or her body will have a little less restlessness. Heavy working out is not necessary. A simple workout routine consisting of walking, swimming, and aerobics is more than sufficient. Fibromyalgia patients should not overly exert themselves because it can make the symptoms of pain worsen.
Living with fibromyalgia is undoubtedly a difficult task but people that have been diagnosed with the disorder should know they can still live a pleasurable life. More and more research is being done every day and these researchers are coming closer and closer to finding a cure. But until that day is reached, life must continue.