The medical world can be a confusing one at times. However, the fact that a doctor knows how to make a particular condition better usually makes patients feel more secure and optimistic.
But what happens when neither doctors, nor medical researchers actually know how to treat a medical condition?
Fibromyalgia has long been debated out there and although there are several theories related to it, the truth is that the medical world is still left baffled when it comes to giving patients with an actual clear answer to their questions. For a very long time, fibromyalgia did not even have its own name and its own status as an actual medical condition, as most of the doctors classified it under depression. In one way or another, it is a form of depression, but the fact that it shows very physical symptoms and that its symptoms correlate with the symptoms shown by other medical conditions out there is problematic for most of the people out there.
Nowadays, everyone agrees that fibromyalgia is a real thing – and the 5 million Americans suffering from it can confirm it. Fibromyalgia can be sometimes difficult to deal with and it is not rare that people have to alter their lifestyles to be able to cope with the pain and with the severe symptoms they experience.
However, things are on the right path and with every new day, there is a new hope that there will be someone to find an actual treatment for this condition. Until then, patients living with this syndrome can only hope and treat the separate symptoms as well as possible.
It is actually very difficult to understand fibromyalgia. In fact, it is so hard to understand that even diagnosing it can sometimes be more problematic. Since there are many symptoms and since different people may show them differently, many times patients are simply mistakenly diagnosed with suffering from conditions that are only adjacent to fibromyalgia: irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatic diseases, depression, anxiety and son on.
The major symptom related to fibromyalgia is widespread pain that is experience for a longer period of time. However, in addition to this symptom, there are many others which can make life almost unbearable for someone suffering from this syndrome.
For instance, many people with fibromyalgia also suffer from the irritable bowel syndrome, which is characterized through bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain and other similar symptoms. Also, many patients suffer from headaches, cognitive issues (loss of memory, dizziness, fogginess and so on), sleep disturbances (insomnia and the restless leg syndrome, for example). Decreased energy, fatigue, muscle twitching, muscle pain, jaw-related issues, stiffness, irritable bladder, skin issues, facial tenderness, various types of sensitivity (to odors, light, medication, certain types of food and so on), numbness and tingling feelings in the hands, feet, arms and other areas of the body – these are also very frequently encountered among the symptoms people with fibromyalgia have mentioned.
With such a large list of symptoms and with huge differences between the way in which one person experiences fibromyalgia and another person experiencing it, it is no wonder that the syndrome is not only very difficult to diagnose (as it is frequently mistaken with other medical conditions and diseases), but also quite difficult to treat as well.
What Treatment Is Available for Fibromyalgia
Determining the cause that leads to fibromyalgia from the very beginning would eventually lead to the development of an adequate treatment. However, up to now the treatment prescribed to patients has mostly been symptomatic, which means that the different symptoms are taken and treated separately.
Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you will probably be recommended with treatments and remedies for the particular symptoms you experience. Pain medication may be among the first things you will be prescribed with. Also, some doctors prescribe antidepressants, both due to the fact that a lot of patients experience depression as well and due to the fact that some have put forward theories according to which the increased levels of serotonin may be able to help with the amelioration of the symptoms. Furthermore, medication for the other symptoms shown can be prescribed as well: sleeping pills, medication to help with the irritable bowel, with the irritable bladder and so on.
In addition to medication though, most of the medical professionals will advise a change in the lifestyle. Most frequently, this involves being very careful with what you eat, watching yourself very well and how your body reacts to certain foods and eliminating those that do you harm and making general dietary choices that are healthier. For instance, if you notice that you are lactose intolerant, you should stop eating dairy without lacking your body from Calcium and proteins. Eating fruits and vegetables is normally recommended as well.
Also, attending acupuncture, physiotherapy, light exercising, light Yoga, meditation and Tai-Chi are very frequently reported to have made the condition better to live with, so your doctor may recommend them as well. However, it is important that you work out only under the close guidance of someone who knows how to deal with people who have health issues.
Which Is the Best Pain Medication Out There?
Some doctors will choose to treat fibromyalgia by prescribing medication specifically targeted at pain and then by prescribing other types of pills as well. As mentioned, other doctors may prescribe various types of antidepressants that can help with pain relief.
Lyrica is a drug that has been FDA-approved to treat fibromyalgia specifically. Although this drug had initially been approved to treat seizures and diabetic peripheral neuropathy, it is now approved for fibromyalgia as well. However, it is worth noting that it may have secondary effects as well, including dizziness, sleepiness, blurry vision, trouble concentrating and so on.
Furthermore, two other drugs have been approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia as well: Cymbalta (initially approved for diabetic peripheral neuropathy, anxiety and depression) and Savella (which has been primarily approved for treating fibromyalgia, but which has similar side effects to antidepressants, such as increasing suicidal thoughts and changing the behavior of the patients).