In order to successfully combat any disease it is important to first understand it in its entirety before developing treatments and therapies there are actually effective. Fibromyalgia is a complex disease whose roots lie in the central nervous system.
This is a disease that is caused by the improper functioning of the pain centers and other elements of the central nervous system. The most common malfunction that is seen in patients suffering from this disease is that their central nervous systems are more active while processing pain than any other sensation.
The pain centers of a patient suffering from fibromyalgia overreact and tend to amplify any pain sensations that come in from the sensory nerves. This can particularly be seen in neurons close to the spinal cord.
Patients who suffer from fibromyalgia commonly a report other psychological problems as well. Most of the psychological problems can also be tight two of the improper functioning of certain elements of the central nervous system. One of the most common problems that is reported by patients suffering from fibromyalgia is depression.
It is thought that the mechanisms of the malfunctions that cause depression are similar to those that cause of chronic pain and other symptoms that are associated with fibromyalgia.
Symptoms & effects of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia has a variety of symptoms that show up differently in different patients. Not all symptoms of fibromyalgia may be present in one single patient. Certain patients have one set of symptoms while others have a completely different set of symptoms.
The most common symptom however, that is seen in nearly every single patient to fibromyalgia is chronic pain. This pain can be concentrated in certain areas of the body or it can be diffuse. Another symptom is a lack of cognitive function and the ability to concentrate on tasks.
Patients suffering from fibromyalgia tend to have difficulty in multitasking and concentrating on tasks that require undivided attention. They also have irregular and abnormal sleep patterns that further propagate their cognitive problems.
Mood swings are another symptom of fibromyalgia. One condition that has a role both as an effect and a trigger of fibromyalgia is depression. People with fibromyalgia tend to have problems with depression. This depression can arise due to the constant in chronic pain that these people experience.
Patients of this disease also experienced a heightened pain response to tactile pressure on various locations of the body. The effects of fibromyalgia are not just limited to those related to the central nervous system. One of the symptoms is irritable bowel syndrome and other kinds of gastric distress.
How sleep and mood are affected by fibromyalgia
As fibromyalgia affects the central nervous system and the way processes different sensation from different parts of the body it can cause a great deal of problems in sleep and mood regulation. One common sleep problem that is reported by people suffering from fibromyalgia is that of continuous fatigue.
These patients complain of being tired even after sleeping for long periods of time. Another problem is that of sleep interruption. Patients who suffer from fibromyalgia usually have interrupted sleep patterns during which they wake up for short periods of time and then go back to sleep. These wakeful periods are so short that they are not remembered after waking up.
The result of this is a constant feeling of tiredness even after a long period of sleep. This is because while the patient remembers that they slept for a long period of time, they were in fact waking up for short periods which causes the brain to remain active and not going to a relaxed state. The sleep interruptions can also happen due to sleep apnea.
Another thing that contributes to regular sleep is the constant and chronic pain that comes with fibromyalgia. Other disorders also complicate sleep such as restless legs syndrome and tremors.
Due to the disruption of sleep patterns the moods of patients suffering with fibromyalgia are also deeply affected. Nearly all the mood problems that are associated with sleep deprivation can be seen in patients who suffer from interrupted sleep patterns due to fibromyalgia.
The constant and chronic pain can also lead to depression that further worsens the moods and mood regulation in patients of this disease. It is important to ensure proper sleep patterns and sleep regulation in order to solve the problems associated with irregular moods caused due to fibromyalgia. Improper sleep is also caused due to the anxiety associated with fibromyalgia.