What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is the second most common arthritis related illness after osteoarthritis. Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition that causes muscle and joint pain. Fatigue is also a very common symptom of fibromyalgia. Some people that suffer from fibromyalgia can develop depression and social isolation.

What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

There are a variety of symptoms that may be present including: widespread pain; fatigue and sleep disturbance; irritable bowel syndrome; chronic headaches and facial pain; heightened sensitivity; depression; numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet; difficulty concentrating and mood changes; chest pain or pelvic pain irritable bladder; dry eyes, skin and mouth; painful menstrual periods; dizziness; and sensation of swollen hands and feet.

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Many experts believe that fibromyalgia may be caused by a combination of factors. These factors could include: chemical changes in the brain; sleep disturbance; injury; infection; abnormalities of the autonomic nervous system; changes in muscle metabolism; and stress.

What Increases My Risk of Developing Fibromyalgia?

Factors that may increase the risk of developing fibromyalgia may include: sex (more women get fibromyalgia than men); age; disturbed sleep patterns; and family history.

How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia can often be a long and grueling process. Because there isn’t a test that can determine fibromyalgia, a series of other tests must be conducted to rule out other potential conditions. X-rays and blood tests are just a couple of the potential medical procedures you may be required to go through. General guidelines say that in order to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia you must have widespread pain for at least 3 months and have 11 or more tender locations on your body that become sore under mild pressure. A medical history must be taken and then the doctor will press on specific locations that may cause pain.

How Fibromyalgia Treated?

Generally, fibromyalgia can be treated with medications and lifestyle changes.

Medications for Fibromyalgia

Common medications that are used to treat fibromyalgia are: Aspirin, Prozac, Elavil, Zolofot, Paxil, Sinequan, Flexeril, and Benzodiazepines. Doctors advise that you do NOT take sleeping pills. These pills only provide temporary relief and may lead to addiction.