Fibromyalgia is a chronic (long-term) condition, which is characterized by widespread pain in the body and an increased pain response to pressure. This is a disease that causes a lot of discomfort and difficulties in life. In particular, people who suffer from this disease may experience:
- General fatigue
- Areas of tenderness
- Pain in the bones and muscles
- Sleep and cognitive disturbances.
Understandably, this is a disease that is hard to understand not only for ordinary people, but even for medical staff and doctors. The symptoms of this disease mimic those of other illnesses. The case is even more exacerbated by the fact that there are no actual tests to confirm fibromyalgia.
For quite a while, skeptical opinions and thoughts about this disease had been prevalent. Today, however, there is much less stigma abut fibromyalgia. Even though treating the symptoms of this illness may be challenging, but changing your lifestyle and undergoing therapies might help.
Usually, Fibromyalgia causes in what people describe as “regions of pain,” some of which overlap with what was known before as regions (areas) of tenderness. Ordinarily, patients feel a dull ache in these body areas. A doctor will make a diagnosis of fibromyalgia after you will have musculoskeletal pain experienced in 4 out of 5 regions (which are outlined as common pain regions of fibromyalgia).
Apart from the pain syndrome, patients may experience the following symptoms:
- Dry eyes
- Pain in the lower belly
- Having problems with being able to focus or pay attention
- Sleeping a lot without actually feeling rested thereafter
- Having problems with sleeping
- Problems with bladder.
It is reported that the fibromyalgia symptoms tend to be more severe in women. Yet, there is still not enough evidence to support that claim – there is a theory that men just tend to underreport their problems with pain.
As for the present time, there are no known causes of fibromyalgia. The latest researches show it is likely that this condition is caused by a combination of genetic disposition and stress, trauma or infection.
Genetics. According to the statistics, this disorder happens more often to the people who have relatives or family members already suffering from it. Scientists think that there are certain genes that play a key role in developing the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Until the present time, they have been able to figure out several plausible genes that impact the transfer of pain signals between nerve cells.
Infections. An illness may trigger the symptoms of fibromyalgia or make your condition worse. In particular, doctors claim that gastrointestinal infections (such as Shigella and Salmonella bacteria), pneumonia, flu, and the virus of Epstein-Barr can all cause fibromyalgia.
Stress. Researchers link stress to the changes in hormones, which, in turn, could contribute to developing the condition of fibromyalgia.
Trauma. Doctors think that people who suffer from a severe physical or psychological trauma have a higher risk of suffering from fibromyalgia.
Unfortunately, there is no treatment of fibromyalgia at the present time. Instead of curing the disorder, you can improve your state and quality of life by using:
- Lifestyle changes
- Self-care strategies
While drugs may help you sleep better and relieve pain, the occupational and physical therapies will improve your strength and decrease the stress on your body. Reducing stress and exercising may help you feel better overall.
Once you have been diagnosed with this condition, you should make appropriate changes to your current lifestyle. Diet is one of the key strategies, which is likely to improve your well-being and quality of life. You should consult a nutritionist and stick to a balanced diet, whereas not sticking to it may make your symptoms worse.
Common dietary recommendations include the following ones:
- Keep drinking a lot of water every day
- Exercise as often as you can (but be reasonable about the workloads, too)
- Cut back on sugar in your diet
- Try to eat more plants, veggies and fruits than meat
- Eat veggies and fruits together with lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.
- Maintain your healthy weight.