Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body. It can also cause fatigue, sleep disturbances, mood swings anxiety and difficulty concentrating or remembering things. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but it is believed to be related to changes in how the brain processes information from the nerves located throughout the body. Treatment typically involves medications, lifestyle modifications and physical/occupational therapy.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread pain throughout the body which can be described as a deep, dull ache. Other symptoms may include fatigue, sleep disturbances, mood swings, difficulty concentrating or remembering things and tender points in certain areas of the body. It is also common for people with fibromyalgia to have headaches and joint stiffness.
How is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?
Fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed based on a physical examination and medical history. Your doctor may also conduct additional tests such as blood tests, X-rays or MRI scans to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may also request tender point testing which involves applying pressure to specific points of the body to see if they are more painful than normal.
How do you reduce symptoms?
Fibromyalgia is typically treated with medications, leading to unwanted side effects, however lifestyle changes, diet adjustments and supplementation can have a dramatic effect on inflammation and pain. Lifestyle modifications like getting regular exercise, managing stress and avoiding activities that trigger flares are also important in managing the condition. Acupuncture can be effective in reducing pain and discomfort associated with fibromyalgia. Meditation is another effective strategy to manage pain and anxiety associated with the condition.