What is Fibromyalgia?
This condition is characterised by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure. Fibromyalgia symptoms also include debilitating fatigue and lack of energy, sleep disturbance and joint stiffness. Some people also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling, and cognitive dysfunction.
Fibromyalgia can be associated with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and stress-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The experience of associated symptoms reported varies widely. Not all people with fibromyalgia experience all associated symptoms.
What causes Fibromyalgia?
It’s not completely known what causes Fibromyalgia however it’s thought to be related to the levels of some chemicals in the brain and the way the central nervous system carries messages about pain around the body. Genetic and environmental factors may also play a part.
In many cases, it be associated with the onset of a physical, mental, or emotional trauma such as an injury, or a difficult life event. It is more likely to occur in women than men.
What are the symptoms?
The severity of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia can vary from person to person, and from day to day. They include:
- Pain all over the body and increased sensitivity to pain
- Extreme tiredness
- Problems with mental processes such as concentration and memory, known as fibro-fog
- Muscle stiffness
- Poor sleep
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Poor concentration level
- Numbness and tingling
How is Fibromyalgia treated?
There is no universally accepted cure and it is typical to try and manage symptoms as effectively as possible. This can include a combination of:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and counseling
- Lifestyle changes including exercise programmes and relaxation techniques
- Medication including anti-depressants and painkillers
- SoeMac may help to make Fibromyalgia sufferers feel more comfortable