You may be suffering from fibromyalgia and may not even know it. The common signs that may lead you to suspect that you have the condition include feeling tired most of the time and pain in the muscles and joints. You may feel tired even after a long nap or when you wake up in the morning after a full night’s sleep.
According to statistics, up to 8% of the total population are affected with fibromyalgia, while most of them don’t even know whether they have this syndrome. This rate will likely to increase by multifold in the near future. Interestingly, 2/3rds of the total affected population are females.
Observing the symptoms
In order to get a clear picture of what fibromyalgia may be like, there are a few specific points you have to take into account. Firstly, it is a chronic condition, which means that it cannot be cured completely; it has to be managed in the long term. Secondly, aside from tiredness that can’t be considered a reliable sign of fibromyalgia, the condition is primarily associated with pain in the muscles and joints. Specifically, it involves a sensitization of certain areas where the patient may feel pain upon applying pressure. These areas are located on both sides of the body and above as well as below the waist. These tender points include:
– The back of the head.
– Top of the shoulders and between the shoulder blades.
– The front of the neck.
– Upper chest.
– Outer elbows and inner knees.
– Upper and sides of the hips.
Another symptom includes hypersensitivity. You may feel like you cannot shut off your brain and relax for even a while. This may be triggered by a specific emotional event. However, it can occur even without a trigger.
Causes of fibromyalgia are still unclear, but some hypotheses indicate that environmental factors like psychological stress and certain forms of infections result in over reactive pain-sensitive nerve cells in the central nervous system involved in the cause. However, some scientists connect genetic abnormalities with the fibromyalgia, due to the fact that it affects mostly women.
There is barely any medication that works for fibromyalgia, but physicians often suggest a dosage of milnacipran or duloxetine for a temporary relief. Also, despite there is a controversy over using opioids for the treatment of fibromyalgia, it is often used if no other medication works.
It is worth noting that, despite the fact that fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, it does not result in death or any tissue damage. Lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, healthy diet, and enough sleep are suggested quite effective in managing this condition in the long run.