Fibromyalgia: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes a person to feel weakness and fatigue. It affects the muscles and soft tissues throughout the body.
People with fibromyalgia often have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting restful sleep. They also have pain throughout their body.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain and tenderness in the joints and muscles. The cause is unknown. Research points to problems with the central nervous system, which includes the spinal cord and brain, and the immune system. These are systems in the body that are supposed to be working together to keep you healthy. The trouble with these systems may cause fibromyalgia symptoms and make it hard for people who have this condition to feel good.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition in which pain and stiffness in your muscles cause many other symptoms. The pain may be felt all over the body or in particular areas, such as your neck, shoulders, or hips. You may also have problems sleeping.
Fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from person to person. If you have fibromyalgia, you may have all of these symptoms or none of them. The symptoms may come and go and be mild or severe over time.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include anxiety, headaches, restless legs, painful menstrual periods, irritable bowel symptoms, and more.
Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
There aren’t any specific lab tests that can confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is diagnosed based on your medical history, a physical exam, and tests that rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. Because the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, doctors are not always able to diagnose it in the early stages.
Treatments for Fibromyalgia
Treatment for fibromyalgia often involves a combination of medicines, exercise, and self-care. Lifestyle changes and stress reduction can also be helpful.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help reduce pain and improve sleep.
Treatment and management of fibromyalgia are ongoing processes. You may need to try combinations of treatments before you find the ones that work best for you.
Each person responds differently to treatments. The amount of time it takes to ease symptoms varies from person to person. You should expect ups and downs along the way. With time, you may experience fewer flare-ups and your symptoms may improve.
Treatment is usually long-term. The goal is to control symptoms so you can do the things you enjoy doing and be as active as possible in daily life.
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