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Dealing with Chronic Pain? Here's What to Know About Fibromyalgia

Dealing with Chronic Pain? Here's What to Know About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome or FMS for short is a chronic condition in the nervous system that causes pain, and increased pain reactions in response to pressure. This can cause fatigue even when performing mundane tasks, sleep deprivation, and memory loss.

Symptoms

Signs to look out for include:

  • Chronic, periodic pains usually in the muscles, joints, and sometimes ski.
  • Sore or tender spots that are sensitive to even the slightest touch may appear
  • Constant fatigue

Though not deadly, this condition can cause great inconvenience, so if any of these symptoms start to manifest, call your nearest doctor to get treated right away.

FMS may cause other problems, including:

  • Light sensitivity and impaired vision
  • Ringing in the ears and impaired hearing
  • Poor body coordination
  • Migraines and other forms of headache
  • Twitching or vibration in the arms or legs
  • Anxiety, depression, and/or other psychological problems.

Risk factors

Fibromyalgia often affects people in their early to late twenties, but there are cases of older people getting it as well. Patients are usually female.

The cause of FS is still unknown today. The possible causes include the following:

  • Genes – There have been cases where fibromiyalga was known to run in the family. What gene exactly, or why is currently unknown.
  • Stress – Stress, both physical and mental, is also suspected to possibly cause fibromyalgia. Repeated or intense physical stress may cause this condition. Impacts to the head specifically may also cause fibromyalgia. Mental stress may also cause the disease. This includes stressful conditions like Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and even anxiety.
  • Lifestyle – Because stress is heavily tied to fibromyalgia, anything that worsens your quality of life, like smoking and obesity, can be a risk factor.
  • Sleep – Sleep is a very important process for many brain functions and has been found to remove the toxic build-up in our brains while we’re awake. Prolonged or repetitive lack of sleep is another factor that may lead to fibromyalgia.

Because the cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown, there is currently no cure. On the flip side, while it is incurable, it is not a life-threatening condition and can be treated to help alleviate the symptoms and make regular functioning more bearable.

What to Eat to Help You Sleep Better

Treatment

There are many available treatments for this condition, including:

Medication

There are various medicines that are effective at treating the possible causes of fibromyalgia.

  • Pregabalin – Pregabalin comes in different forms. It can be in a capsule, serum, or tablet form. Pregabalin is used to alleviate nerve pain.
  • Duloxetine – This medication addresses depression and anxiety.
  • Milnacipran – Milnacipran is a medicine that increases the production of the serotonin hormone in our bodies. Serotonin is the hormone that is responsible for regulating our mood and is the hormone released to induce happiness. This may be used to combat stress, which may be a key factor in causing fibromyalgia.

Lifestyle Improvements

Lifestyle choices that promote a healthier, happier life are a good way to regulate fibromyalgia. Some of these are:

Proper diet and exercise

Studies show that exercising not only reduces the production of stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, it also improves the body’s endorphin hormone production. Endorphin helps boost our mood and is also a natural painkiller.

Avoiding excess

If proper diet and exercise help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, it should come as no surprise that unhealthy lifestyle choices do the exact opposite. Unhealthy lifestyle choices like excessive smoking, drinking, and even eating can result in a hormone imbalance in our bodies. Releasing excess cortisol and adrenaline may cause stress. Furthermore, doing this for a prolonged period of time can shift what our brain considers normal levels of these stress hormones.

Key takeaway

Though not a debilitating or life-threatening condition by itself, fibromyalgia can greatly decrease one’s quality of life and may occur alongside serious conditions like anxiety and depression. Consult with a doctor to address any possible symptoms.

Learn about Other Brain and Nervous System Issues here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

FIBROMYALGIA, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibromyalgia

Date accessed April 20, 2021

 

FIBROMYALGIA, https://www.hss.edu/condition-list_fibromyalgia.asp

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

FIBROMYALGIA, https://medlineplus.gov/fibromyalgia.html

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

TOBACCO USE IN FIBROMYALGIA IS ASSOCIATED WITH COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6408684/

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FIBROMYALGIA AND OBESITY IN PAIN, FUNCTION, MOOD, AND SLEEP, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2939916/

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

BRAIN BASICS: UNDERSTANDING SLEEP, https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/patient-caregiver-education/understanding-sleep#:~:text=Sleep%20is%20important%20to%20a,up%20while%20you%20are%20awake

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

EXERCISING TO RELAX, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax#:~:text=Exercise%20reduces%20levels%20of%20the,natural%20painkillers%20and%20mood%20elevators

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

PREGABALIN, https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605045.html

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

DULOXETINE, https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604030.html

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

MILNACIPRAN, https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a609016.html

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T RELY ON ALCOHOL IN TIMES OF STRESS, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/alcohol-during-times-of-stress/

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

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Written by Giann Floresca Updated May 07
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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