Being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia can be a long battle. You have these symptoms, pain all over and test don’t show anything. Treatment can be difficult and confusing for the patient. There is a lot of confusing attitudes about Fibromyalgia and a lot of conflicting material on the internet for the causes, symptoms and treatments.

Causes and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia from the National Fibromyalgia Association

Causes

– the underlying cause or causes still remain a mystery

– most researchers agree that FM is a disorder of central processing with neuroendocrine/neurotransmitter dysregulation

– the FM patient experiences pain amplification due to abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system.

– An increasing number of scientific studies now show multiple physiological abnormalities in the FM patient, including:

increased levels of substance P in the spinal cord

low levels of blood flow to the thalamus region of the brain

HPA axis hypofunction

low levels of serotonin and tryptophan

abnormalities in cytokine function

– genetic factors may predispose individuals to a genetic susceptibility to FM

– for some, the onset of FM is slow; however, in a large percentage of patients the onset is triggered by an illness or injury that causes trauma to the body. These events may act to incite an undetected physiological problem already present.

– ongoing research will test the hypothesis that FM is caused by an interpretative defect in the central nervous system that brings about abnormal pain perception. Medical researchers have just begun to untangle the truths about this life-altering disease.

Symptoms

– chronic widespread body pain

– moderate to extreme fatigue

– sleep disturbances

– sensitivity to touch, light, and sound

– cognitive difficulties

– many individuals also experience a number of other symptoms and overlapping conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, lupus and arthritis.

Pain

pain of fibromyalgia is profound, chronic and widespread

it can migrate to all parts of the body and vary in intensity

– FM pain has been described as stabbing and shooting pain and deep muscular aching, throbbing, and twitching

neurological complaints such as numbness, tingling, and burning are often present and add to the discomfort of the patient

severity of the pain and stiffness is often worse in the morning

aggravating factors that affect pain include cold/humid weather, non-restorative sleep, physical and mental fatigue, excessive physical activity, physical inactivity, anxiety and stress.

Fatigue

In today’s world many people complain of fatigue; however, the fatigue of FM is much more than being tired after a particularly busy day or after a sleepless night. The fatigue of FM is an all-encompassing exhaustion that can interfere with occupational, personal, social or educational activities. Symptoms include profound exhaustion and poor stamina

Sleep problems

Many fibromyalgia patients have an associated sleep disorder that prevents them from getting deep, restful, restorative sleep. Medical researchers have documented specific and distinctive abnormalities in the Stage 4 deep sleep of FM patients. During sleep, individuals with FM are constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity, limiting the amount of time they spend in deep sleep.

Other symptoms/overlapping conditions

Additional symptoms may include:

-irritable bowel and bladder

– headaches and migraines

– restless legs syndrome (periodic limb movement disorder)

– impaired memory and concentration

– skin sensitivities and rashes, dry eyes and mouth

– anxiety, depression

– ringing in the ears

– dizziness

– vision problems

– Raynaud’s Syndrome

– neurological symptoms, and impaired coordination

Causes and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia from the American College of Rheumatology

Causes

– may be different in different people

– however, it is very likely that there are certain types of genes that can predispose people to developing fibromyalgia and other co-occurring conditions

genes alone do not, however, cause fibromyalgia

usually some triggering factor, such as spine disorders, arthritis, trauma, and other types of physical stressors

emotional stressors also may play a triggering role.

– result is changes in the way the body communicates with the spinal cord and brain associated with altered levels of chemicals and proteins in the central nervous system

for the person with fibromyalgia, it is as though the “volume control” is turned up too high in the brain’s pain processing areas.

Symptoms

– defined by chronic widespread muscular pain

fatigue

sleep disturbances

stiffness

cognitive and memory problems

depression and anxiety

more localized pain conditions often occur in patients with fibromyalgia, including:

migraine or tension headaches

temporomandibular disorder

irritable bowel syndrome

gastroesophageal reflux disorder

irritable bladder

pelvic pain syndrome

The symptoms of fibromyalgia and associated conditions can vary in intensity and wax and wane over time.

Stress often worsens these symptoms.

Here is a website for the world wide Rheumatalogists Directory if you need to get help to get a proper diagnoses.

http://www.rheumatology.org/directory/geo.asp

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