Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by the presence of chronic pain and fatigue, which affects the quality of life of people who suffer from it. It is difficult to diagnose it because it is confused with other diseases.
FIBROMYALGIA, AN INVISIBLE PAIN
The widespread pain in muscles and is other soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments. In addition, it is usually accompanied by a lack of sleep, headache, memory loss and high sensitivity to the touch of various parts of the body (the so-called “sensitive points”). Although fibromyalgia is chronic, the discomfort usually appears and disappears, and even varies in intensity. That is why it is known as the invisible pain condition. In fibromyalgia, discomfort is described as a “pain from head to toe” and its level can change from person to person, so its diagnosis is not always easy.
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SENSITIVE POINTS OF THE BODY
In people with fibromyalgia, sensitive points are those that, in the face of a simple touch, manifest pain.
Fortunately, FIBROMYALGIA is not dangerous or deadly, but it does affect the quality of life and even the work environment and can become disabling. According to a study published by BMC Health Services Research on its impact on work, family and social environment, 70% of patients treated for fibromyalgia in primary care centers, said they had great difficulties to perform at work, while that 23% responded that they were permanently disabled. Another fact that was extracted from this study was that 44% of respondents said that they depended heavily or almost entirely on a family member to perform household chores.
CAUSES AND DIAGNOSIS
Experts have not yet found the causes of fibromyalgia, but the truth is that people who suffer from it have a greater sensitivity to pain. It has been observed that in fibromyalgia patients, areas of the brain that process pain interpret painful sensations in a more intense way.
Although in some occasions fibromyalgia can appear gradually without an associated risk factor, its origin seems to be related to several triggers:
- Genetic . Fibromyalgia is usually hereditary, which predisposes the person at risk of suffering it.
- Infections. Some infectious diseases can cause or aggravate fibromyalgia.
- Physical or emotional trauma. Sometimes, fibromyalgia is triggered as a result of trauma, such as a car accident, or psychological stress.
Currently, there is no concrete test that confirms its diagnosis (neither blood tests, nor radiography, nor tomography), and the time until a definitive diagnosis can be lengthened, since many fibromyalgia symptoms are common in other conditions.
THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA CAN HELP GUIDE THE DIAGNOSIS OF FIBROMYALGIA:
- Generalized pain lasting more than three months.
- Presence of other symptoms such as fatigue, fatigue upon waking and difficulty thinking.
- Absence of another pre-existing disease that may be causing the symptoms.
CAN FIBROMYALGIA BE CURED?
Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, what is tried is to control pain and other symptoms in order to improve the quality of life of the person. In most cases, doctors combine medications with changes in habits and therapies. Here are some of them:
- Analgesics. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help soothe the pain.
- Antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants (ATC) and SSRIs also fight pain and fatigue.
- Anticonvulsants. Some medications to treat epilepsy (such as pregabalin and gabapentin) help reduce certain types of pain. Pregabalin is the first medication for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
- Sleeping pills. They get the person to sleep better and with rest relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
In no case should we self-medicate, the most appropriate is always to consult the doctor and follow his recommendations
There are several treatments that can help relieve pain and improve the quality of life:
- Physiotherapy. There are exercises that improve the strength, flexibility, and endurance of your muscles.
- Occupational Therapy Fibromyalgia has a great impact on your daily life, so your work is also affected. Some posture adjustments can help you feel better in your work environment.
- Psychological therapy. To reduce the stress and anxiety caused by fibromyalgia.
- Acupuncture. Scientific studies have shown that acupuncture with electrical stimulation relieves pain and stiffness, reduces fatigue and contributes to the patient’s well-being.
CHANGES IN LIFESTYLE
- Reduce stress Trying to relax and control anxiety helps relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. Try to perform breathing and meditation exercises.
- Sleep well. Try to establish a routine for your body to get used to and get the juice at rest.
- Do exercise. Frequent exercise decreases the symptoms, even though the pain may increase at first. Walking, swimming, cycling, are valid options, but always before doing them, ask your doctor.
- Eat healthily. Maintaining weight at appropriate levels can contribute to lowering pain and controlling anxiety. Decrease caffeine intake, alcohol, and do not smoke.
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