What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition where a person experiences the presence of chronic pain all over the body. The pain is usually heightened as a response to even a gentle touch. The pain experienced may include the muscles, tendons, ligaments and may be accompanied by fatigue. The good thing is that fibromyalgia is not considered as contagious nor is it life-threatening.

Cause of fibromyalgia

The actual cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown. But there are several ideas suggested by researchers that may explain the condition. It is believed that fibromyalgia might be caused by genetics. Researchers believe that there are some genetic factors involved in the development of the condition.

Other studies show that there may be a close association between fibromyalgia and major depression. Although the association may be somewhat controversial since it can be possible that people may become depressed due to pain and disability and not the other way around. Other possible causes of fibromyalgia include stress, sleep disturbance and chemical imbalance.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia

A major symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread pain that can be sensitive even to the slightest touch. Pain may be felt anywhere in the body including the head, upper back and neck, upper chest, hips, elbows and knees.

The pain is usually accompanied by stiffness and can persist for some time. Other symptoms include, sleep disturbances, fatigue, constipation and diarrhea, bloating as well as headaches.

How  fibromyalgia is diagnosed?

It can be pretty difficult for doctors to diagnose fibromyalgia. At most times, the usual diagnostic criteria may show normal results in laboratory testing. Furthermore, most of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia also are similar to the symptoms of people with arthritis or osteoporosis.

What doctors do to diagnose the condition is through a process of elimination where doctors try to consider all the other types of conditions that might affect a patient based on symptoms, age, gender and medical history. Only after eliminating all the other possible conditions would fibromyalgia then be diagnosed or even considered.

How to treat fibromyalgia?

There is no general treatment to totally get rid of fibromyalgia. Instead, treatments available aim to focus on minimizing the symptoms associated with the disorder. Analgesics are used to ease the pain symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Antidepressants may be prescribed for patients who might find it hard to sleep because of the condition. Some antidepressants are also known to help regulate chemicals associated with pain signals to the brain.