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Key Information About Fibromyalgia

Overview

Fibromyalgia is Also Known as Fibrositis

Also known as fibrositis and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

Fibromyalgia is Most Prevalent in Women

This condition affects an estimated 3-6 percent of the world population. While it is most prevalent in women (75-90 percent of the people who have fibromyalgia are women) it also occurs in men and children of all ethnic groups.

May 12th has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) since 1992.

CIND Illnesses

CIND illnesses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Fibromyalgia is misunderstood not only by many members of the public, but by some medical professionals.

— Sharon Waldrop, Vice President, National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association.

Causes

Fibromyalgia seems to run in families. Painful conditions like arthritis and infection increase the risk of this disorder.

Three-quarters of fibromyalgia patients are women; however, it can affect anyone, even children.

Children who are abused are more likely to have the condition when they grow up.

"We’ve all experienced those flares where our entire body aches so much that it almost vibrates.

I used to reach for pain-killers as my first step of attack, but over time I’ve noticed this all-over, achy feeling is often triggered by my contact with certain toxins, such as glyphosate (aka Roundup weed killer) in food or chemicals in household products" said Donna Gregory Burch, who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014.

A new study published in the online medical journal PLoS One found that insulin resistance may be behind fibromyalgia.

Child Abuse May Lead to Fibromyalgia

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Symptoms

Fibromyalgia may be not be life-threatening but it can have a huge impact on the affected person's life.

Main symptoms of fibromyalgia are:

  • widespread pain
  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • sleep disturbance.

Morgan Freeman

"It's the fibromyalgia. ... Up and down the arm. That's where it gets so bad. Excruciating," said Morgan Freeman, American actor, director, narrator and fibromyalgia patient.

Women with fibromyalgia reported worsening of symptoms and weakness in daily activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, which supports the idea that mental health was more affected in this population when compared with those without fibromyalgia, according to a study published in Medicine in January 2023.

Fibromyalgia Can Cause Weakness

key-information-about-fibromyalgia

Diagnosis

It is not easy to diagnose fibromyalgia as there is no specific test for it. Also its symptoms mimic other diseases.

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Fibromyalgia is a Unique Disease

It is a unique illness in the sense that it is diagnosed by ruling everything else out. This includes rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and lupus, as well as neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

Treatment

Medicines Used to Treat Fibromyalgia

Pregabalin, sold under the brand name Lyrica among others, is an anticonvulsant and anxiolytic medicine used to treat fibromyalgia.

Gabapentin (Neurontin), duloxetine (Cymbalta), milnacipran (Savella), amitryptiline hydrochloride (Elavil, Endep), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), tramadol (Ultracet, Ultram), cylobenzaprine (Cycloflex, Flexeril) and modafinil (Provigil) are other medicines used to treat fibromyalgia.

Lady Gaga

Despite more awareness of this invisible and debilitating condition after Lady Gaga revealed she lives with it in her documentary Five Foot Two, there's less research than there needs to be around fibromyalgia.

Wearable Neuromodulation Device

In October 2021, NeuroMetrix Inc. (NURO) said that it has submitted a De Novo request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Quell Wearable Neuromodulation Device as a prescription treatment for the symptoms of fibromyalgia in adults.

Amitriptyline

According to a research published in June 2022 in the JAMA Network Open, off-label use of amitriptyline was also associated with favourable efficacy and acceptability in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Vitamin D

In August 2022, a study published in the journal Nutrients found that vitamin D supplementation may reduce the pain associated with fibromyalgia syndrome.

Moxibustion

Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called "moxa" are burned on or very near the surface of the skin.

Qi

The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and provide relief from fibromyalgia symptoms.

Moxa

Moxa is usually made from the dried leafy material of Chinese mugwort (Artemesia argyi or A.vlugaris), but it can be made of other substances as well.

Stanza

Data presented at the American College of Rheumatology Convergence 2022 indicated that the use of the smartphone-based digital behavioral therapy app, Stanza, which focused on the acceptance and commitment therapy, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy, considered a gold-standard treatment, has been proven to be effective in the management of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia Exercises

Prevention

Fibromyalgia cannot be prevented. Proper treatment and lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency and severity of the symptoms.

Yoga May Reduce Fibromyalgia Risk

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet that includes natural food, doing yoga daily, and getting enough rest are good rules to follow if you hope to prevent fibromyalgia.

Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What is FMS?
    • Fill my stomach
    • Fibroid syndrome
    • Fibromyalgia syndrome
    • Fasting month syndrome
  2. What percent of the people who have fibromyalgia are women?
    • 55-70
    • 65-80
    • 85-100
    • 75-90
  3. Which day has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases?
    • April 12
    • May 12
    • June 12
    • July 12
  4. What is CIND?
    • Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases
    • Chronic Immunological and Nerve Diseases
    • Chronic Immunological and Neurological Destroyer
    • Chilled Immunological and Neurological Diseases
  5. Arthritis and infection increase the risk of fibromyalgia.
    • True
    • False

Answer Key

  1. Fibromyalgia syndrome
  2. 75-90
  3. May 12
  4. Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases
  5. True

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R

Comments

Srikanth R (author) on May 14, 2019:

Yes, very painful.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 14, 2019:

This is a troubling condition. I have a friend who experienced it recently.

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