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Fibromyalgia: Causes and Treatments

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a persistent (lasting) condition that causes pain in an individual's muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. The discomfort is widespread-- indicating the person feels discomfort all over their body. Individuals with fibromyalgia (pronounced: fy-bro-my-AL-ja) likewise might get headaches a lot, feel worn out, and have trouble sleeping.

If you have fibromyalgia, you're not alone. It affects millions of people in the United States.

Although fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, symptoms don't constantly remain the same. Often the discomfort or exhaustion sensation can be mild. Other times they're severely adequate to hinder life. Teenagers with fibromyalgia may go to school regularly, but what they can do depends on how extreme their symptoms are.

There is no treatment for fibromyalgia. However, doctors can deal with the pain and other symptoms so they're not as bad.

Headache caused by  Fibromyalgia

What Happens When Someone Has Fibromyalgia?

Teenagers with fibromyalgia may:

  • have discomfort throughout their bodies. Typically, it's dull or burning, however, it can be more of a shooting or throbbing pain.
  • get many headaches
  • feel extremely exhausted or have little energy. Because of this, fibromyalgia might be confused with chronic fatigue syndrome. Often people can have both conditions.

The majority of teens with fibromyalgia also have trouble sleeping. They might get up frequently throughout the night and feel tired in the morning. They also can have issues like agitated legs syndrome and sleep apnea, which can contribute to their sleep issues.

People with fibromyalgia may discover problems with memory or concentration. Some might be anxious or depressed. Some likewise have irritable bowel syndrome, a type of digestive issue.

After a while, individuals might notice that particular things make their pain and other signs worse. For some, it might be stress. For others, it could be cold, wet weather conditions. Everyone's various.

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Doctors aren't truly sure why individuals get fibromyalgia. They do know that their brains pick up discomfort differently and may sense it in reaction to things (like tension) that normally aren't painful.

Lots of specialists think that outdoor occasions-- like health problems, injuries, or emotional injury-- can contribute to fibromyalgia. Since fibromyalgia can run in households, it's also possible that genes may increase a person's threat to it.

How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

Because fibromyalgia is a cluster of different symptoms, it's not constantly simple to identify.

There's no specific test for fibromyalgia. So medical professionals may do tests to eliminate other conditions or issues. For example, feeling worn out can be a sign of a thyroid issue. So a doctor may do thyroid tests. If the tests reveal a person's thyroid is typical, the physician will understand something else is triggering the problem.

A physician will ask about an individual's medical history and signs and do an exam. If there is no indication of other health problems, and the patient has had extensive pain for at least 3 months, physicians may decide it's fibromyalgia.

Detecting fibromyalgia can take a while (in some cases years). That can get pretty discouraging. Don't give up. You might require to find a doctor who has experience with the condition.

How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?

There's no cure for fibromyalgia. But treatment can manage signs, ease discomfort, and improve a person's total health and quality of life. Treatments include the way of life changes and medications.

Doctors generally ask individuals to start with a way of life changes before turning to medications. Modifications physicians may advise include:

Routine exercise. Workouts might increase pain in the beginning, but they can assist make things better when done slowly and regularly. Some individuals get assistance from a physiotherapist. Extending and relaxation workouts (like yoga) can likewise help.

Stress-relief methods. These can consist of yoga, tai chi, and other disciplines, as well as light massage, breathing workouts, and acupuncture.

More sleep. Getting enough sleep is among the most reliable ways to treat fibromyalgia. It can assist to avoid caffeine, sweet drinks, and sugary snacks late in the day. It can likewise help to go to bed and get up at the same time each day and limit napping during the daytime.

A healthy way of life choices. Consuming healthy foods can help with fibromyalgia. Doing things you love can help too. Hobbies and other activities not just make people feel excellent about themselves, but they likewise can sidetrack them from the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

If lifestyle changes don't help by themselves, a physician may recommend medications such as:

  • antidepressants: some can ease discomfort and exhaustion, and assist with sleep
  • anti-seizure medicines: some medications used to deal with epilepsy also can treat fibromyalgia symptoms

Treatment also assists with fibromyalgia. A psychotherapist or counselor can assist people to find out how to handle challenging emotions, acknowledge what makes fibromyalgia symptoms even worse, and do something about it to keep those symptoms in check.

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