Do you constantly feel pain in different parts of the body? And even after a full night’s sleep, you feel incredible fatigue? There is a possibility that you have fibromyalgia (from Latin fibro – “fiber”, myo – “muscle”, algos – “pain”) – muscular-skeletal pain, which is chronic.
According to the statistics of the Association of fibromyalgia The National Fibromyalgia Association faces 3-5% of the population (about 450 million people), and the most common symptoms, in addition to symmetrical pain, are sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and depressive moods.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia
Those who are struggling with fibromyalgia, gov They believe that the pain in muscles and tissues can be different: sharp, pulsating or piercing, intense or aching. “I always say that it’s like a blowtorch,” confesses one patient in a CNN interview. – Pain spreads everywhere, because it seems that not only the muscles, but also the skin, hair and nails hurt. You can not wear ornaments, you can not wear things with a collar or clothes from rough fabric – all this delays the discomfort. “
Overwhelming fatigue is another classic symptom of fibromyalgia. “You feel that you can not move and think, and time seems to last forever,” the woman explains. Fatigue occurs because patients with fibromyalgia often have trouble sleeping, including, for example, restless legs syndrome. / P Until now, fibromyalgia has been considered psychosomatic. That’s why patients who were already on the brink of it, often heard from doctors that first they need to cope with stress and try to change their way of life. However, new research shows that everything is not so simple here.
Causes of fibromyalgia
According to research, fibromyalgia occurs after a traumatic physical event, such as a car accident, surgery and even an infection. Thus, an ordinary flu virus can provoke the disease, which, fortunately, is rare. Psychological or emotional stress can also cause illness. Not so long ago, for example, Finnish scientists have proved that chronic diseases, depression or divorce of parents in adolescence lead to an increased risk of fibromyalgia in adulthood. There is also a connection between sleep disorders and fibromyalgia. A study in Norway showed that in women over 45 years of age with insomnia, the risk of fibromyalgia is five times higher than that of women of the same age who have no problems falling asleep. Another important thing is that studies around the world show that 80-90% of patients with fibromyalgia are patients. That is, women. At the same time at the moment no one can say for sure why the disease has become female. One theory is that a lower level of serotonin, a hormone that can control pain, can contribute to the development of fibromyalgia. And since in the male body serotonin is always more than in the female, this can cause existing gender differences.
What is dangerous for fibromyalgia and how to recognize it
Contemporary researchers believe that the pain that occurs with fibromyalgia can change the structure of the brain. This is due to the abnormal level of chemicals in it, as well as the blood flow, which has a direct effect on brain activity. A study in 2016 showed that cerebrospinal fluid and plasma in people with fibromyalgia contain significantly more inflammatory chemicals that can increase pain and provoke swelling. The constant result of fibromyalgia is that the central nervous system changes the way pain messages are treated throughout the body. Thus, the pain receptors in the body develop “pain memory”, which makes them excessively sensitive and overreacting to any (even minimal) degree of pain. The diagnosis in the case of fibromyalgia can take quite a long time, because there are no exact tests and analyzes. Many body conditions have similar symptoms, so you are most likely to first be tested for neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases that lead to muscle weakness, as well as depressive disorder and excessive anxiety. Over the years, fibromyalgia has been diagnosed by strong pressure on 18 typical trigger points, but doctors no longer recommend it. As for the treatment, non-prescription pain killers, physiotherapy, stress reduction measures (yoga, meditation, conversations with the therapist) and in some cases alternative medicine methods such as acupuncture and light therapy will help cure fibromyalgia.