May 12, 2012 is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. It’s taken years, decades to get to the point where this disease is actually acknowledged and given credibility. No longer are people like me thought to be lazy, malingering, or hypochondriac. To not be believed when you know that something very serious is going on with your body is to lose all hope. To not have an answer, a diagnosis when your life that you always knew is becoming altered in ways you cannot even explain is frightening.
My diagnosis came finally in 1991. I’d been dealing with symptoms that plagued both myself and my doctors for some kind of sensible answers since the mid 1980’s. Having that point of reference finally with a diagnosis helped in that the detective work was over. Or so I thought initially.
How wrong I was.
The detective work for treatments to manage symptoms was on. The real work was now under way. Since there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, and research is just now defining that the central nervous system and brain are involved managing all the different symptoms is the only recourse patients and doctors have.
Below is a brief yet great short synopsis about what Fibromyagia (FMS) is.
1. Fibromyalgia is a Syndrome
Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a syndrome, not a disease. A syndrome is a group of signs, symptoms, and medical issues that are likely to occur together but don’t relate to a particular, identifiable cause. A disease, on the other hand, is a medical condition marked by specific causes and clear-cut signs and symptoms. Widespread muscle pain, exhaustion and multiple tender points characterize the chronic disorder, known as FMS.
2. Gender and Genetics Are Common Threads
Although anyone can have it, more than 80 percent of sufferers, however, are middle-aged females between the ages of 35 and 55. Of those, women with a family member suffering from FMS are more likely to contract the illness themselves. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases also are prone to developing fibromyalgia. Onset of FMS may be gradual or be triggered by an illness or injury that traumatized the body. Often symptoms may present themselves earlier in life.
3. What a Pain
Pain is the common denominator among FMS sufferers. The all over chronic body pain individuals experience, particularly in the neck, buttocks, shoulders, upper back, arms and chest, can be stabbing, shooting and intense. Over-the-counter pain relievers are available or your physician can prescribe a non-narcotic pain medication, such as Tramadol. Seek medical attention if you exhibit any of these FMS symptoms: forgetfulness, fatigue, headaches, numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome and/or abdominal pain.
4. Change Your Lifestyle
Pain medications are not the only source of relief for fibromyalgia sufferers. Simple lifestyle changes also can have positive results. Low-impact exercises, such as swimming and walking, are among the most effective treatments for FMS, especially if performed regularly. Get a good night’s sleep by developing regular sleeping habits and avoiding sugar, alcohol, caffeine and eating prior to bedtime. Reduce stress by listening to relaxation tapes, attending counseling sessions and/or modifying your work and home environments. Stick to a healthy and balanced diet.
5. Be a Survivor
Thanks to the efforts of sufferers, support groups, associations and the medical community, great strides are being made to enhance the quality of life for those afflicted with fibromyalgia. Improved diagnostics and treatment methods show great promise. Be pro-active and be a FMS survivor rather than a victim. Stay abreast of the latest information and medical advancements. Communicate with fellow sufferers through chat groups or blogs found on popular fibromyalgia websites. And here at WordPress.
Must see: Photo Galleries
- Fibromyalgia Pain Relief Treatments! Which Ones Are Best for Me? by Carol Ryland (drbradshook.com)
- Happy FibroMAGIC Awareness Day (fibromodem.wordpress.com)
- Why Fibromyalgia could be misdiagnosed… (nashuafibrosupport.wordpress.com)
- Foot Reflexology for Fibromyalgia…IT CAN HELP (saltpuddle.wordpress.com)
- Male Fibromyalgia and Associated Health Issues by Jerry E Stecklein (drbradshook.com)
- ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia Awareness Day (findfocus.wordpress.com)
- Symptoms of Fibromyalgia in Children, Do’s and Dont’s! by Carol Ryland (drbradshook.com)
- What The Heck is Fibromyalgia? by Richard Ealom (drbradshook.com)
- Think You Might Have It? Take the Fibromyalgia Quiz! by Carol Ryland (drbradshook.com)