FIBROMYALGIA SYNDROME is a condition that causes pain all over the body. The exact cause is unknown, and there’s no specific test to diagnose the condition, but there is treatment available to improve quality of life.
Fibromyalgia patient describes the pain she experiences
Fibromyalgia syndrome symptoms can range from increased sensitivity to pain to difficulty sleeping.
It’s thought the condition is related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain that change the way the central nervous system processes pain messages around the body.
It can also be triggered by a physical or emotionally stressful event, such as an injury or infection or the breakdown of a relationship.
So what are all the symptoms you should look out for to indicated you may have the condition?
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The NHS lists the following:
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- Muscle stiffness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog”) – such as problems with memory and concentration
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a digestive condition that causes stomach pain and bloating
The health body adds: “If you think you have fibromyalgia, visit your GP. Treatment is available to ease some of its symptoms, although they’re unlikely to disappear completely.”
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body
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K Palanisami, 42 from the village of Podarankadu, Tamil Nadu, India who has
Fibromyalgia symptoms include fatigue and muscle stiffness
If you think you have the symptoms of fibromyalgia you should visit your GP.
Is there a test for fibromyalgia?
There’s no specific test to diagnose the condition, but when you visit your GP your body will be examined to check for visible signs of the condition – for example, swollen joints could suggests arthritis rather than fibromyalgia.
How to treat fibromyalgia
Because fibromyalgia has numerous symptoms, no single treatment will work for all cases.
Fibromyalgia symptoms can also include headaches and IBS
Lifestyle changes and medication will most likely be the recommended forms of treatment by your GP, but other healthcare professional may be involved in your care.
These include a rheumatologist – a specialist in conditions that affect muscles and joints – a neurologist – a spiciest in condition of the central nervous system – and a psychologist – a specialist in mental health and psychological treatments.