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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia
I have been dealing with this for years now. Over the past few months it has gotten worse, the spasms in my back have been so bad as of late I cannot move at times. Most people would say that i look fine so there must not be anything wrong with me, this would include my husband (jerk at times). He does nothing around the house, I have to beg him to help me when I feel like this. I will tell him something really hurts today and he always asks in the coldest voice he can muster " what doesn't hurt, it is a shorter list" Sorry ladies I just need to vent the past few days have been hell for my body, I am on morphine and the highest dose of percocet. My family treats me like a junkie, until they want some of my meds to get high. Again thanks for listening, just needed to vent. I am gonna go chill with the baby.

Overview
Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety.

Fibromyalgia can develop on its own or along with other musculoskeletal conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Symptoms
The overwhelming characteristic of fibromyalgia is long-standing, body-wide pain with defined tender points. Tender points are distinct from trigger points seen in other pain syndromes. Unlike tender points, trigger points can occur in isolation and represent a source of radiating pain, even in the absence of direct pressure.

Fibromyalgia pain can mimic the pain that occurs with various types of arthritis. However, the significant swelling, destruction, and deformity of joints seen in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis does not occur with fibromyalgia syndrome alone.

The soft-tissue pain of fibromyalgia is described as deep-aching, radiating, gnawing, shooting or burning, and ranges from mild to severe. Fibromyalgia sufferers tend to wake up with body aches and stiffness.

For some patients, pain improves during the day and increases again during the evening, though many patients with fibromyalgia have day-long, unrelenting pain. Pain can increase with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress.

Specific symptoms:

Body aches
Chronic facial muscle pain or aching
Fatigue
Irritable bowel syndrome
Memory difficulties and cognitive difficulties
Multiple tender areas (muscle and joint pain) on the back of the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, knees
Numbness and tingling
Palpitations
Reduced exercise tolerance
Sleep disturbances
Tension or migraine headaches

Treatment
In mild cases, symptoms may go away when stress is decreased or lifestyle changes are implemented. A combination of treatments including medications, patient education, physical therapy, and counseling are usually recommended. Many fibromyalgia sufferers have found support groups helpful.

In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration approved Pregabalin (Lyrica) as the first drug for the treatment of fibromyalgia. In June 2008, a second drug, Cymbalta, which was previously approved for treating depression, was FDA approved for treating fibromyalgia as well. In 2009 the FDA approved milnacipran (Savella) for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Certain classes of antidepressant medications are sometimes prescribed for the disorder. Studies show that antidepressants in low doses can decrease depression, relax craniofacial and skeletal muscles, improve sleep quality, and release pain-killing endorphins. Other medications that are used include anti-inflammatory pain medications and medications that work on pain transmission pathways, such as Gabapentin.

Eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding caffeine may help with problems sleeping, and may help reduce the severity of the symptoms. Lifestyle measures to improve the quality of sleep can be effective for fibromyalgia.

Some reports indicate that fish oil, magnesium/malic acid combinations, or vitamins may be effective. Reducing stress and improving coping skills may also help reduce painful symptoms.

Improved fitness through exercise is recommended. Studies have shown that fibromyalgia symptoms can be relieved by aerobic exercise. The best way to begin a fitness program is to start with short sessions of just a few minutes of gentle, low-impact exercises such as walking and swimming. The length of each session can be increased slowly, as tolerated. Attempts at keeping to an exercise program often fail because they are begun too aggressively, with sessions that are too long or too intense. Starting out slowly and gently can help ease you into an effective program you can stick with.

Starting slowly helps stretch and mobilize tight, sore muscles. High-impact aerobics and weight lifting could cause increased discomfort. Symptoms may be relieved by gentle stretching and light massage, as well as acupressure, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques.

Severe cases of fibromyalgia may require a referral to a pain clinic.

Causes
The cause of this disorder is unknown. Physical or emotional trauma may play a role in development of the syndrome. Some evidence suggests that fibromyalgia patients have abnormal pain transmission responses.

It has been suggested that sleep disturbances, which are common in fibromyalgia patients, may actually cause the condition. Another theory suggests that the disorder may be associated with changes in skeletal muscle metabolism, possibly caused by decreased blood flow, which could cause chronic fatigue and weakness.

Others have suggested that an infectious microbe, such as a virus, triggers the illness. At this point, no such virus or microbe has been identified.

Pilot studies have shown a possible inherited tendency toward the disease, though evidence is very preliminary.

Men and women of all ages get fibromyalgia, but the disorder is most common among women aged 20 to 50.

Tests & diagnosis
Diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires a history of a least 3 months of widespread pain, and pain and tenderness in at least 11 of 18 tender-point sites. These tender-point sites include fibrous tissue or muscles of the:

Arms (elbows)
Buttocks
Chest
Knees
Lower back
Neck
Rib cage
Shoulders
Thighs
Sometimes, laboratory and x-ray tests are done to help confirm the diagnosis by ruling out other conditions that may have similar symptoms. The following conditions have been associated with fibromyalgia or mimic its symptoms:

Cancer
Cervical and low-back degenerative disease
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Depression
HIV infection
Hypothyroidism
Irritable bowel syndrome
Lyme disease
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sleep disorders

Prognosis
Fibromyalgia is a common and chronic problem. The symptoms sometimes improve. At other times, the symptoms may worsen and continue for months or years. The key is seeking professional help which includes a multi-faceted approach to the management and treatment of the disease. There is no proof that fibromyalgia syndrome results in an increased death rate.

Prevention
There is no proven prevention for this disorder. However, over the years, the treatment and management of the disease has improved.

When to contact a doctor
Call your health-care provider if you have symptoms of fibromyalgia.

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9 comments:

Meganne said...

It breaks my heart to hear of someone else going through this! I'm not fully diagnosed yet, but I have all the symptoms, so I know what you're talking about.

Lisa said...

I'm sorry you don't have a better support system. I'm glad you can vent here. You have to be able to let all that out. Sending you gentle hugs and lots of healing energy.

Domestic Witch said...

aww honey! ::hugs:: I'm sorry he's giving you a hard time. I wish I could make it all better for you

Luna said...

I wish I could make your pain go away....or I could just put my foot in hubby's rear....I think the second would be more likely...I am sorry you have so much on your plate. it is not fair that you have to deal with this...please know I am here for you...a phone call or txt away. Love You!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hibiscus Moon said...

I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this. And that you aren't getting the suppor that you truly need. Have you tried Reiki healing? I just had my first session today and it helped considerably with some pain that I was dealing with. CONSIDERABLY. Sending healing energy to you.

kim said...

I am sorry you have to deal with this. A friend of mine suffers from this as well.

You hubby sounds like he needs to go to a Fibromyalgia seminar! It's a same he can't see the pain.

Rose said...

So sorry to hear about your pain. My mom has Fibromyalgia and it always torques up during the changing seasons, and especially on rainy days like today.

Sending you some healing energy!

TMC said...

I've known a few other women who suffered with this. I've seen the challenge it can be. I hope you find some relief soon, if not physical, at least mental. Do take care.

Flassie's Fil'a said...

I have it too. Do not take anything for it though, because I took a medicine for years and it put a growth on my eye so I stopped taking medicine.

I remembered years ago asking about the use of morphine. I had young kids though and decided I shouldn't take it.

Have you been in an accident?

Have you been checked for Overgrowth of Yeast
in your body?

Have you tried going to a Naturopathic Doctor?

Pain can be caused by so many things. Even a lack of water. Do you get the amount you need in a day?

Now they are saying Fibromyalgia effects the nerves. Years ago I mentioned that to one of the persons treating me while on a Fibryomyagia study. Wow it took them many years to figure that out. At least they listened though.

I was helped more by a Naturopath than the Medical. Medical push drugs. Naturopaths like
to use more natural ways of healing.

God Bless You and Yours!!!