Another chronic long-term condition is Fibromyalgia. This disease may be hard to understand even for a healthcare provider. Symptoms of this condition may be very close to other health conditions. This makes fibromyalgia to be often misdiagnosed. In the United States, approximately 4 million people suffer from this chronic condition. Additionally, this disease affects people in middle age but may also affect children.
Fortunately, several medicines, therapies, and lifestyle changes may help to lessen the symptoms and treat the condition.
Usually, diagnosing this condition depends on the severity of the pain and the areas where is located. Check below other symptoms of fibromyalgia:
- Sleeping for long without feeling rested or nonrestorative sleep
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Focusing or paying attention to problems
- Dry eyes
- Dull ache or pain in the lower abdomen
- Bladder issues (such as interstitial cystitis)
- Mental disorders (including depression, anxiety, and others)
Physicians and researchers do not know what is the exact cause of this health condition. However, according to the latest research, it usually appears due to a genetic disposition that is triggered by one or more factors (including trauma, stress, or infection).
In most cases, fibromyalgia starts in families. It means that if any of your family members experience this condition, you are at higher risk of developing it. Some researchers think that certain genes affect the transmission of chemical pain signals between nerve cells, which may play a role.
There are some illnesses that may trigger fibromyalgia. Check below some examples:
Stress may have long-lasting effects on your body. Therefore, consistent stress may cause hormonal imbalance, which may contribute to fibromyalgia.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe physical and emotional trauma that has been linked with fibromyalgia.
At this moment this condition has no cure. In any case, treatment options that are available help to decrease the symptoms and help to improve your quality of life. Check below some types of medicines used in the treatment of fibromyalgia:
Commonly, pain from this condition is uncomfortable and may interfere with your daily activities. In any case, it is advised to talk with a doctor about some ways to manage it. If your pain is mild, physicians may prescribe the following drugs. Examples include:
The medicines listed above help to decrease pain levels and discomfort.
If you are using Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) caution is advised in long-term use. In most cases, these drugs are used to relieve chronic pain conditions.
To relieve pain also are prescribed opioids. However, the effectiveness of these medicines decreases over time. In addition, the dosage of narcotics increases fast and there may be an increased risk of people using this type of pain reliever.
There are two antiseizure medicines that are used to treat fibromyalgia. One of them is Pregabalin, it is an FDA-approved medication that works by blocking nerve cells from sending out pain signals. The second medication is Gabapentin and it is not FDA-approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia. This medication is usually used in the treatment of epilepsy. In addition, it is considered an off-label drug when is used for fibromyalgia.
In some cases, healthcare professionals may prescribe Duloxetine or Milnacipran to treat pain and tiredness associated with fibromyalgia. Moreover, these drugs may improve your sleep.
In case medicines cannot relieve the symptoms completely, you can use certain natural remedies. Commonly, the following natural remedies are used to decrease stress and pain and they may also improve your sleep. Check below some natural remedies that may be used for fibromyalgia:
- Physical therapy can help to improve your strength and reduce stress
- Stress-reduction techniques
- A nutrient and well-balanced diet
- Amino acids such as 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
Potentially, group or individual therapy such as Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may also help to decrease stress that may provoke fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia Risk Factors
Check below several factors that are believed to increase the risk of fibromyalgia:
- Family History
- Sex – this condition is usually diagnosed in females. However, the exact reason is not clear.
- Age – In most cases, this condition is diagnosed in middle age and the risk increases as you get older. Furthermore, children may also experience this condition.
- History of Other Conditions – Fibromyalgia is not a form of arthritis but having rheumatoid arthritis (RA), your risk of fibromyalgia may elevate. In addition, about 30% of people who experience lupus are affected by this chronic condition.
Following a healthy diet may help to improve fibromyalgia symptoms. However, some people who avoid using some foods, report that they feel better. Nutritious food may help you get a constant energy supply and keep you healthy. Moreover, a well-balanced diet may help to prevent the worsening of the symptoms. Check below some dietary strategies:
- Add in your diet fruits and vegetables combined with whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.
- Eat more plants than meat
- Increase your water intake
- Lower the amount of sugar in your diet
Frequently Asked Questions
Is fibromyalgia a curable health condition?
No, unfortunately at this moment there is no cure for this chronic disease. However, several treatment options are available that may help to lessen the symptoms and improve your quality of life. In addition, if medications and therapies are not enough, you can include some lifestyle changes and natural remedies. Consult with a doctor if you have any questions.
Does fibromyalgia cause weight gain?
Significant weight gain, sleeping problems, chronic pain, and fatigue are the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia. For more details talk with your healthcare provider.
How long can I live with fibromyalgia?
This health condition is not life-threatening and it does not affect life expectancy.
What are foods that help in the fibromyalgia treatment?
There are many foods that may help to improve the symptoms and treatment. Check below some examples:
- Fresh or frozen fruit
- Flaxseeds, tofu, and chia seeds
- Whole grain foods including wheat, rice, oats, quinoa, and others
- Celery, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and onions
- Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and others.
However, before adding any of these foods to your diet, you should talk with your healthcare professional. Otherwise, you may notice unpleasant results such as drug interactions.