Healthy Living

Fibromyalgia: An Everyday Battle

Fibromyalgia: An Everyday Battle

A fibromyalgia diagnosis can completely alter many aspects of a patient's life. As a neurological disorder, the condition causes musculoskeletal pain and carries symptoms like fatigue and problems with sleeping, memory, mood. It is a neurological disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain and carries along symptoms like fatigue and problems with sleeping, memory, and mood regulation. While the nervous system seems to be what is most affected, there is still no known cause for the chronic and widespread pain.

Women are most likely a common target for this disorder, but some men are also vulnerable to it. No matter the gender, there are no visible symptoms that could signal the patient that they have fibromyalgia. It usually takes a medical laboratory test or a consultation to know its presence, and even then, a diagnosis for fibromyalgia can be hard to come by because of the lack specialization in the disease. The laboratory tests, however, are not designed to directly confirm a diagnosis. They only cancel out other disorders that mimic the symptoms, or be closely related to it, so that the patient does not get misdiagnosed.

However, the number one indicator for fibromyalgia is pain, which may also lead to other disorders that have pain as a dominant symptom. Other disorders that could be misconceived as fibromyalgia include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism, or polymyalgia rheumatica.

To have an idea of whether a person has fibromyalgia, they must have experienced or reported the following symptoms:

  • Body pains in about 19 areas of the body
  • Severe fatigue
  • Simultaneously waking up and feeling tired
  • Cognitive issues (memory and/or thinking)

If these symptoms have been present for at least three months or more, it would be best to see a doctor specialized in the disease. Seeing a rheumatologist is usually advised, but this does not make fibromyalgia a disorder of the joints. This is only because of the pain characterized by fibromyalgia is similar to the pain expressed in arthritis, or conditions relating to it. In this case, a rheumatologist is not the only doctor, and a physician can also provide care for fibromyalgia.

What sets off fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia can come from a number of different sources. While some of these factors are physical, a lot of emotional and psychological factors can trigger the onset of the disease:

  • Physical Stress: Fibromyalgia usually starts to manifest after a physical injury caused by a vehicular or sports accident and simple back pains that have been left unattended.
  • Emotional Stress: Psychological trauma can lead to fibromyalgia as well. Even chronic stress due to piled up problems in the workplace or in one’s personal life. If stress is poorly managed, it is more likely for disorders such as fibromyalgia to manifest among vulnerable individuals.
  • Infections: Fibromyalgia may be triggered by an infection that has attacked the immune system. Even after the infection has gone, the effects that it left in the body can be the cause of fibromyalgia.
  • Genetics: Some get their disorder from ancestors or other relatives who might have had fibromyalgia as well, but they have been predetermined in the individual already and may or may not manifest. Usually, the probabilities of the manifestation of fibromyalgia or any other disorder skyrocket when there are triggering factors.