Symptoms Of Fms That Burden Your Everyday Life
Some symptoms of FMS that may not cause physical pain, but may obstruct a person from living their life to the fullest include extreme dryness of the eyes, mouth or nose, irritable bowel syndrome , numbness and poor circulation of the hands and feet, stiffness, and restless leg syndrome.
Though this symptom may not contribute to any pain or discomfort the person feels during the day, they can certainly add up to make a person feel theyre not normal or remind them of the illness that they are suffering from.
How To Cope With Fibromyalgia
Although fibromyalgia is lifelong, it does not get worse and is not fatal. Some patients find that their fibromyalgia symptoms remain stable over the long term, while more than a quarter of patients see improvement in their pain over time.
Dealing with the pain and fatigue can be frustrating. It is important that you educate yourself and others around you about fibromyalgia. Organizations such as the National Fibromyalgia Association and the American Chronic Pain Association can help put you in touch with others who have had similar experiences.
Consider joining the Drugs.com Fibromyalgia Support Group, also. Here you can ask questions, share information, and learn from others that are also fighting back at fibromyalgia.
Visit the Drugs.com Fibromylagia Center to learn more about how to mamage this chronic condition.
Other Medications For Fibromyalgia
Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant which works by blocking nerve impulses sent to the brain and helps some patients with fibromyalgia. Cyclobenzaprine, structurally similar to tricyclic antidepressants, has been shown to help with sleep and pain, but not fatigue or tender points, and side effects like dizziness and dry mouth can be very common.
Pramipexole , a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome , stimulates the production of a brain chemical known as dopamine.
- Pramipexole may help relieve pain in people with fibromyalgia.
- In a small 14-week study of 60 patients treated with pramipexole, over 40% of patients had a 50% or more reduction in their pain score, compared with 14% of patients taking placebo.
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Is It Hard To Diagnose Fibromyalgia
Unfortunately, it can take years for some people who have fibromyalgia to get a correct diagnosis. This can happen for many reasons. The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are pain and fatigue. These are also common symptoms of many other health problems, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, and arthritis.
Currently, there is no laboratory test or X-ray that can diagnose fibromyalgia.
It may take some time for your doctor to understand all of your symptoms and rule out other health problems so he or she can make an accurate diagnosis. As part of this process, your family doctor may consult with a rheumatologist. This type of doctor specializes in pain in the joints and soft tissue.
Defining Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There has been considerable controversy over whether CFS is a specific disorder or at the severe end of the spectrum of idiopathic exhaustion. There also has been confusion regarding the overlap of CFS with FM and other functional somatic syndromes, and with psychiatric illness. In some reports the majority of subjects with CSF also have a comorbid psychiatric disorder, and psychiatric disorders increase the risk of later chronic fatigue. Some researchers have claimed that fatigue cannot be distinguished from depression, whereas others believe chronic fatigue should be considered a separate diagnostic category.
CFS was first identified as a new illness in 1985 following a series of 31 cases of unexplained fatigue reported from Lake Tahoe, Nevada.¹ In the report, the authors presented initial evidence that the Lake Tahoe cases were related to the Epstein-Barr virus. Chronic exhaustion, or neurasthenia, had previously been linked to potential infections, including outbreaks reported from Los Angeles County General Hospital in 1934.¹ During the next 50 years, other epidemics of exhaustion, generalized body aches, and general misery were reported from South Africa, Australia, England, as well as in Florida and Washington, DC. The clustering of cases, flu-like symptoms, and the beliefs of healthcare professionals suggested an infectious etiology but none was ever found.
At least 1 of the 2 following manifestations is also required:
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What Is The Outcome In Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia can last a short or a long time. It can make life extremely tough, but it does not shorten your life. In some cases, symptoms ease or go after a few months. However, in many cases it is a persistent condition which tends to wax and wane in severity, with a severe effect on your quality of life.
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How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed
Your doctor or nurse will ask about your symptoms and your medical history. There is no lab test for fibromyalgia. Instead, your doctor will make a diagnosis based upon two criteria:
You may have to see several doctors before getting a diagnosis. One reason for this may be that pain and fatigue, the main symptoms of fibromyalgia, also are symptoms of many other conditions, such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. Doctors try to figure out if fibromyalgia or another health problem is causing your symptoms.
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Fatigue Correlates: Insights Into Etiology
The key symptoms of fibromyalgia – pain, fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, dyscognition, and depressed mood – do not occur in isolation. Rather, they often present concurrently, in varying severity, and are intertwined with and influence each other . Indeed, studies demonstrate that chronic persistent pain , poor sleep quality , depressed mood, anxiety, or combinations of these are associated with fatigue . In addition to common fibromyalgia symptoms, clinical characteristics , health behaviors , and psychological variables , also demonstrate strong associations with fatigue . In addition to cross-sectional associations, diurnal rhythmicity and lag relationships have also been demonstrated between fatigue and other fibromyalgia symptoms , suggesting that one variable can influence or predict the others . Appreciating these associations is important in fatigue assessment because daily assessment of fatigue may uncover lag relationships with other symptoms, providing avenues for intervention. Collectively, these studies indicate that many symptoms feed into fatigue and the implication of this finding, for both clinical practice and research, is that fatigue assessment must consider this multi-dimensionality. This is not unlike pain in fibromyalgia, which is increasingly demonstrated to be multidimensional, with contributions from central pain, peripheral musculoskeletal pain generators, and neuropathic pain, among other pathways .
How To Fight Fibromyalgia Fatigue
Besides pain, anxiety and mental fog, fibromyalgia patients may also suffer from chronic fatigue symptoms. But natural remedies can go a long way toward restoring lost energy. Heres an expert guide to what really works for fibromyalgia fatigue…On bad days, Holly Scott can barely drag herself out of bed, shuffle to the couch and sit down. Ordinary activities seem virtually impossible.When my fibromyalgia flares up, I miss my daughters soccer games and dance recitals, says the 39-year-old Tucson mother of two. Im too tired even to sit through a movie with my husband. Scotts exhaustion is typical of fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness, and can often bring about debilitating fatigue.Thats the result of the body trying to fight chronic pain both physically and mentally, says Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! and a leading expert on both fibromyalgia support and chronic fatigue. After a flare-up, women with fibromyalgia find themselves with lagging energy levels because theyve spent a great deal of battling the depression and emotional anguish associated with the disease, Dr. Teitelbaum says.
For optimum fibromyalgia support, meditate at least once a day for a minimum of 10 minutes, Dr. Yee suggests.Build up to twice a day: once in the morning and once at night.Heres how to get started:
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How To Treat Fibromyalgia
As the cause of the pain is unknown, there is no specific treatment. The management of fibromyalgia requires a multidisciplinary approach. The management of fibromyalgia can be classified into two broad categories: those based on drugs, and those not involving drugs.
The goal of these treatments is to relieve symptoms treat fatigue and reduce pain reduce their impact on daily life and initiate a personalized return to physical activity. Regular monitoring will allow these treatments to be re-evaluated.
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What Is The Difference Between Fibromyalgia And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are similar in many ways. A person can have fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. Both ME/CFS and fibromyalgia have pain and fatigue as symptoms.
But the main symptom of fibromyalgia is pain, and the main symptom of ME/CFS is extreme tiredness that does not get better with sleep and rest, also called fatigue.
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I’m Overwhelmed By My Fibromyalgia Symptoms What Can I Do
It may not be easy, but you may have to become a little bit selfish. When you are pressured by too many demands, it’s time to learn how to say “no.” That means not accepting every invitation or going on every outing — you might even have to back out at the last minute once in a while. Your friends and family will understand when you just don’t have the energy for everything and have to put your own needs first.
How You Can Fight Fatigue: Ask For Help And Understanding
When it comes to living with a chronic illness, its better to openly discuss issues the illness causes with your friends, family, and loved ones.
Living with a chronic illness is easier when you have the support of people who fully understand your symptoms and the hardships you have to face because of it.
Getting help from your loved ones can help you deal with any chronic pain or fatigue, and give you less to worry about when your FMS is flaring up.
Hopefully, you can take this information to help yourself and a loved one deal with the symptoms of fatigue that come from fibromyalgia.
Though it cannot be cured, with the proper medication, methods, and support, and person who suffers from it can lead a normal life.
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Fatigue And Your Emotional Well Being
Fatigue also has a great impact on the psychological well being of those suffering from fibromyalgia. Fatigue heightens stress and emotions, which in turn increases the amount of pain that is experienced.
Fatigue and depression have also been linked. Furthermore, fatigue may contribute to the memory loss and forgetfulness that often occurs with fibromyalgia.
Physical Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
Common physical symptoms of FMS include localized pain in places such as joints, muscles and whole areas of the body.
This pains can feel similar to other diseases and illnesses such as arthritis and/or tendinitis. The pains are similar, but each still has specific pains that are associated with them.
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Does Energy Pacing Work What Studies Say
The research is mixed there are papers out there that say that activity or energy pacing is helpful for patients with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. Others show that it may help, but that other modalities such as cognitive behavior therapy and graded exercise therapy can be helpful as well, Dr. Sulapas says.
Energy pacing may also help for symptoms such as pain rather than fatigue. I tried pacing for fatigue management over six months and it didnt work, Katharine T. says. For pain levels I find it more helpful.
But with your doctors OK, it generally cant hurt to try. Energy pacing is one of the most well-received techniques to help with chronic fatigue, Dr. Sulapas says. Its a safe technique to help conserve energy during the day and not wear oneself out.
What Causes Fibromyalgia
Researchers are not sure exactly what causes fibromyalgia. Genetics may play a role.
Studies also show that the brains of people with fibromyalgia may not process pain in the same way as people who do not have fibromyalgia. Lower levels of certain brain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin or norepinephrine, may cause you to be more sensitive to pain and have a more severe reaction to pain. Imaging studies of the brain show that people with fibromyalgia feel pain when people without fibromyalgia do not.10 Some medicines prescribed to treat fibromyalgia try to bring the levels of those neurotransmitters back into balance.
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What Is Fibromyalgia
Officially recognised as a medical condition in the 1970s, almost 50 years on, it is still not fully understood. There are no known causes and there is no official fibromyalgia test such as a blood test or scan to prove you have it.
Doctors instead rely on a cluster of symptoms to make a diagnosis. When I was diagnosed back in 2005, there were 18 pain points, and if you had 11 of them then you would be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. But because the pain is not consistently in the same location, medical professionals now diagnose fibromyalgia as a widespread pain for more than three months, exhaustion and no other underlying condition that might be causing all the symptoms.
It feels like rheumatic disorder but it does not cause inflammation or damage joints. The Mayo Clinic explains that fibromyalgia appears to be linked to changes in how the brain and spinal cord process pain signals.
For some people, the symptoms can be pretty much continuous but for others, like me, they come in flare-ups.
I can have weeks and sometimes months where I have no flare up. But then a flare up happens where I am back in bed with pain everywhere, feeling exhausted and my brain literally not functioning. I will write one email and feel wiped out. This can last a day or a week, there isnt a clear pattern.
Worst of all, there is no specific cure.
What Works For Me
Image: Ella Sadhika
Through trial and error, I have found a way to manage my symptoms. What works for me is recognising the triggers and acting on them before it gets too bad. Diet is a big one, specifically sugar. I love cake, cookies, chocolate and when I have a flare-up, I cut them out. Last year I got diagnosed with IBS, a very common condition for fibromyalgia sufferers. Since then, with the help of a Registered Dietitian, I have been following the low FODMAP diet, which has both helped the IBS and greatly reduced the number of fibromyalgia flare-ups I get.
Stress is also a big trigger, as is, strangely, the weather more specifically changes in weather seem to cause flare-ups for me. By talking to people with fibromyalgia and doing some research, I have learned that others, but not all, out there have similar triggers. Although a 2013 study carried out in Holland suggests that there is no proof for this, the sheer number of people who seem to claim this suggests that I might not be imagining it.
Out of my personal health crisis, I launched a business called Good Zing in 2017. Its an online platform where people share tried and tested wellbeing tips for their everyday mental and physical health problems and includes tips from a wide variety of health and wellbeing experts.
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Schedule In Your Rest Time
A good way to manage fatigue caused by fibromyalgia is to schedule rest into your day. Sitting or briefly lying down at some point could be what you need.
Try to plan your most rigorous tasks for times when you think youll have the most energy. Similarly, take time to pace yourself and find balance within your day.
The National Fibromyalgia Association offers a helpful guide to pacing, including:
- setting a schedule
Tender Points In Fibromyalgia
People with fibromyalgia also have tender points, which are specific spots on the body that are painful to touch. Common tender points are found around the:
- back of the head
- sides of the breastbone
The joints are not affected, although many patients feel like the pain starts in their joints. There are no lumps with the pain points, and no signs of inflammation .
Previously, a fibromyalgia diagnosis was made when a patient had 3 previous months of unexplained body-wide pain and at least 11 of 18 tender points in specific locations. Today, doctors do not follow these guidelines because symptoms can come and go. In addition, doctors are often uncertain about how much pressure to apply to tender points during an exam.
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Keep Practicing And Tinkering
For tasks on which you are having difficulty pacing, Dr. Mirgain advises to think about how long you can do the activity without fatigue and how long you will need to rest before becoming active again . With those set time limits, practice! Once youve mastered a task, you can consider slowly increasing the activity time and decreasing rest time.
Do Some Serious Soaking
Soaking in a warm bath or hot tub can relax tense muscles, reduce pain, and help you move more easily. If it’s difficult for you to get in and out of the tub, try a sauna or put a stool in the shower so you can sit and let the water do its work. Moist heat may increase endorphins, which block pain signals, and help you sleep more soundly.
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