Fibromyalgia definition, symptoms and development factors
Fibromyalgia (soft tissue rheumatism) is a chronic pain syndrome. An autoimmune disease is suspected. An estimated 3 million of the US population suffers from the condition every year. Diffuse symptoms and chronic pain define the illness further.
Definition of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia or fibromyalgia syndrome literally means “fiber muscle pain” (FMS). The disease is a chronic rheumatic disease and affects 3-6% of the world population. Of those affected, 75-90 percent are female.
Main characteristics include persistent fatigue, exhaustion and permanent pain throughout the body. Muscles and nerves are affected equally. Fibromyalgia is probably one of the rheumatic autoimmune diseases which is not officially counted yet.
ICD code for fibromyalgia: M79
The causes of FM
Scientists are still researching the exact causes of fibromyalgia as they are not clearly known yet. In many ways, fibromyalgia syndrome corresponds to an autoimmune disease. Chronic inflammation and reduced energy production occur in most patients and aggravate the symptoms.
Possible causes of fibromyalgia
Impaired pain perception
Restricted lymph flow and detoxification
Impaired pain perception
The main symptom and, thus, the most important cause of fibromyalgia is impaired pain perception. Patients have an increased pain perception, which can occur permanently.
Stress is closely linked to the disease. It is a known cause of autoimmune diseases, as psychological stress disrupts the gut, immune system, and hormones.
Mental trauma often occurs in patients. They leave traces in the soul and nervous system of those affected and promote the disease.
Fibromyalgia (fibromyalgia syndrome) occurs frequently in families. It so happens that genetics also play an important cause.
Stimulating lymphatic flow is an important way to treat the symptoms of the disease. Restricted liver detoxification also appears to be related to fibromyalgia. Inadequate detoxification seems to favor the disease.
An unhealthy diet and lifestyle are closely related to the development of the disease. The body lacks certain building blocks for good regulation of pain perception and the immune system.
You will now learn more about the symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome:
The symptoms of fibromyalgia range from chronic pain and fatigue. They are individual and show up differently in patients:
A feeling of stiffness and swelling
*Fatigue and tiredness
Hypersensitivity to pain
These symptoms include unconscious complaints such as tremors, sweating, cold fingers and restricted salivation.
Persistent pain is the leading symptom in fibromyalgia (FMS). It can appear in the entire body. Patients describe it as diffuse, chronic and dull.
Hypersensitivity to pain
Patients are hypersensitive to pain. Fibromyalgia patients already perceive stimuli that are not distressing for none affected people as painful.
At certain pressure points (tender points) on the body, patients are particularly sensitive to pain. This makes diagnosis easier.
The feeling of stiffness and swelling
Especially in the morning the hands, feet or face are stiff or feel swollen. This rheumatic symptom can occur frequently in fibromyalgia (FMS).
Fatigue and tiredness
Ninety percent of patients report constant fatigue and tiredness. Regardless of the length of sleep, exhaustion lasts all day. One can usually exclude viral infections.
Almost daily sleep disorders are a common symptom of fibromyalgia (FMS). Persistent pain, decreased salivation and sleep apnea further contribute to this.
Depression is common. This can occur with chronic pain and lack of acceptance on the part of fellow human beings and doctors. If no one would seemingly understand you or even think you’re making the complaints up, then you, too, would feel desolated and hopeless.
It is usually a persistent, deep pain in the muscles, and sensations accompany the pain in the muscles. So far, there are no explanations for this through pathological processes.
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is a classic exclusion diagnosis. This means that a doctor records the symptoms during a doctor-patient conversation. In addition, blood tests, X-rays and CT scans can exclude certain other diseases as well.
Although many people are affected, the disease is difficult to diagnose. Patients often rush from doctor to doctor for years until they receive a diagnosis.
Due to the increased perception of pain and frequent depression and anxiety, they are often labeled as “hypochondriacs”. This can make the psychological symptoms worse.
The first point of contact should be the family doctor. A pain diary helps with the diagnosis and gives the doctor a good overview.
Practitioners can use symptoms, an examination of the tender points and exclusion of other diseases to diagnose fibromyalgia. An important prerequisite is that the pain persists over a period of at least three months.
The course of fibromyalgia is individual. The disease runs in batches and one can divide it into different degrees of severity due to the pain. Sufferers do not have to fear permanent damage or disability.
Learn more about therapy for fibromyalgia in the article linked below:
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