What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a composite of three words: ‘fibro’ which refers to the nervous system, ‘myo’ which refers to muscles, and ‘algia’ which means pain.
This is a condition where severe pains are experienced in different parts of the body. These pains are widespread and are different from normal localized pains, as various regions are affected. This is a chronic condition that might exist for a long time or up to an older age.
Statistically, women are more prone to fibromyalgia than men are. There are cases of very young patients affected from this condition, but the largest number of patients is over the age of 20 years and up to 60 years. At an older age, fibromyalgia pains might automatically begin to recede.
Difference of Fibromyalgia Pains in Men and in Women
Women have a greater likelihood to suffer from the widespread musculoskeletal pains of fibromyalgia. Their pains are usually felt at various regions such as the neck, shoulders, chest, back, elbows, knees, hips, and buttocks. The pains can be severe and debilitating.
Men, though they are lesser in number as compared to the women who suffer from fibromyalgia, show more excruciating symptoms. Apart from the pain regions in women, they might also suffer from headaches that resemble those due to stress, and might develop anxiety and depression. They may also show an occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
The most prominent symptom of fibromyalgia is the severe debilitating pain that might occur in various regions of the body. This pain is quite acute and forces the person to visit the doctor for relief. This is when the disease is usually diagnosed.
Apart from the pain, there could be other symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and stress. These are manifested into headaches, often experienced by male sufferers.
People might also suffer from a lack of concentration and lapses of memory. There could be a recurring feeling of fatigue. Insomnia is also a common complaint among fibromyalgia patients.
Both men and women might suffer from morning stiffness, a condition where the muscles feel sore after waking up. Women might also experience menstrual cramps.
Numbness in the extremities, such as the fingers, is usually experienced. Some muscles might feel sore especially when pressure is exerted on them. A small number of patients might also develop pains during urination.
How Are Fibromyalgia Pains Characterized?
It might be difficult to diagnose a fibromyalgia pain yourself because there are numerous conditions that have similar kinds of pains.
These specific pains are usually a sharp kind of ache that might be felt as throbbing of the muscles of that particular area. The pain may start out as dull and then increase in intensity. During the episode of pain, the region might feel sore and even as though it is burning. The pain might be episodic; i.e. it could come and go. It also feels as if it is shifting from one point to another in the body.
Why Do Fibromyalgia Pains Occur?
The exact reason why fibromyalgia pains occur is not known. However, the cause lies within the nervous system. Nerves are present all over the body, and the sensation of pain is due to their presence. The entire nervous system is controlled by the brain. In some cases, the brain magnifies the impulses carried by the nerves. This compounds even a smaller pain to a larger one. This might be the cause of fibromyalgia.
This also explains the reason why the pain shifts. Since the brain controls all the nerves, it might receive impulse from one nerve and send it to another.
What Are the Causes of Fibromyalgia?
There are three possible causes of fibromyalgia.
- Genetics — Fibromyalgia pains are found to be hereditary. However, the exact nature of the genetic material that might carry this information from one generation to the next is not known.
- Trauma — Fibromyalgia might be caused due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Infections — A few microbial infections could cause such pains.
What Are the Vulnerability Factors for Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia pains are more prominent in the following cases:-
- If your family has a history of fibromyalgia, especially a parent, then you have a higher chance of developing these pains later on in your life.
- Women have a higher risk of these pains than men are.
- People who abuse substances risk developing fibromyalgia, as narcotic drugs can wreak havoc with the immune system of the body.
- People who have crossed 40 years of age stand at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia than younger people.
What Care Must Be Taken to Manage Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia cannot be cured. However, when the pains arise, there are some medications that can help to relieve the pain.
- Pain suppressors — Pain relievers that contain ibuprofen or acetaminophen do a good job in alleviating the pains of fibromyalgia. They should be recommended by the doctor, though.
- Anti-seizure drugs — Under prescription, anti-seizure drugs such as those containing gabapentin or pregabalin help in relieving fibromyalgia pains.
- Antidepressants — Since stress can increase the pains of fibromyalgia, it is necessary to keep control on such emotional upheavals. Antidepressants containing milnacipran or duloxetine help in this regard.
It is found that narcotic drugs also work at relieving pains, but they should be strictly avoided because they can lead to a dependency even causing substance abuse. Moreover, they can impair the immune system of the body which can worsen the situation and create a way for other diseases to attack the body as well.
Since this condition cannot be cured, the only way out is to learn how to cope with the situation. Apart from the antibiotics mentioned above, there are several treatment and therapies mentioned above, which when done for a length of time can help combat the pains that occur due to fibromyalgia.
There are also various support groups in almost all parts of the country where patients of this condition come together, share their experiences, and seek knowledge and advice from experts in the field. Being a part of such a group can help in coping with this condition.
Health pack for fibromyalgia
- Ashwagandha churan
- Vrihatvata chantiaman ras
- Praval pishti
- Karpardika bhasam
- Medha vati
- Tryodashang guggal
- Yograj guggal
How to use the health pack for fibromyalgia
Mix all the ingredients in a grinder and make powder out of it. Consume ¾ teaspoon of it two times a day with warm milk.