Naturally Treating CFS & Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness

Millions of Americans are affected by fibromyalgia, a mysterious debilitating disorder. Here's what is known so far about its symptoms, causes, and risk factors.

By Katherine Lee

Medically Reviewed by Ed Zimney, MD

Don't Miss This

Sign Up for OurHealthy LivingNewsletter

Thanks for signing up!You might also like these other newsletters:

Fibromyalgia is a widely misunderstood and sometimes misdiagnosed chronic condition, commonly characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, concentration issues, and sleep problems. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, it affects an estimated 10 million people, mainly women, in the United States alone. The severity of fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from one person to the next and may fluctuate even in a single individual, depending on such factors as time of day or the weather. Because it is a chronic condition, in most cases fibromyalgia symptoms never disappear entirely. The good news is that fibromyalgia isn't progressive or life-threatening, and treatments can help alleviate many symptoms.

Fibromyalgia: The Symptoms

The symptoms of fibromyalgia and their severity vary widely, although pain and fatigue are nearly always present. Major symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

Pain.Some fibromyalgia patients report discomfort in one or more specific areas of their body, while others may experience overall pain in their muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Certain areas, such as the back of the head, upper back and neck, elbows, hips, and knees may be particularly sensitive to touch or pressure and are described clinically as tender points. The degree and type of pain can range from aching, tenderness, and throbbing to sharper shooting and stabbing sensations. Intense burning, numbness, and tingling may also be present.

Fatigue.If you've ever been knocked off your feet by a bad case of the flu, you have a general idea of how tired some people with fibromyalgia can feel. Though some fibromyalgia patients experience only mild fatigue, many report feeling completely drained of energy, both physically and mentally, to the point that exhaustion interferes with all daily activities.

Memory problems.Difficulty concentrating and remembering are common cognitive symptoms in people with fibromyalgia.

Sleep disturbances.Research has shown that the deepest stages of sleep in patients with fibromyalgia are constantly interrupted by bursts of brain activity, causing feelings of exhaustion even after a seemingly good night's rest. Other problems such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and teeth grinding (bruxism) are also common among fibromyalgia sufferers.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).Symptoms of IBS, including diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and bloating, are present in many people with fibromyalgia.

Other common symptoms

  • Headaches, migraines, and facial pain
  • Depression, anxiety, or mood changes
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth, eyes, and skin
  • Heightened sensitivity to noise, odors, bright lights, and touch

Symptom Triggers

The following factors can worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia:

  • Changes in weather (too cold or too humid)
  • Too much or too little exercise
  • Too much or too little rest
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Depression

Some patients also report that pain and stiffness are worse in the morning.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

While the exact cause of fibromyalgia remains a mystery, doctors do know that patients with the disorder experience an increased sensation of pain due to a glitch in the central nervous system's processing of pain information. Studies have shown that people with fibromyalgia also have certain physiological abnormalities, such as elevated levels of certain chemicals called nuerotransmitters that help transmit pain signals (thus amplifying, or "turning up," the signals in the brain's pain-processing areas).

In some cases, an injury or trauma, especially to the cervical spine, or a bacterial or viral illness, may precede a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. This has caused researchers to speculate that infections may be triggers as well.

Fibromyalgia Risk Factors

A number of factors can increase the odds that you may develop fibromyalgia. These include:

Gender.Fibromyalgia is more common among women than men.

Age.Symptoms usually appear during middle age, but can also manifest in children and older adults.

History of rheumatic disease.People who have been diagnosed with a rheumatic disorder — chronic inflammatory conditions — such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are at increased risk of also developing fibromyalgia.

Family history.Having a relative who suffers from fibromyalgia puts you at increased risk.

Sleep problems.Doctors aren't sure whether sleep disturbances are a cause or a symptom of fibromyalgia — but sleep disorders, including restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea have been cited as possible fibromyalgia triggers.

When to Seek Help for Fibromyalgia

If you experience pain in your muscles that lasts for several months and is accompanied by significant fatigue, see your doctor.


Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness
Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness images

2019 year
2019 year - Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness pictures

Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness advise
Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness advise photo

Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness images
Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness picture

Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness new picture
Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness new picture

images Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness
photo Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness

Watch Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness video
Watch Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness video

Forum on this topic: Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness, fibromyalgia-an-elusive-illness/
Communication on this topic: Fibromyalgia — An Elusive Illness, fibromyalgia-an-elusive-illness/ , fibromyalgia-an-elusive-illness/

Related News

Paul Hollywood’s Emmenthal, Onion and Mushroom Pastries Recipe
Silicon Valley CEO pleads no contest to beating his wife
Usertalk: Anjelisse Muniz
TheLIST: Fashion Week City Guide: J.J. Martins Milan
How to Wear a Camo Jacket
Oreo Just Released a Brand-New Cookie, And Its Way Different
The corpse flower only blooms for 48 hours, so the plant had already started to close up Sunday night. See you all in seven years for Morticias next bloom
ALERT: Massive Recall of Packaged Vegetables Sold in Stores Throughout the U.S
How to Make Dinner in 30 Minutes
How to Start an Export Business
How to Select Cells and Ranges in Excel Visual Basic
How to Reduce Redness After Waxing
Brooke Burkes Secrets to Daylong Energy
How to Help Fidgety Kids Sit Still
Fishing for a Better Diet

Date: 12.12.2018, 13:07 / Views: 71445