What is Fibromyalgia and How Can It Be Treated?

Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal syndrome where the whole body suffers in pain. However, this disease is manageable with treatments.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disease that can interfere with your daily life. Fibromyalgia Syndrome or also known as FMS is a musculoskeletal disease which causes pain all over the body. Accompanying with the body pain includes mood swings, fatigue, and increased sensitivity to pain. However, this disease also appears to be manageable depending on what originally caused the syndrome.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

This condition has a variety of causes. Some of these causes include:

  • Infections such as Arthritis: Arthritis is when joints are inflamed. Because of the grinding motion of the joints, pain will travel through the sensory nerves. When this happens, Fibromyalgia can also occur as a secondary symptom to Arthritis.
  • Chemical imbalance: Chemical imbalances can cause Fibromyalgia syndrome. Imbalances such as severe allergic responses can also cause Fibromyalgia especially if it’s caused by ingestion. Uric acid imbalance can also cause Fibromyalgia because the uric acid builds up in the joints and causes pain.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: This is when the condition turns into a more psychosomatic disorder. When a person suffers stress or trauma, they sometimes have moments when the pain will occur. The pain can occur throughout the entire body especially if they suffered physical trauma. Common factors of those who suffer from this kind of Fibromyalgia Syndrome are often those in military or who have gone through car crashes.
  • Anxiety and Depression: In most cases, depression and anxiety can magnify the effects of Fibromyalgia which can make life unbearable. Coupled with increased levels of moodiness, irritability, and episodes of anhedonia, Fibromyalgia can worsen Depression. Other times, Fibromyalgia can also be a side effect of the antipsychotic or the anti-depressant given.
  • Genetics: Some people can be born having a higher chance of suffering from Fibromyalgia and will also need maintenance medicine to keep it under control.

Treatment for Fibromyalgia

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this condition. However, there are treatments that make Fibromyalgia a lot easier to handle and less interfering in one’s daily life. To manage the condition, doctors often prescribe three medicines: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and Milnacipran (Savella) as the antidepressant, and Pregabalin (Lyrica) as the anti-seizure.

The reason for providing anti-depressants is to handle the hormonal changes that are caused by the Fibromyalgia. It also helps the person fight against the pain by inducing the release of serotonin. Serotonin, being the happy hormone, is what keeps the body moving and in low amounts can cause depressive episodes which can make it harder for a person to manage Fibromyalgia. The Pregabalin prevents the body from going into seizures as seizures are often caused by the overload of electrical ability in the brain. Because of intense pain, the body may also go into a state of shock which may trigger seizures.

Home Remedies for Fibromyalgia

However, if you don’t have enough money to handle paying for the anti-depressants or want to make handling the Fibromyalgia handling easier, there are different ways to do so.

  • Avoid eating foods triggers: Often times, food with gluten, red meat, dairy products, caffeine, and even potatoes can also trigger the symptoms of the condition.
  • Yoga and Tai Chi: Yoga and Tai Chi help control the “chi” or the “chakra” that flows through your body. Yoga and Tai Chi also teach meditation and mindfulness which help a person be more mindful of what’s happening in the body. That way, they would also be able to anticipate if a seizure is going to happen.
  • Rest and Sleep: Resting and sleep allows the brain activity to slightly slow down which lowers the chances of one getting seizures. It also reduces stress which helps in improving mood and also improving brain activity.
  • Acupuncture: An ancient Asian method where they would prick certain points on the body which would control the flow of energy. This would also promote mindfulness to remove pain in certain parts of the body to help your daily life become more bearable.

Fibromyalgia treatment

Sources

Rooks, D. S. (2007). Fibromyalgia treatment update. Current opinion in rheumatology, 19(2), 111-117.

Wahner-Roedler, D. L., Elkin, P. L., Vincent, A., Thompson, J. M., Oh, T. H., Loehrer, L. L., … & Bauer, B. A. (2005, January). Use of complementary and alternative medical therapies by patients referred to a fibromyalgia treatment program at a tertiary care center. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 80, No. 1, pp. 55-60). Elsevier.

Arnold, L. M., Keck, P. E., & Welge, J. A. (2000). Antidepressant treatment of fibromyalgia: a meta-analysis and review. Psychosomatics, 41(2), 104-113.

Goldenberg, D., Mayskiy, M., Mossey, C., Ruthazer, R., & Schmid, C. (1996). A randomized, double‐blind crossover trial of fluoxetine and amitriptyline in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 39(11), 1852-1859.

Robinson, R. L., Birnbaum, H. G., Morley, M. A., Sisitsky, T., Greenberg, P. E., & Wolfe, F. (2004). Depression and fibromyalgia: treatment and cost when diagnosed separately or concurrently. The Journal of rheumatology, 31(8), 1621-1629.

 

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