- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Fibromyalgia -What The Doctors Don't Tell You
As a sufferer of Fibromyalgia this writer has been all over the web in search of answers. Unfortunately, although there are many websites that give a superficial view of symptoms and treatments there are not that many that actually explain Fibromyalgia. This condition has such an impact on the life of the sufferer yet, in some medical circles it is not even recognized as a real medical condition.
The symptoms of Fibromyalgia vary and they are different for each individual. However, the main symptom that every person diagnosed suffer from; is wide spread pain. There are 18 trigger points on the body that doctors use to diagnose Fibromyalgia. These trigger points are located in the neck, shoulders, chest, lower, back, elbows, and knees. In order to diagnose fibromyalgia the patient will usually exhibit pain in 11 of these trigger points. When a patient goes into their appointment the doctor usually presses very lightly on these areas, they are looking for a pain reaction from the patient. A patient without Fibromyalgia will not feel pain in the areas being checked.
Once diagnosed with this condition this writer was given medicine and told to call if the medication was not working. Nothing more was explained about the condition or how it may impact someone’s life. Through life experience this writer has come to the conclusion that this condition impacts one’s life completely and totally. The pain from Fibromyalgia can be sharp and tingly, or dull and achy. Most people who have this condition suffer from sleep disturbances where they have trouble getting into the R.E.M phase of sleep. This leaves the patient exhausted and may cause what is known as fibro-fog; which is exactly what it sounds like the patient may feel as if they are walking around in a fog, become disorganized, and forget things very easily.
Anxiety also plays a major role in Fibromyalgia. Some Fibromyalgia suffers experience chest pain and an increased heart rate this is usually due to anxiety. Anxiety is one of the triggers of this condition. The doctors tell their patients that reducing the stress in their lives will help reduce the flair ups however, it extremely hard for a patient to reduce stress when they are consumed by anxiety, and are not given any ideas on how to reduce stress. Some great ways to reduce stress include: Yoga, meditation, taking a walk, listening to music, soaking in a bathtub, or taking a nap.
This condition not only affects the patient it also affects their family and loved ones. Many people with Fibromyalgia suffer from depression, and when the pain flairs up they may appear to be a hypochondriac, or lazy. Without proper understanding of the condition Fibromyalgia may drive a wedge between the patient and their loved ones. It is best for a person who has Fibromyalgia to educate their loved ones. In addition, a person suffering from Fibromyalgia should learn to read their bodies. When they feel the need to rest they should. Accordingly, when they are having a good day they should not over due it which may lead to flare up.
Moreover, Fibromyalgia patients have reported that certain foods tend to be responsible for flair ups so keeping a food journal for the first few months after diagnosis is extremely helpful. When a person keeps a food journal they are able to recognize a connection between certain foods and Fibromyalgia flair ups. In the same way, exercise plays a major role in keeping flair ups at bay. Unfortunately, when a Fibromyalgia sufferer first starts exercising it tends to cause discomfort however, if not overdone after a while it will help build up the muscles strength therefore making them a little more resistant to the pain.
In conclusion, Fibromyalgia is a real disease that causes widespread pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Without proper understanding of this condition the patient may feel hopeless. A person who is diagnosed with fibromyalgia must learn ways to reduce stress that work for them. Education and balance are essential in maintain a normal lifestyle.