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Causes and Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Updated on September 16, 2011

Understanding fibromyalgia (FMS) is difficult. There isn’t any single explanation defining it and causes are unknown. The one common thread is pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons which can last for several months to years. And since the cause of the disorder is unknown, doctors are hesitant to diagnose it. Symptoms vary in severity from person to person, ranging from mild to debilitating. It is commonly misunderstood and misdiagnosed. In fact, this was the norm up until the 1980s.

FMS is a complex, chronic condition marked by musculoskeletal stiffness, pain, generalized fatigue, and sleep disturbance. Sufferers may also experience gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, memory problems and anxiety or depression.Some report having difficulty sleeping and sleep apnea. However, muscle pain is the most common symptom and is usually widespread throughout the body. But, over time, it may start in one general location and radiate to other parts of the body.

The pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia can severely affect work performance, relationships and daily activities. FMS sufferers may also experience chronic fatigue as pain makes it difficult to sleep. Fibromyalgia causes abnormal sleep patterns and lack of sleep can cause a person to become anxious and depressed. About one 4th of all FMS patients require treatment for clinical depression.

Other Symptoms associated with fibromyalgia include:

· Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet

· Vertigo

· Difficulty with balance

· Chest pain

· Short term memory loss or difficulty with cognitive function, and difficulty concentrating

There is still much that remains to be known about FMS. The exact etiology of the condition has still not been pinpointed. Physical or emotional trauma may play a role. Some evidence suggests fibromyalgia patients have abnormal pain transmission responses which may cause sleep disturbances, which are common in fibromyalgia patients. However, researchers have developed several other theories about what might trigger it. These are:

· Stress

· Injury or physical trauma

· Viruses

· Emotional trauma

· Lyme disease

· Weakened immune system.

About 8 million Americans suffer from FMS, the majority of which are women.This number continues to grow as health care providers learn more about the illness and its symptoms. Treatment for FMS begins with the health care provider. They will ask questions about symptoms and provide diagnostic testing.

Medications can relieve symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, such as pain and inflammation. Treatment may also involve lifestyle changes, such as regular physical activity, a healthy diet and adequate sleep. Weight loss will reduce stress on affected muscles and joints.

Some common medications used for fibromyalgia treatment include:

· Analgesics: Aspirin or acetaminophen

· Antidepressants: Duloxetine (Cymbalta), fluoxetine (Prozac), or milnacipran (Savella.)

· Anti-seizure medications: Gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica.)

· No steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin.

Here are a few tips physicians recommend to relieve FMS symptoms:

· Proper Diet and Nutrition

· Exercise and stretching

· Eliminating diet drinks, coffee and alcohol

· Stress release techniques

· Massage

May 12th has been designated as “Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.” Most FMS Support Groups will offer seminars and other educational opportunities about fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions. Joining a Fibromyalgia Support Group can keep sufferers in touch with the latest events. Find out more in depth information about FMS and joining a group at and get involved in their active forums.


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    • anjegirl profile image

      anjegirl 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach,SC

      Yeah, I know----our doctors only know one way to fix anything and that is with drugs, but I have several doctors who almost never prescribe drugs and my brother worked for Wyeth-Ayres for years and I have known that for four decades we are the guinea pigs since the EPA made us stop testing animals and no,you will never hear or read any of this written by the Medical community--they only know to use drugs---but I have been studying Agenda 21 for four decades and finally Jesse Ventura got this out to the public in 21 episodes of Conspiracy Theory and there are over 2 million websites that come up when you google Agenda 21 and it was only named this because it is the depopulation and thinning of the herd 21st Century plan of all our politicians and I have been working with politicians now for four decades and they talk about it all the time---please do google it and check it out----lots of young kids know of this because of the internet and because Jay-Z and 50cent have been singing about it for a decade now---we all need to know or we cannot combat it--about two weeks ago Newsmax did a lengthy article about the aluminum that is in our government mandated baby shots and were very thorough about the fact that these shots are causing a lot of the diseases and disorders that we have that other countries don't have

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Anjegirl, thanks for the update. My information came from several well known medical sites. None of which mentioned most of what you listed. Of course, they wouldn't. But thanks for sharing this. I was unaware of a lot of it.

    • anjegirl profile image

      anjegirl 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach,SC

      I have been living with fibromyalgia for 20 years and I want to say that before anyone takes any of the drugs listed on this hub, check out all the side effects---nothing good about any of them and I have never heard of using any of these drugs for this disease and I do a lot of research---Americans always look for a quick fix and a miracle drug and the truth is our doctors do not study any nutrition in 8 plus years of school and until or unless they do they are not equipped to deal with any of the many, many diseases and disorders that Americans have at an alarming rate that does not exist in any other country on earth---the best thing for fibro is a lot of daily exercise and the only thing I have found that relieves symptoms---the reason America has all these things that in 5000 years other countries haven't had is because of AGENDA 21 and the depopulating of America---and comes from the 55 Nuclear power plants that are leaking into our ground water and the combination of flouride and the chemical added to our water with it which makes flouride poisonous and the pesticides that our government ordered to be sprayed on our foods since the 60's and the poisons being manufactured on Plum Island that started the epidemics of autism, ADD, ADHD,lyme disease, fibro, clinical depression,chronic fatigue, seizures that are caused by the mandatory shots our government mandates if your child is going to attend school----the aluminum in those shots causes all of this and parkinsons, alzheimers, dementia---check it out ppl. no other country on earth has this stuff---Europeans have lived for 5000 years without any of this stuff---AGENDA 21

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Very informative hub. I have been researching fibromyalgia since I have most of the symptoms you mentioned. Thanks for sharing your hub.


    • profile image

      UrsulaRose 6 years ago

      Thanks JY3502 for helping to spread Fibromyalgia Awareness. We Fibromyalgics/Fibromites really appreciate it.

    • stayingalivemoma profile image

      Valerie Washington 6 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

      This was really well put together. My doctors are trying to figure out now if that's what's going on with me. I actually have ALL the symptoms you listed on here. Who know maybe we'll being going head-to-head on fibromyalgia hubs! (Just kidding).

    • PAPA-BEAR profile image

      John W Townsend 6 years ago from London England UK

      With such a diagnosis MetaMedicine could be an answer, along with EFT.