What is the cause of Fibromyalgia Pain
Causes and Diagnosis
Fibromyalgia is a painful disease, mysterious and stubborn in nature. It usually affects women more than men. Though our genes play a fundamental role in determining our immunity to the disease, there are certain other factors too that cause fibromyalgia.
Certain theories have estimated the cause of fibromyalgia. These are:
- Viral or bacterial infections such as: Lyme disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and hepatitis C.
- Physical or mental trauma such as car accident, death of a loved one, head injury etc
- Hormonal changes
- Additional release of the compound called P which increases sensitivity to pain
- Poor nutrition
- Long term illness
What else triggers the fibromyalgia pain in the body?
Research has proved that the reduction in the levels of certain hormones can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms. These hormones play a vital role in managing the body and in the completion of certain processes. These are:
- Serotonin: This hormone is responsible for regulating moods, sleep, appetite and depression. It is the hormone that generates the feeling of well-being in a person. It is also an effective hormone for adjusting the body temperature and metabolism rate.
- Dopamine: This hormone causes the feeling of excitement, controls mood swings, learning capabilities and behavioral changes. It is the brain’s system of rewarding and motivating the person.
- Noradrenaline: This hormone helps to cope up with anxious and stressful moments by drilling up the muscles and the nerves for a strong fight. It also helps to deal with fear and dread.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is not a single disease but rather a syndrome which envelops a series of symptoms. People with fibromyalgia may experience varying symptoms at different times. These are:
- Never ending pain throughout the body
- Lack of sleep or disturbed and uncomfortable sleep
- Stress, depression and anxiety
- Tingling, burning and numbing in the hands and feet
- Exhaustion and a feeling of overwhelming fatigue all the time
- Restless legs syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Headaches, migraines, dizziness
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Impaired concentration and blurred vision
- Poor memory
- Muscle pain and muscle cramps
- Skin rashes and disorders
Treatment solutions for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia has taken the world by surprise. The syndrome is very challenging to diagnose and almost impossible to treat. Proper diagnosis of the disease and the underlying cause can take up to 5 years or more. Many of the fibro patients have reported being written off as depressed, exhausted, lethargic or mentally ill patients before being properly diagnosed.
Ongoing medical research is trying to analyze all the possible causes of fibromyalgia and determining the best pain management plan for the despairing fibro patients.
Although medication should not be taken without the recommendation of a doctor, there are certain pain relievers available for all fibro challenged people. These are:
- Antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and SNRIs such as duloxetine have known to ease the fibro pain and reduce depression levels in a fibro patient. They also tend to reduce fatigue and improve sleep. These medicines work by boosting the neurotransmitters’ levels which curb the fibro symptoms.
- Painkillers: Mild to moderate fibromyalgia pain can be subsided with paracetamol. If paracetamol fails to work, try using a more potent painkiller such as codeine or tramadol. Doctors confirm that tramadol effectively reduces the fibro pain and allows a certain level of functionality in the life of the fibro sufferer.
- Anticonvulsants: These include pregabalin which is usually prescribed for epilepsy patients. However, fibro patients have reported considerable improvement with it and have also witnessed a reduction in the fibro symptoms.
Alternative treatment options
These include making dietary changes, lifestyle changes and using relaxation techniques to treat fibromyalgia.
Dietary changes: This includes incorporating more proteins in your diet and decreasing fast foods, high fat dairy products and carbohydrates. Intake of water is essential in fibromyalgia and should be replaced by caffeine and alcohol. Elimination of the nightshade vegetables and increasing your folic acid intake is also imperative if you are preparing for a fight against fibromyalgia.
Supplements: Vitamin and mineral supplements can inject more energy in to your system and fill the gap created by fibro related appetite disorders. You can consult your physician regarding the option for the most optimal supplements choice.
Lifestyle changes: If you are a smoker, it is now time to practice abstinence. Fibromyalgia can halt your life and completely erode away your social and traditional commitments. It is best to make a few lifestyle changes than to suffer your whole life with a life wrecking disease.
Relaxation techniques: Most of the fibro sufferers deal with relentless fatigue and constant depression. Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, massage, acupuncture etc can help to relieve the fibro tension and can boost strength. Moreover, exercise is a healthy hobby to use as a distraction technique. Some of the fibro patients surveyed also testified that self support groups were a great help in dealing with stress and depression during fibromyalgia.