What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a disease in which an individual has body wide pain in the muscles, fascia, and other soft tissues. Additional symptoms can include temporal mandibular disorder, irritable bowel disorder, sleep disorders, headaches, and depression/anxiety, etc.
If you have ever heard about this disease then all you will hear are curses. This is a disease that has caused distress to millions of patients on earth who suffer from it. Although there is new research into this insidious disease, the public still has unanswered questions and confusing facts. For instance, the disease was labeled as fibrositis, and later rheumatism, until the American College of Rheumatology agreed in 1990 to diagnostic criteria.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The history of this disease is not pleasing either. This is a disease that only received the attention recently although it is an old disease. This meant that the cause had to be researched. Historically, fibromyalgia has been considered as either being a musculoskeletal or neuropsychiatric condition.
Possible causes include physical or emotional trauma, infection/virus, co-morbid conditions that eventually trigger fibromyalgia, cervical stenosis, abnormal pain response, genetic predisposition. The need for much more research involving what this disease is overwhelming, but must be accomplished over time. Why are women attacked by this disease at levels approaching 9/1 compared to men? Why are some children attacked by fibromyalgia? What role if any does our childhood play in later development of fibromyalgia? These and so many more questions are yet to be answered by our government, and the medical community.
The History of Fibromyalgia
The early names for this disease included neurasthenia, rheumatism, psychogenic and rheumatism among others. The term first came into existence and brought forth by Mohammed Yunis. This was a synonym for fibrositis, and was first used in 1981.
An article in 1987 used the term "Fibromyalgia Syndrome." This marked the beginning of the huge controversy that’s even being talked about up to this day and the public asking whether the disease is a real disease.
Statements like those made in the 2009 article and others do nothing but set back progress by those who are truly searching for a cure, and the true cause behind fibromyalgia. Thankfully the numbers are finally on our side when it comes to medical professionals who see fibromyalgia as a very real disease with highly abnormal mental/physical symptoms that often do not show up on many tests.
New research, and new tests/clinical trials are finally showing many links between this disease and the nervous system, the brain, and how other areas of the body are affected when abnormalities in these areas of the body are askew. In fact through research done on autopsies of those who have passed with severe fibromyalgia, researchers have now proven that indeed the brains of those with the disease show dramatic differences from a normal brain. One frightening find through this research has shown that long-term suffering by those with the disease have a dramatic loss of grey matter in the brain. Many suggest this is the cause for fibro-fog, (short and long-term memory loss.) Additional research though nowhere near completion is also pointing to an increase in dementia for patients with the disease, and possible links to Alzheimer's disease.
Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia treatments mostly consist of painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. However, apart from intense pain, many patients with this disease complain about having trouble sleeping and feel a pronounced state of fatigue throughout the whole body. Therefore, in some particular cases, treatments of the disease may include sedatives in order to correct the patients' sleeping problems.
As a consequence of the fact that modern medicine is unable to trace the actual causes of the disorder, the symptoms of the disease can only be corrected by prescribing a certain treatment for each individual symptom. Therefore, the majority of treatments consist of many types of medicines that target different aspects of the disorder.
Other physical symptoms of the disease are: migraines, lack of concentration, body weakness, accelerated heart rate, decrease of the short-term memory, vomiting and diarrhea , nausea, abdominal pain and bloating. If these symptoms begin to show, the treatment includes medicines appropriate for each particular problem. This disease can even cause depression and in this case the treatment will include anti-depressives.