Fibromyalgia

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia syndrome affect millions of people worldwide. The causes of fibromyalgia are somewhat mysterious, but the symptoms are not. The chronic pain felt in the muscles and soft tissue are unmistakable. Living with fibromyalgia doesn’t have to be a nightmare, however. Various treatments exist that make it easier to cope.

Symptom Recognition

Chronic muscle pain, tightening of the muscles, and muscle spasms are common. Decreased energy and an overall feeling of fatigue are experienced by most who are afflicted with this syndrome.

Some people have trouble concentrating or maintaining focus. Irritability, loss of sleep, and abdominal pain usually accompany insomnia or energy loss. Exercise can become more difficult, and most individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia experience a loss of stamina.

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

Diagnosing this syndrome can be difficult because the outward signs are similar to many other medical conditions. No simple test exists that rules out other medical complications. Instead, the physician must conduct a series of tests that narrows the possibilities.

A blood test will reveal the presence of immune system markers. This helps determine whether the patient is afflicted with fibromyalgia instead of rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that exhibits similar symptoms. Exactly how the pain in certain muscles feels is also important, so the diagnosis always includes plenty of questions about the type of pain experienced by the patient.

Treatment Options

The chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia can be treated with prescription medications, but these only mask the discomfort. They are not medications that actually treat the condition. The overall treatment program is multifaceted and includes medications along with an exercise program and stress reduction therapy.

Some studies suggest that a change of diet can help ease the pain and feelings of discomfort. Although no medical evidence exists that directly links diet to the causes of fibromyalgia, reports on how the patient feels after changing his or her eating habits is considered vitally important. Some individuals find that certain foods make them feel uncomfortable, while other foods help improve mood, making it easier to live with the pain.

Alternative Treatments

Some people feel more comfortable using over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements. Research suggests that natural pain relievers that help control the amount of serotonin produced can actually decrease pain levels. Serotonin is a chemical that affect how the brain interprets pain from the nervous system.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, formed by legislation in Congress, is dedicated to helping individuals understand how alternative treatments work. It is a good resource for the latest information regarding natural medicines and how effective they are in treating conditions such as fibromyalgia.

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