Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes widespread pain and fatigue. This condition can also lead to cognitive difficulties, such as brain fog. It is often difficult to diagnose because its symptoms vary from person to person and can mimic other conditions.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
- The cause is unknown, but it is thought to be related to changes in how the central nervous system processes pain. This theory is supported by the fact that people with fibromyalgia often have changes in their central nervous system, such as increased sensitivity to pain.
- The condition may have a genetic component, as it tends to run in families.
- Another theory is that fibromyalgia is caused by emotional or physical trauma. This theory is supported by the fact that many people with fibromyalgia have a history of trauma, such as abuse or car accidents.
- Widespread pain: This is one the most common symptom. The pain is often described as achy and throbbing. It may be worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
- Fatigue: People often feel tired and may have difficulty sleeping.
- Cognitive difficulties: Also known as “fibro fog,” cognitive difficulties can include problems with memory, concentration, and multitasking.
- Mood changes: People with fibromyalgia may experience depression, anxiety, and irritability.
How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?
Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose since its symptoms can mimic other conditions. To diagnose fibromyalgia, your doctor will likely ask about your medical history and symptoms. They may also order blood tests and imaging tests to rule out other conditions.
There are a number of factors that may increase your risk of developing fibromyalgia, including:
- Family history: If you have a family member with fibromyalgia, you may be more likely to develop the condition.
- Age: It can occur at any age, but it is most common in middle-aged women.
- Other conditions: People with other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, are at increased risk of developing fibromyalgia.
There is no specific test for fibromyalgia, so the diagnosis is usually based on symptoms. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam. They may also order blood tests and imaging studies to rule out other conditions.
While there is no cure, there are treatments that can help to manage the symptoms. Treatment options may include:
Several medications can be used to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can help relieve pain. Antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, can help relieve pain and fatigue. Anti-seizure drugs, such as gabapentin, can also help relieve pain.
Making lifestyle changes can also help manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Getting regular exercise, managing stress, and getting enough sleep can help improve symptoms.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can help people with fibromyalgia manage their symptoms. CBT can help people identify and change negative thought patterns and behavior patterns that contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms.
Stress management techniques, such as relaxation therapy, may help to reduce stress and improve symptoms.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, please contact us at Southeast Pain & Spine Care for an appointment. We can provide you with the care and treatment you need to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Fill out the form below to get started.