What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome? Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic disease that makes the sufferer experience pain throughout the body. Fibromyalgia can be experienced by anyone, including children. But most of the sufferers are aged between 30 to 50 years. In addition, women have a higher risk for this disease compared with men.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
The main symptom of fibromyalgia is the pain that spreads throughout the body. This pain can be a burning sensation, such as a piercing, or dull pain that can continue to be felt for at least 12 weeks.
The indications will be continuous with the severity of the possible fluctuations. Sometimes it can also be accompanied by other symptoms that include:
- The body is very sensitive to pain.
- Rigid muscle.
- Difficulty sleeping and exhausted. The pain caused by fibromyalgia will cause the sufferer to sleep so it will trigger fatigue.
- Cognitive impairment, such as difficulty concentrating or remembering something.
- Stomach cramps.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Menstruation is accompanied by severe pain.
- Overheated or cold. This symptom occurs because the patient is unable to regulate body temperature.
The severity of fibromyalgia symptoms is generally different in each patient. This difference can be triggered by the level of stress experienced by the patient, the number of activities performed by the patient, as well as changes in the weather.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
The cause behind fibromyalgia is not known for certain, but experts suspect there are a number of factors that can trigger this condition. The trigger factors are:
- Age. This condition is generally experienced by people aged 30-50 years.
- Gender. Women have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia than men.
- Abnormal levels of compounds in the central nervous system. These changes can cause central nervous system reactions that are more sensitive to pain signals.
- Hereditary factors. A person’s risk of developing fibromyalgia may increase if you have a family member suffering from the same condition.
- Physical or emotional trauma, such as injury, surgery, viral infection, or traumatic events.
- Chemical compounds in the brain are not balanced, such as serotonin or dopamine.
- Sleep disturbance. Patients with insomnia have the potential to have a higher sensitivity to pain.
- Diseases associated with joints, muscles, and bones. For example, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis.
Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia includes a disease that is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms tend to be similar to other diseases. Special diagnostic procedures for this disease also have not been found.
The doctor will generally ask for symptoms experienced by the patient before checking the patient’s health condition. Some of the commonly used criteria for diagnosis include:
- Patients experience the same symptom severity, at least for 12 weeks.
- No other cause found.
- Patients experience pain, at least in 4 to 6 parts of the body.
The doctor will then recommend a number of checks that may remove the possibility of other illnesses suffered by the patient before ensuring diagnosis, such as blood and X-ray examination.
Handling of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia includes chronic conditions that can not be cured. The purpose of treatment is to relieve symptoms so as not to impede the daily life of the sufferer.
Handling of fibromyalgia is different for each patient, but generally includes:
- The use of drugs, such as painkillers (paracetamol or tramadol), antidepressants (such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine, paroxetine, venlafaxine, and duloxetine), and anticonvulsants (gabapentin). If needed, doctors can also provide muscle relaxant drugs, sedatives, or sleeping pills to improve sleep quality of patients.
- Psychological therapy, for example cognitive behavioral therapy. Counselors can help people find strategies to deal with stress triggered or trigger this condition.
- Physical therapy to relieve pain, such as relaxation techniques as well as light exercise or swimming in warm water.