Many people haven’t heard and have no idea what the condition Fibromyalgia is. It is a disabling form of state that creates debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, travelling pain and joint stiffness. In addition , people affected by the disorder frequently experience a range of other symptoms that involve multiple body systems.
To accurately diagnose Fibromyalgia (FM), a doctor familiar with FM will perform a tender point test applying pressure with an approximate force of 4kg. If the patient has pain in 11 of these 18 tender points in combination with meeting other diagnosis criteria, then the doctor may diagnose FM.
The pain of FM has no boundaries. Doctors cannot “see” and may not understand the sources of a sufferer’s pain or fatigue. However , what they do observe is the anxiety and frustration with having to deal with these symptoms around-the-clock, which may wrongfully lead them to conclude that the symptoms are of a psychological nature. Also, the old school of thought regarding pain is that it is produced by tissue injury, and there is no obvious source of tissue injury in patients with FM. Regardless, if a doctor does not believe that symptoms are real, the sufferer owe it to himself to find another doctor who believes in him and will work with to help reduce the symptoms.
In my personal case as a sufferer, it was not until I landed on the surgery carpet of the fourth GP that I approached, when I finally found a friendly ear that took me seriously. This followed a recommendation from a fellow sufferer. So if a sufferer should in his travels come across such a GP please don’t hesitate to recommend to others.
Another important thing for Fibromyalgia sufferers is Emotional support, as the long-term nature of this condition tends to drag people down. Depression is common in sufferers and counselling and anti-depressant therapies can be used to overcome this.
Once FM has taken hold, you have to recognize it may be more difficult for you to pursue your present career. This of course will depend on the degree of incapacity you are experiencing. The very nature of this condition can make working extremely difficult as the smallest of exertion leaves you shattered.
Medicines pay a large part in Fibromyalgia as they can create the ability to function as normally as possible. To find the right medicine for you will take time. It’s important to think positively to be able to live with this condition and make your lifestyle as normal as possible.
What are Fibromyalgia Medications ?
Table 1FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of fibromyalgia
|Trade Name||Generic Name||Manufacturer||Therapeutic Drug Class||Drug Subclass||Year FDA Approved|
|Lyrica||Pregabalin||Pfizer Inc.||Antiepileptics||Gamma-aminobutyric acid agonist||2007|
|Cymbalta||Duloxetine HCL||Eli Lilly and Co.||Antidepressants||SNRI||2008|
|Savella||Milnacipran||Forest Labs/Cypress Bioscience, Inc.||Antidepressants||SNRI||2009|
Abbreviation: SNRI = serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
What are the treatments for fibromyalgia?
- Lifestyle changes
- Getting enough sleep
- Getting regular physical activity. If you have not already been active, start slowly and gradually increase how much activity you get. You may want to see a physical therapist, who can help you create a plan that is right for you.
- Learning how to manage stress
- Eating a healthy diet
- Learning to pace yourself. If you do too much, it can make your symptoms worse. So you need to learn to balance being active with your need for rest.
- Talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can help you learn strategies to deal with pain, stress, and negative thoughts. If you also have depression along with your fibromyalgia, talk therapy can help with that too.
- Complementary therapies have helped some people with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. But researchers need to do more studies to show which ones are effective. You could consider trying them, but you should check with your health care provider first. These therapies include
- Massage therapy
- Movement therapies
- Chiropractic therapy