Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic condition that causes pain in the muscles and bones. Fibromyalgia is notoriously hard to diagnose given the fact that there appears to be no particular catalyst to mark its onset and the symptoms accumulate gradually over a period of time. Fibromyalgia affects around 2-8% of the American population with 90% of them being young to middle-aged women.
Bright Side brings to you a definitive guide to fibromyalgia, showing you how you can diagnose and proactively manage the pain associated with it.
What causes it?
While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown several hypotheses have been postulated. The probable causes include:
Psychological factors: Studies suggest that stress, depression, and trauma may be some of the important precipitating factors in the development of fibromyalgia.
There is no test that can fully diagnose fibromyalgia and there is an ongoing debate in the scientific and the medical community as to whether an objective diagnosis is actually possible. Currently, a diagnosis is possible only after all other explanations have been exhausted and this usually takes years to figure out. And fibromyalgia may not be diagnosed in up to 75% of affected people. That brings us to the questions: how do we diagnose it and what are its key symptoms?
How to get diagnosed?
If you observe some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, it’s best to visit a doctor immediately. Even with the help of a doctor, it can take years to come to the conclusion that fibromyalgia is the culprit for your chronic pain, so the earlier you see a doctor the better it is.
Steps to get diagnosed:
How to treat?
Coping with fibromyalgia
Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and knowing that you have to now live with chronic pain can have emotionally devastating effects. To best cope with this aspect you can find a support group. One such group is National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA).
Do you know someone who has been suffering from chronic pain for a very long time and all diagnoses have failed to find the cause? It might be a case of fibromyalgia. With over 75% of people affected never being diagnosed mostly due to not knowing about the disease, spreading the word could bring relief to a lot of people. So what are you waiting for? Share this article and spread awareness.
Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova for BrightSide.me