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Fibromyalgia: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Around 5 million people from the U.S. suffer from Fibromyalgia.

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Fibromyalgia: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
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According to PubMed Central, around 5 million adults above the age of 18 years in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia. It is a common cause of musculoskeletal pain and females have a higher risk of suffering from the problem than men.

A person can be under the risk of suffering from fibromyalgia if he has undergone a serious injury, has rheumatoid arthritis, or has other auto-immune diseases like lupus. Genetic factors also increase the chance of a person suffering from fibromyalgia. The condition can also cause fatigue, sleep issues, memory issues, and mood swings.

Let's know the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of fibromyalgia in detail over here.

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Fibromyalgia: Signs & Symptoms

According to MedicalNewsToday, here are a common signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia:

  • Widespread pain

  • Joint and muscle stiffness 

  • Headaches

  • Irregular sleep patterns

  • Tingling Feeling of numbness in hands and legs

  • Restless leg syndrome

  • Sensitivity to cold or heat

  • Lack of concentration

  • Brain fog

  • Fatigue

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Blurred vision

  • Nausea

  • Pelvic and urinary issues

  • Weight gain

  • Dizziness

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • skin diseases

  • Mental health issues

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Breathing problems

Fibromyalgia: Causes

According to doctors of Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown and the main cause is said to be with the nervous system when the central nervous system has an issue with dealing with pain in the body. Few causes or risk factors include:

  • Physical or mental stress after a traumatic injury

  • Repetitive injuries

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis or other autoimmune conditions

  • Central Nervous System problems

  • Genetic factors

  • Fibromyalgia may also be hereditary. Females who have a close relative with fibromyalgia have a higher risk of the condition.

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Fibromyalgia: Diagnosis

It is difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia because the symptoms are similar to several other conditions like hypothyroidism, autoimmune disorders, and Lyme disease. There is no specific test for fibromyalgia thus doctors have to rule out other conditions before confirming fibromyalgia.

According to the American College of Rheumatology, there are three criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia:

  • pain, fatigue, sleep problems, or cognitive problems

  • symptoms present for at least 3 months

  • No other health condition with similar symptoms

Fibromyalgia: Treatment 

According to the doctors of Cleveland Clinic, the management of fibromyalgia can be difficult for a person thus a person needs the help of a rheumatologist to design a treatment program to help manage the condition. The doctor may recommend a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies.

As fibromyalgia is a syndrome, different patient suffers from different types of problems thus the treatment may also differ. Treatment may include some or all of the following:

  • A low-impact exercise

  • Acupuncture

  • Chiropractic

  • Massage

  • Physical therapy

  • Stress management

  • Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

  • Medications like antidepressants, muscle relaxers, and nerve pain medication

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