Fibromyalgia is a long-term (chronic) condition that can cause widespread pain and tenderness over much of the body. It’s quite common – up to 1 person in every 25 may be affected, so that means everyone you talk to will have a friend or relative who has fibromyalgia !
|1981||The first scientific study confirmed that symptoms and tender points could be found in the body.|
|1990||The American College of Rheumatology wrote the first set of guidelines to help diagnose fibromyalgia.|
|2005||The first guidelines for treating fibromyalgia pain were published by the American Pain Society.|
|2007||The first prescription medication was FDA-approved to manage fibromyalgia.|
In 1880, American neurologist George William Beard coined the terms neurasthenia and myelasthenia to describe widespread pain along with fatigue and psychological disturbance. He believed the condition was caused by stress.
Fibrositis, coined in 1904 by British neurologist Sir William Gowers, is the one that stuck. The symptoms Gowers mentioned will look familiar to those with fibromyalgia:
- spontaneous pain
- sensitivity to pressure
- sleep disturbances
- sensitivity to cold
Symptoms of fibromyalgia ( can range from mild to severe )
- Inability to concentrate (called “fibro fog”)
- Restless legs syndrome
- feeling too hot or too cold – this is because you’re not able to regulate your body temperature properly.
- Fibromyalgia can affect your sleep. You may often wake up tired, even when you’ve had plenty of sleep.
- The pain could feel like:
- an ache
- a burning sensation
- a sharp, stabbing pain
In some cases, having the condition can lead to depression. This is because fibromyalgia can be difficult to deal with, and low levels of certain hormones associated with the condition can make you prone to developing depression.
- constantly feeling low
- feeling hopeless and helpless
- losing interest in the things you usually enjoy
Fibrositis continued to gain acceptance, even though doctors couldn’t agree on exactly what it was. In 1949, a chapter on the condition appeared in a well-regarded rheumatology text book called Arthritis and Allied Conditions. It read, “[T]here can no longer be any doubt concerning the existence of such a condition.” It mentioned several possible causes, including:
- traumatic or occupational
- weather factors
- psychological disturbance
Overlapping conditions include:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)
- Multiple chemical sensitivity
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Restless legs syndrome
- Costochondritis (chest pain)
Overlapping conditions are different in each case of fibromyalgia but they are very important to keep a record of because they may give a clue as to the cause of the individuals condition, every cause is different for each individual and that’s why doctors approaches often fail because they aren’t looking at the individual as a unique person. They just treat illnesses with the same textbook drugs and therapies which can be very damaging to the individuals lack of vitamin B12 can wreak havoc in your body and make your FM symptoms worse. If you think you may have low vitamin B12 levels, be sure to ask your doctor to order a blood test to check your vitamin levels.
A lack of vitamin B12 can wreak havoc in your body and make your FM symptoms worse. If you think you may have low vitamin B12 levels, be sure to ask your doctor to order a blood test to check your vitamin levels.
In 1997, researchers at Sweden’s Goteborg University’s Institute of Clinical Neuroscience surveyed 12 women who suffered from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. All the women had higher than normal levels of a substance called homocysteine in their cerebrospinal fluid. They also suffered from low B12 levels. The Swedish researchers found a correlation between B12 deficiency and the high homocysteine levels.
Michelle Morales who blogs at http://livingextra-ordinary.com ( pictured below) We chatted about the true reality of living with fibromyalgia. Please visit Michelle’s blog and show support !
“My symptoms are morning stiffness, joint pain, muscle spasms, nerve pain (shocking, itchy, creepy crawlies, numbness in certain areas) insomnia, anxiety, depression, extreme fatigue, TMJ and sometimes when I’m in a flare I feel as if my entire body is vibrating. That’s the only way I can explain it. I feel the vibration in my eyes and I can even hear the humming in my ears. I have tired every medication there is for nerve pain and fibromyalgia. The only one that has helped my pain and symptom was, Lyrica. I know many people hate it and claim it’s poison. But, it has reduced my nerve pain dramatically. I take Tramadol for pain, muscle relaxers as needed to relax my muscles and turmeric daily to control my inflammation. I also do an infusion treatment called Meyers Cocktail in my Rheumatologist office every 4 weeks. It’s a mixture of different vitamins, b12, magnesium, calcium, etc. This treatment has helped with my morning stiffness, fatigue, joint pain, swelling and overall pain. Along with fibromyalgia I have server back issues, Herniations, building disc and ruptured disc. So, I am in the process of treatments for that. My back issues tend to flare up my fibro a lot. I’m trying to find my balance between work, home, kids & social time with adults (which I don’t have often)”
“My advise to a fellow suffer is don’t give up. Keep trying different treatments and find what works for your body. Everyone is different and respond differently to medication, herbs & infusions treatments. Keep searching for the right doctors who are willing to listen and help you. Find what makes you happy and really focus on that, keep strong and remember that you are loved. This is going to be a bumpy ride but in the end, you can say you lived through it all. I’ve seen some really dark times and found myself in a place that I never want to be at again. I’ve realized that I will always be in pain and it’s never going to completely go away. I’ve accepted my illness and limitations and learned to adjust my life and live with them. I like to say, “I’m riding the waves of life as they come. Don’t fight against the current just ride through the current”. Once you’ve reach this place of content, you will feel a little lighter and learn to ride through your flares. Everyday is a learning curve.”
fibromyalgia Action UK is a charity that offers information and support to people with fibromyalgia. If you have any questions about fibromyalgia, call the charity’s helpline on 0300 999 3333.