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 life.ack 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
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.