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FIBROMYALGIA … WHAT’S THAT ?

Fibromyalgia Syndrome, pronounced “fie-bro-my-al-jia” sind-drom”, is a chronic pain condition which has been around for many years. The word can be broken down into, “fibro” (connective tissue fibers) “my”(muscle) “al”(pain) and “gia”(condition of).  The American Medical Association recognized FMS as a major cause of disability and true illness in 1987.  The average sufferer spends thousands of dollars on medical tests and spends up to five years searching for a diagnosis. FMS can have flare-ups and times of remission, so many sufferers “look fine”. But during a flare-up, they suffer from widespread musculoskeletal pain or aching, non-restorative sleep, fatigue, stiffness, skin hypersensitivity, and multiple tender point pain.  In addition, this syndrome (which means a group of symptoms), can include headaches, sinus conditions, vertigo, irritable bowel/bladder and digestive problems, Reynaud’s, short-term memory impairment, vision changes, heart-attack like pain, muscle twitching, numbness, tingling, burning sensations, weakness, exercise intolerance, cold and heat sensitivity, and the list goes on. There are no blood tests for FMS but a Rheumatologist can diagnose FMS by looking for 11-18 tender points located in four quadrants of the body. It has been called the “Irritable Everything” illness.  What can trigger FMS? It is believed that biochemical changes can activate FMS caused by trauma, surgery, Lyme Disease, viral infections, Stage four sleep deprivation, childbirth, accidents causing injury, and many other events as reported by sufferers. It may be hereditary. FMS can co-exist with other Conditions such as Chronic Fatigue, MS, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Lupus, Thyroid problems, Myofascial Pain, Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis, Hypoglycemia, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, and Others. To put it simply, FMS can cause pain innspecific areas of the body or from head to toe. It can affect many different body systems. There are treatments for FMS from Physical Therapy, mild exercise, rest medications, vitamins, and alternative treatments for pain relief.  This can include Chiropractic care, bio-feedback and meditation techniques. Some people are mildly affected by this illness while others can be totally disabled. At times hospitalization is needed to help with the severe pain and associated depression and medication side-effects of this chronic (recurrent) condition. Now that you have an idea of what FMS is, hopefully you will have a better understanding of this condition and of the sufferer. This illness is seen world-wide and does not discriminate by age, sex or race. How can you help a friend or relative with FMS? Encourage them, offer help, listen, educate yourself about the persons new lifestyle changes, and just lend a shoulder to lean on. Good jokes help out a lot and “gentle” hugs and hand-shakes are always appreciated. FMS sufferers or maybe better called “survivors”, are always hoping for better medical treatments, more research, and of course, a cure. Just by learning what the word Fibromyalgia means, is a help to us all.  This actually is a brief description of FMS. There are many books and On-line information you can read if you would like to become more informed. THANK-YOU for hanging in there to read this.  Now One more person knows what Fibromyalgia means.

Pass the word on…           (c) Candy  Morris

KNOWLEDGE BRINGS HOPE !!

Filed under fibromyalgia FIBROMYALGIA . . . WHAT'S THAT ? explanation symptoms Knowledge brings hope