MENU

Fibromyalgia and the DIFFICULTIES IN DIAGNOSING AND TREATING

Anatoli Silajev Comments 0 21st December 2011
THE DIFFICULTIES IN DIAGNOSING AND TREATING FIBROMYALGIA disease

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease characterised by muscle pain, fatigue, stiffness and tenderness of the muscles, tendons and joints. Formerly known as fibrositis, fibromyalgia makes the pain threshold extremely low.

Those suffering from the disorder experience increased sensitivity to numerous sensory stimuli that may not be painful to others. Their pain occurs in what is known as “tender points”. These spots are generally at the back of the head and front of the neck. They are also on the shoulders, hips and knees, the sides of the breastbone and around the elbows.

Effect

But while the first result of fibromyalgia is a pain, it can also produce other symptoms:

  • tiredness after awakening,
  • migraine and tension headaches,
  • and disturbances in bowel functioning.

The causes of fibromyalgia are unclear. We know that many allergens and synthesised chemicals can have adverse effects on the humans endocrine system regularly. And, some researchers believe that increased liver toxicity related to such exposure may cause fibromyalgia. So, it develops because a dysfunctional liver will not adequately remove fat-soluble substances from the body. Those with such a condition are more susceptible to the accumulation of chemicals in their fatty tissue. As a result, it may lead to other ailments.


Functioning fibromyalgia

Other possible precipitating factors are sleep disorders, especially when considering that fibromyalgia has lower amounts of the brain nerve chemical serotonin. And improper functioning of their autonomic nervous system. Which is essential to controlling bodily processes such as digestion and stress reaction, and metabolism. Which includes the operation of hormones and neurotransmitters.

Approximately 80 to 90 per cent of the sufferers are women. But fibromyalgia can also develop in older women and older men. Statistics indicate that 30 per cents of those suffering from the disease lupus also have fibromyalgia, as do between 10 and 15 per cent of those with osteoarthritis. Fibromyalgia is even more prevalent among those who suffer from spinal and rheumatoid arthritis.

Like blood tests or X-rays do not detect fibromyalgia, and biopsies of muscles tissue from the affected areas have also not proven to be useful. Information gathered from physical examination, and a careful study of the patient’s history creates a basis for diagnosing the disease. Diagnosis also involves eliminating other disorders as a cause of the pain, including hypothyroidism, polymyositis, Paget’s disease, cancer and such infectious diseases as AIDS, hepatitis and Epstein Barr virus. Significantly, fibromyalgia commonly results in pain in 11 out of 18 classic tender points. Another tell-tale indication of the disease is the absence of swelling or inflammation accompanying the pain.

Treatment

The treatment of fibromyalgia should include input from the family doctor and a general internist, and other health care providers. It is equally important for patients to reduce their stress levels. Specific medications used in the treatment of the disease include analgesics to reduce pain and stiffness. Such Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as aspirin, Ibuprofen and naproxen; muscle relaxants; anti-seizure medication. Tricyclic antidepressants, which can treat depression often associated with fibromyalgia. The Food and Drug Administration approved Pregabalin, the first drug for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Alternative medical treatments have also been effective in dealing with the disease, including acupuncture and biofeedback.

Colon cleansing or colonic irrigation may be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia. But no matter what it is. Any treatment should ideally use a “team” approach involving not only medical experts. But also community hospital support groups and local chapters of the Arthritis Foundation.