Fibromyalgia is a common and lifelong condition that affects millions of people across the globe. It is characterized by general soreness and stiffness of muscles, which may impact the quality of life. The pain is experienced on tender points at specific locations such as the neck, shoulders, arms, legs, hips and back. The condition, in fact, is hard to detect as it does not show up in diagnostic tests. The diagnosis is done on the basis of the symptoms of the condition. Hence, it becomes important to know all about the disease so that you can seek medical attention before it worsens. Here are 10 frequently asked questions about fibromyalgia.
Q 1. Is fibromyalgia a genetic condition?
The exact cause of the condition is still to be identified yet some scientific studies suggest that genetics may be responsible. However, certain other factors such as stress, environmental triggers, repetitive injuries and neuroendocrine abnormalities may also be the causes of the disease.
Q 2. Are there any diagnostic tests for fibromyalgia?
There are no specific diagnostic tests to detect fibromyalgia though the doctor may suggests tests such as complete blood count, thyroid function tests and erythrocyte sedimentation to rule out the disease. The diagnostic criteria that they use are the presence of indicative symptoms such as fatigue and lack of concentration.
Q 3. Is there a link between depression and fibromyalgia?
Research indicates that there may be a link between depression and fibromyalgia. Both have some common risk factors and may even be addressed with similar treatment. Fibromyalgia patients are more likely to come across depression and mental illnesses as compared to normal people.
Q 4. Is there a link between sleep disorders and fibromyalgia?
Many of the patients suffering from the condition encounter sleep-related issues because the constant pain causes restlessness and sleep disturbances. The cycle turns vicious as the pain causes sleep problems and lack of proper sleep aggravates the pain. The pain symptoms generally subside in patients as they get adequate sleep. Studies indicate that there could be a link between fibromyalgia and sleep disorders, though it has not been established yet.
Q 5. Is fibromyalgia exclusively a women’s disease?
Even though a majority of patients diagnosed with the condition are females, it cannot be recognized as an exclusively women’s disease. It may also affect men and even young children and most people experience it during adulthood. But in some cases, it may affect patients during childhood or teenage years.
Q 6. Are there any effective medicines for fibromyalgia-induced pain?
Fibromyalgia treatment is aimed to address the pain and fatigue as well as resolve the related problems such as depression and sleep disorders. A variety of medicines can be used for the treatment of the condition, depending on the severity and other patient-specific factors. Pregabalin (Lyrica) is one of the widely recommended prescription drugs for the condition. Patients can economize the purchase of the medication by buying Lyrica manufacturer coupon from one of the trusted online sites.
Q 7. Are there other therapeutic options for the disease?
Besides following a regular treatment plan with the right medications, the patients can explore several natural remedies as therapeutic options for the conditions. These remedies are focused on treating the tender points that are afflicted by pain. Curcumin-based natural supplements (such as turmeric) have been shown to be effective for resolving the pain. Massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy, mild exercises, yoga and relaxing techniques can also support the treatment plan.
Q 8. Are there any nutritional deficiencies that contribute to the condition?
Though fibromyalgia is not directly caused by any nutritional deficiencies, these may contribute to certain symptoms of the condition. One of these is magnesium deficiency, which is related to symptoms such as fatigue, pain and brain fogging. This is the reason that doctors order comprehensive tests to verify the presence of such deficiencies in the patients presenting with symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Q 9. Are there any food triggers that flare up fibromyalgia-induced pain?
The patient needs to be vigilant about the foods and ingredients that induce pain and avoid them to trigger future attacks. Some of the foods that should be avoided to control flare-ups include caffeine, artificial sweeteners, food additives, dairy products and simple carbohydrates (such as white bread, sugar, sodas, fruit juices and candies).
Q 10. Are there any lifestyle changes that can help the patients?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease and there is no magic cure for it. However, certain lifestyle changes can help the patient to ease the severity of the symptoms and improve the quality of life. These include avoiding the trigger foods and ingredients and making low-impact exercises a part of the daily routine. Getting ample sleep and managing stress are important too.
These questions give all the answers that a patient may need to address fibromyalgia in a more effective manner and experience lasting relief from its symptoms.