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Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm One In A Million

Over 12 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, and I'm one of them. Research shows that women are 10 times more likely to develop this condition than men are, and women between the ages of 25 to 60 have the highest risk of developing fibromyalgia.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. 
WebMD defines it as: "the most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis. Still, it is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Its characteristics include widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue as well as other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can lead to depression and social isolation."  Source: http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/what-is-fibromyalgia
There is no fibromyalgia cure, and there is no treatment that will address all of the fibromyalgia symptoms. My personal treatment plan includes medications, massage, physical therapy, acupressure and acupuncture.


What Are The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia causes you to ache all over. You may have symptoms of crippling fatigue even on arising regardless of how much you have already slept. Specific tender points on the body are painful to touch. You may experience swelling, disturbances in deep-level or restful sleep, mood disturbances or depression.Your muscles may feel like they have been overworked or pulled. They'll feel that way even without exercise or another cause. Sometimes, your muscles twitch, burn, spasm or have deep stabbing pain. Some patients with fibromyalgia have pain and achiness around the joints in their neck, shoulders, back, and hips. This makes it difficult for them to sleep or exercise. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia can include:



  • Widespread pain
  • Anxiety
  • Concentration and memory problems (known as "fibro fog")
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Morning stiffness
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Sleep problems
  • Numbness, and tingling in hands, arms, feet, and legs
  • Tender points
  • Urinary symptoms, such as pain or frequency


  • What Causes Fibromyalgia?

    It is not clear what causes Fibromyalgia. Researchers are constantly looking at various explanations for the occurrence of fibromyalgia. Some are exploring hormonal disturbances and chemical imbalances that affect nerve signaling. Other experts believe fibromyalgia with its deep muscle pain is linked to stress, illness, or trauma. Still others think there is a hereditary cause or say there is no explanation at all. But while there is no clear consensus about what causes fibromyalgia, most researchers believe fibromyalgia results not from a single event but from a combination of many physical and emotional stresses. It is also thought to be linked to the brain and spine responses to pain triggers.

    Fibromyalgia Triggers

    Common triggers that make symptoms worse include:
    • Cold or humid weather
    • Too much or too little physical activity
    • Stress
    • Poor sleep
    Please know that I am not a medical professional and that I am sharing this information for the purpose of helping others know more about this condition. You may find more information on the following links which are the sources I used:

    http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/what-is-fibromyalgia

    http://www.maycoclinic.com/health/fibromyalgia/DS00079

    http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia_ff.asp

    In future posts I will be sharing more of my personal journey. It is my prayer that we can  develop friendships, encourage each other, pray for each other and to build a support network as we share our challenges and successes. 

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    Be Blessed! :)