Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Fibromyalgia is a disease that involves pain in the muscles and the fibrous connective tissues. People with this syndrome often experience long-lasting widespread pain in pressure points found in joints, tendons, muscles and other soft tissues.
This is condition occurs in both men and women aged 30 to 50 years old although it has been found to be more common in women. People who suffer from fibromyalgia may have been experiencing bouts of headaches, depression, sleeplessness anxiety and fatigue. The actual cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but there are several theories that are being considered.
Genetic Predisposition is one of the probable causes of fibromyalgia. It has been said that there is a tendency for families to be affected by this condition although the mode of inheritance is not known.
There is also said to be a correlation between the level of certain neurotransmitters in the body and the occurrence of fibromyalgia. Among these neurotransmitters is dopamine. Abnormal levels of dopamine in the body leads to an increase in pain perception as well as decrease in analgesia. Another would be serotonin. Abnormal serotonin metabolism is said to be the culprit, affecting the regulation of a persons moods, concentration, sleep patterns and pain.
Stress is also among the precipitating factor of fibromyalgia. Studies show that there is a correlation between the stress level of an individual and fibromyalgia. Stress-related conditions include post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression and chronic fatigue.
Diagnosis of fibromyalgia has been a source of controversies. There is no one test to conform this diagnosis. There has been much ado about the definitive tests because when an individual undergoes laboratory examination for fibromyalgia, the results usually come out normal. In cases wherein there are abnormalities found in the blood tests, these are usually found to be similar to the test results that can be found in patients with arthritis and osteoarthritis.
To try and ease this problem, a classification system has been created to try and identify fibromyalgia for research purposes. It defined fibromyalgia as the presence of widespread pain occurring for at least three months. The patient should also experience pain while pressure is applied to 11 out of 18 pressure points identified in the body.
Treatment for fibromyalgia is symptomatic. There is no one cure for it. Among the medications used in treating fibromyalgia include drugs like antidepressants, dopamine agonists, anti-seizure medications and muscle relaxants to name a few. Some have resorted to behavioural therapies. Still there are patients with fibromyalgia who exercise to ease the pain. Among the more popular forms of exercise is tai chi and stretching. Physical therapy may also work for some cases.
The cost of living with fibromyalgia can be expensive. Although it is a not a degenerative disease nor is it fatal, the primary symptoms of fibromyalgia like pain, seldom dissipate. The pain remains and usually do not improve at all. It is quite a surprise that this disease are often diagnosed by means of exclusion. When the signs, symptoms and laboratory work in association with the clinical picture do not coincide with arthritis, that is the only time that fibromyalgia is considered.

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