Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic pain throughout the body.
One of the key symptoms of is that specific points on the patient’s body might be especially tender to touch:
– areas around either side of the collarbone
– upper part of the chest
– insides of the elbows
– areas going inward beside the knees
– back of the neck
– middle of the shoulders
– upper back
– upper and middle portions of the buttocks
When these locations are pressed, a patient with fibromyalgia will experience pain, while a healthy person might just feel pressure.
Fibromyalgia pain may vary in intensity and frequency, but it is generally described as a chronic, shooting muscular pain.
Other common symptoms include a disrupted sleep pattern or insomnia, excessive fatigue that renders one incapable of engaging in daily activities, joint and muscle stiffness that persists all day, leg pain, irritable bowel syndrome,headaches/migraines, memory/concentration issues,weakness, night sweats, chest pain, tingling in the hands and feet.
10 Possible Causes & Risk Factors of Fibromyalgia that You May Not Know:
Genetics play a major role in the incidence and development of fibromyalgia in patients. This claim is undisputed and backed by evidence.
First-degree relatives of people with fibromyalgia were found to be 8.5 times more susceptible to fibromyalgia than people whose relatives did not have the disorder, according to a 2004 study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology.
Relatives of fibromyalgia patients are also likely to have more tender points in the event that they develop the disorder, and families with a history of fibromyalgia may share other associated neurological symptoms, such as mood disorders and increased sensitivity to pain, the study further notes.
Fibromyalgia occurs more commonly in women than men, according to a 2008 study published in Society for Women’s Health Research.
As many as 80 to 90 percent of all diagnosed fibromyalgia patients are females, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
This is not to say that men do not get fibromyalgia. They certainly do, however, their symptoms are less severe and occur less frequently than in women.
The exact science behind this occurrence is unknown, however gender has been found to play a major role in the development of the disorder. Women with a family history of fibromyalgia become even more vulnerable to it.
3. Sleep Disturbances
Many people with fibromyalgia report trouble sleeping or even insomnia.
Electroencephalographic readings of the brain’s electrical activity in fibromyalgia patients have shown the presence of anomalous alpha wave activity, which is typically related to wakefulness and arousal.
The lack of restorative sleep in people who have trouble falling asleep might cause increased pain and fatigue and might be a cause of fibromyalgia, according to 2009 study published in the Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America.
4. Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten sensitivity might just be a factor responsible for the development of fibromyalgia, according to a 2014 study published in Rheumatology International.
Gluten sensitivity can be described as a group of symptoms (mostly gastrointestinal) that develop from gluten consumption, and subside when gluten is eliminated from the diet.
Removing gluten from the prescribed diets of fibromyalgia patients has recently proved helpful in improving their symptoms, according to a 2015 study published in Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology.
Although the risk isn’t significantly high, people with fibromyalgia who suffer gluten sensitivity should also get checked for celiac disease, which is an occasionally reported disease in gluten-sensitive fibromyalgia patients.
5. Other Diseases & Disorders
Oftentimes, other diseases may trigger fibromyalgia.
These diseases include musculoskeletal and joint disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis; autoimmune disorders, such as Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus and spondylitis; and mental health disorders, such as depression.
About 25 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis, 30 percent of those with lupus and 50 percent of those with Sjögren’s syndrome may develop fibromyalgia, according to a 2011 study published in Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology.
Therefore, patients suffering from these diseases must keep an eye out for added unusual symptoms as they could indicate fibromyalgia.
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