Fibromyalgia is a condition with very varied and complex symptoms. It is found in 3-4% people in Kerala. Most of them are women. Post covid there has been an increase in this disease. Its main symptom is unexplained and chronic muscle and joint pain and fatigue. What differentiates it from other rheumatic diseases is that fibromyalgia is usually present on most blood test and scanning reports. It often takes a lot of time to get a proper diagnosis after seeing many different types of doctors. Because of this, these patients often have to endure pain for a long time.
∙ Wide spread body pain that starts on one side or part of the body and then spreads over the whole body for a long time.
∙ Patients may experience excruciating pain when touching certain muscles (trigger point).
∙ Unreasonable fatigue
∙ Some may experience it as a thick, burning or burning sensation in the body.
· Anxiety and depression are also seen in most of the patients.
· Lack of sleep, lack of energy in the morning even after a good night’s sleep.
∙ Lack of memory, lack of concentration, difficulty in learning new things (Cognitive Dysfunction).
Comorbidities seen in patients with fibromyalgia
∙ Chennikut (Migraine headache).
· 3rd and 4th bowel movements and constipation (Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS).
Menstruation with pain.
∙ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Not all of these symptoms may be present in a patient.
A clear reason for this could not be defined. However, some neurochemicals that regulate pain from the brain are found to be altered in these patients. Likewise, central nervous system abnormalities are also evident in the studies.
Some people experience it after a mental or physical trauma (Post traumatic stress disorder). Fibromyalgia is most commonly associated with rheumatic diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative spindylo arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
It is not a disease that can be diagnosed in one or two tests like diabetes or high blood pressure. Fibromyalgia comes with many doctor visits and many blood tests and scan reports because of the myriad of symptoms. The peculiarity of this disease is that all the tests will be normal in them. Tests that show inflammation, mainly ESR and CRP, are normal in most fibromyalgia patients.
Calcium, vitamin D, ANA test, thyroid test, bone scan, etc. may be needed to distinguish other conditions that mimic fibromyalgia, such as vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, Sjogren’s syndrome, etc. Fibromyalgia is diagnosed primarily based on a scoring system. Scoring is based on widespread pain index and severity of symptoms. These symptoms must last for more than three months.
Fibromyalgia is mainly treated with a combination of drugs, physiotherapy and psychological therapy. Today, under the guidance of a rheumatologist, it is possible to transform the patient into a way that makes everyday life comfortable. Next, lifestyle changes are important. Some examples are good sleep habits, daily exercise, reducing stress, excess carbohydrates, red meat, artificial sweeteners, and excessive salt intake. Cognitive behavioral therapy with the help of a psychologist may also be needed in its treatment.
Public awareness of the condition Fibromyalgia is still very low. Therefore, it is seen that patients get less serious attention from family members. This can lead to increased symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety in these patients, and fibromyalgia can become a chronic, long-lasting condition.
Fibromyalgia is a disease that can be completely treated and cured if the condition is detected early and appropriate treatments are applied with the help of a rheumatologist.
Content Summary: Fibromyalgia: Causes, Symptoms and treatment