15 Apr Signs of Fibromyalgia and How it can be Treated
Signs of Fibromyalgia and How it can be Treated
The understanding of fibromyalgia is evolving. Since the disorder is so difficult to pin down, diagnosis can be challenging. There is no blood or brain test available at this time for fibromyalgia, so physicians must rely upon a series of tests and the process of elimination to reach a firm diagnosis.
Signs and Symptoms
Fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by a change in the way the brain and nerves respond to pain stimuli. Since the condition is sometimes associated with trauma disorders, such as PTSD, it can sometimes be misunderstood as a mental health issue, when in fact the symptoms are physical. Fibromyalgia may mimic certain conditions such as neurological disorders, mental health challenges like anxiety and depression and rheumatic diseases. Since the symptoms include generalized aches and pains both above and below the waist, it can be difficult to pinpoint the symptoms.
One of the most important processes your doctor will undertake during the diagnosis stage is the elimination of other underlying causes for your symptoms. A full set of tests will be necessary to rule out disorders of the thyroid and other functions. You may need to undergo a sleep study, as well as extensive blood and other tests to rule out other causes for your chronic pain and fatigue.
Treatment of fibromyalgia requires a coordinated plan of care by a team of experts. Pain management may include medications for pain control and other medications that your doctor feels could reduce your symptoms. Although fibromyalgia is a physical disease, you may be prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications to help cope with chronic pain. Sleep management is often important for patients with fibromyalgia, and it will be necessary to avoid caffeine later in the evening. Physical therapy and a regular exercise and fitness routine may help improve both sleep habits and mobility.