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Fibromyalgia


A condition with widespread pain and tenderness in the whole body.



Fibromyalgia affects not only muscles, bones and joints but also the nervous system.



SYMPTOMS


  • Chronic widespread pain

  • Fatigue

  • Poor sleep patterns

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Memory issues

  • Tiredness and fatigue

  • Mood changes- low mood, irritability

  • Tingling and numbness

  • Headaches

  • Painful menstrual periods

  • Diarrhoea, Bloating, constipation- Irritable bowel syndrome ( IBS) symptoms

  • Swelling in hands and feet

  • Overly sensitive joints and muscles

  • Stress

  • Restless legs syndrome


FACTS

  • Prevalence- 2-3 % globally

  • 1.8 -2.9 million in UK suffer from Fibromyalgia

  • Women > Men

  • Age 25-55 but children can get it too

  • Incidence increases with age

  • 3rd most frequent musculoskeletal condition

CAUSES - Cause is still unknown however mostly seem to be associated with


  • Genetic causes

  • ACE- Adverse childhood events

  • Mind- body relationship- stress, depression, anxiety, traumatic event

  • Possibly with arthritis and other comorbidities - Diabetes, heart conditions, thyroid

DIAGNOSIS


There is not single blood test or X-ray or a scan that can confirm this diagnosis

Healthcare professional will ask questions and give you symptom checker questionnaires to check your symptoms to confirm this diagnosis





MANAGEMENT


A holistic approach taking into consideration of individual's goals should be adapted


  • Patient education- Knowledge helps improve the symptoms management

  • Improving fitness - exercise within available limits -pain management programs

  • Psychotherapy - talking therapies, CBT, mindfulness practice etc

  • Medications- To manage symptoms as discussed with healthcare professionals

  • Complementary therapy- Acupuncture 10 sessions can reduce and help manage the symptoms

  • Social support and Occupational therapy support useful to adapt in life





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