Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How does fibromyalgia manifest?

Fibromyalgia is known as a disease which mostly manifests with widespread muscle pains and tender spots. People describe the muscle pain in different ways: some can feel burnings, radiating, others gnawing, sore, stiff, and aching. Patients say that the pain is always present but with different intensities depending on the activity they perform or on the weather, the stress level and the sleep patterns. Fibromyalgia pains can even be resembled with the muscle pains from flu. Also the tiredness and fatigue present in flu are met in fibromyalgia too.

Some patients complain about the fact that they are tired even after sleeping for the whole night. Others say that they wake up during the night more frequent than they did before the disease had installed. Doctors say that an interruption during the deep sleep can cause the tiredness patients complain of.

The fatigue most people feel quite alike with that encountered in the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Those who suffer of CFS can also have symptoms of fibromyalgia like the tender spots.

Diagnosing fibromyalgia is made after eliminating other diseases that can manifest alike and after inquiring about the tender spots and their location. There are known 18 tender spots that can be painful in fibromyalgia and most are situated around the neck, shoulders, shoulder blades, lower back, elbows and knees.

Some of the patients can feel depressed and develop mood changes, other patients complain about anxiety and difficulty in concentration along with sensitivity to light and temperature.

It seems that these people have been suffering before of depression or anxiety and some of them have been also been abused or neglected during their life. It is important to discuss about these things with the doctor because an improvement in the symptoms might be registered after and the patient will cope with the illness much easier after having such a discussion.

Another problem that appears once fibromyalgia installed is that patients complain that they can not perform simple mental tasks any more. Some say that they can not concentrate as well as before. The doctors say that all these matters are as a result of sleeping disturbances given by fibromyalgia.

General symptoms of fibromyalgia are: muscle pain that lasts more than three months, tenderness in the 18 points, sleeping problems, fatigue, headaches, abdominal pain associated with diarrhea or constipation and bloating. Also, paresthesia or tingling in hands, arms, feet, legs or face can be present. Because these symptoms are found in other neuromuscular diseases, like carpal tunnel syndrome, neuritis, or even multiple sclerosis, tests for fibromyalgia can be ordered.