Wednesday, September 17, 2008

~Fibro What??~

That is usually what I hear when I let someone know I have Fibromyalgia(sia). The spelling may vary for some but it is still painful. September happens to be National Pain Awareness month. What I have falls under that category. I am sharing with you today a few notes from the National Fibromyalgia Association.

About Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia (pronounced fy-bro-my-AL-ja) is a complex chronic pain disorder that affects an
estimated 10 million Americans and approximately 3-6% of the population worldwide. While it
occurs most often in women, it strikes men and children, and all ethnic backgrounds. For those with
severe symptoms, fibromyalgia (FM) can be extremely debilitating and interfere with basic daily
activities.

Diagnosis:
o The FM diagnostic criteria, established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
in 1990, includes a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a
minimum duration of three months, and pain in at least 11 of the 18 designated tender
points when a specified amount of pressure is applied.
o Since people with FM tend to look healthy and conventional tests are typically normal, a
physician knowledgeable about the disorder is necessary to make a diagnosis.
o Physicians should rule out other causes of the symptoms before making a diagnosis of
fibromyalgia.

Symptoms:
o Although chronic, widespread body pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia, a
variety of other symptoms are common in FM patients. Symptoms include: moderate to
severe fatigue, sleep disorders, problems with cognitive functioning, IBS, headaches and
migraines, anxiety and depression, and environmental sensitivities.
o Research has documented neuroendocrine physiological abnormalities that may contribute
to the symptoms.
Causes:
o Recent research has suggested a genetic component. The disorder is often seen in families,
among siblings or mothers and their children.
o Fibromyalgia often occurs following a physical trauma, such as an acute illness or injury,
which may act as a “trigger” in the development of the disorder.
o Increasing attention is being devoted to the central nervous system as the underlying
mechanism of FM. Recent studies have suggested that FM patients have generalized
disturbance in pain processing and an amplified response to stimuli that would not
ordinarily be painful in healthy individuals.

Treatment:
o Since there is no known cure for FM, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and
improving function.
o A variety of prescription medications are often used to reduce pain levels and improve
sleep. On June 21, 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Lyrica
(pregabalin) as the first drug to treat fibromyalgia.
o Alternative therapies, such as massage, myofasical release, acupuncture, chiropractic,
herbal supplements and yoga, can be effective tools in managing FM symptoms.
o Increasing rest, pacing activities, reducing stress, practicing relaxation and improving
nutrition can help minimize symptoms and improve quality of life.
National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) is a non-profit [501 (c) (3)] organization
www.FMaware.org (714) 921-0150
NFA 2008©

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2 comments:

tbfreviews said...

I have the banner for the awareness on my wife and mom of 3 blog (www.wifeandmomof3.net) too. We seem to have much in common as I too have it and suffer daily it seems for the past year. Some days are better some days are worse and the sad thing is that I am only 30 years old with 3 small kids. It got so bad that this past March I left work because my mind wasn't functioning at its best with the medication I had to take to help with the pain. But now I need a JOB to pay the bills! I did see a chiropractor for awhile who helped ease some of the pain but that got expensive going 3x a week at 40 a visit. It's good knowing others can relate even though it's not good to have.
Since I have not been working it seems that books both in audio and physical form are what help keep my mind on something else.

Farrah aka The Book Faery

Jennifer The Forgetful Faerie Queen said...

Geez Farrah,
We do have lots in common then. I got diagnosed at 31 and am now 37 and suffering still. Not to scare you but it has gotten worse. I have a Dr. who wants to aggressively treat this. It would be wonderful to do that but much of it I can't do due to cost. I am so lost as I can not do my highest paying career choice. I had finally found a place I belonged and held on to it for 2+ years to keep it through the pain. I finally had to call a spade a spade and let it go. It has been a never ending saga since.
Jen

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