Fibromyalgia

Specialty of Rheumatology

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that causes pain throughout the body and sensitivity in joints, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.

It is more common in women between the age of 20 and 50.

What are the symptoms?

Fibromyalgia causes fatigue and muscle pain throughout the body, headaches, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), increased pain sensitivity, problems with memory and concentration, and can affect sleep patterns and overall amount of sleep.

There are different conditions related to fibromyalgia or those which have the same symptoms. Sleep disorder, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and hypothyroidism, among others, may cause similar symptoms. It is important to visit your doctor and if necessary, get specialist referral in order to correctly confirm a diagnosis after assessment.

Causes of fibromyalgia

The origin of fibromyalgia is unknown, but several factors can trigger its appearance, such as a physical or emotional trauma, a bacterial or viral infection or a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Can it be prevented?

There is no known way to prevent fibromyalgia.

What is the treatment?

The treatment of fibromyalgia is aimed at relieving pain and combatting sleep disorder with drugs and relaxation techniques. Therapy, counselling and support is also beneficial in those with fibromyalgia, as talking about the condition and receiving therapy can help to counter depression, sometimes experienced in those with fibromyalgia.

Exercise has been shown to be beneficial for those with the condition, and it can also help to reduce pain. Speak to your GP or specialist about recommendations for exercise, and referral for therapy if necessary. Many also find it beneficial to speak to a psychologist as part of their ongoing treatment.

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