Fibromyalgia is a long term condition that may cause widespread pain over much of the body and it is recognised as a chronic condition. It is surprisingly common with up to 1 in every 25 people being affected.
There is not a known cure for fibromyalgia, however there are ways of managing the symptoms and your GP or a private GP would be able to suggest treatments and therapies to deal with specific aspects of your condition. This may include medication or therapy or a combination of both.
Historically, other terms were used to describe the condition now known as fibromyalgia such as muscular rheumatism or fibrosistis. It is also a possibility that the condition could have been misdiagnosed as degenerative joint disease.
It is understood that fibromyalgia is not linked to inflammatory or degenerative arthritis even though the symptoms could appear to be similar.
Although fibromyalgia itself does not cause any lasting damage to body tissue, it is important that you keep as active as possible to avoid any weakening of the muscles which could lead to secondary problems.
The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- widespread pain
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Sleep disturbance
Not every person has the exact same symptoms and for everyone who suffers with fibromyalgia, the symptoms can vary from day to day. Many people have flare-ups from time to time when their symptoms become suddenly worse.
Less frequent symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- poor circulation – tingling, numbness or swelling in the hands and feet
- irritability or feeling miserable
- feeling an urgent need to urinate, especially at night
- Irritable or uncomfortable bowels (diarrhoea or constipation and abdominal pain) sometimes separately diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Many people with fibromyalgia have learnt to manage their condition so that they can continue to live their lives enjoyably despite their symptoms.
The above information has been sourced from http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/