Have you ever heard of the term ‘fibromyalgia’? If you are already suffering from this disorder, you might be well aware of the pain it brings along. But for others who don’t know about it, or for those who are already suffering from it but are unaware of the consequences this disorder can have, here is something you must definitely read.
Fibromyalgia, pronounced fye-bro-mye-al-ja, is a long-term chronic disorder that is associated with general fatigue and widespread pain in the muscles, bones, and areas of tenderness. This syndrome generally affects the muscles and soft tissues.
A few symptoms of fibromyalgia are given below:
- Chronic muscle pain.
- Muscle spasms or tightness in muscles.
- Severe fatigue.
- Insomnia. Sometimes, even after having a good sleep, you feel tired after waking up.
- Difficulty in remembering or concentrating.
- Stiff body posture.
- Abdominal pain.
- Bloated stomach and constipation.
- You feel depressed or anxious all the time.
- Irritable bladder.
- Migraine headache or a tension headache.
- Your body tolerance reduces even after a basic workout, and you feel pain in your muscles.
- Frequent feeling of numbness in the arms, feet, legs, and face.
- You always feel that there is a swelling in your arms and legs, but that’s just your feeling. Because there is no such swelling at all.
Since all these symptoms are very subjective, the root cause of this disorder was never clear. It was, hence, often misdiagnosed as other diseases.
How Common Is This Syndrome, And Who Is Affected Mainly?
Fibromyalgia is a very common syndrome, and it has affected around 50,00,000 Americans till date. It is noticed mostly in women (around 80 percent) in between the age group of 18-55. However, even children or men can suffer from it. There are several factors that might cause this syndrome. Some of them are as follows:
1. Physical Or Emotional Trauma
People who have suffered from any physical or emotional trauma are more likely to suffer from this syndrome. Doctors often link it to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Similarly, too much of stress can have long-term effects on your body. Stress is usually linked to a hormonal disturbance in the body, which eventually leads to this syndrome.
Fibromyalgia runs in the blood. If you have a family member who is suffering from it, chances are high that even you will suffer from the same.
Recently, a research was undertaken by specialists to figure out what exactly causes pain and the feeling of intense fatigue in fibromyalgia. The tests were done on a few patients suffering from this disorder. And, surprisingly, the results were quite unexpected.
Earlier, doctors used to consider it as a psychological disorder, and they used to treat it using painkillers. But, according to the research, scientists found out that the pain does not originate from the brain. Instead, it comes from a very unusual place – the blood vessels present in the hand. And that’s not all. The discovery has led to probable new ways of treatment. The scientists also confirmed that they will surely find a way to cure this disease completely.
Here is what the scientists did to solve the mystery. They focussed mainly on the hands of a patient who had a lack of sensory nerve fibers. This resulted in a lowered response to pain. They even found a huge number of nerve fibers (arteries-venule AV) referrals in the patient’s skin sample. This groundbreaking discovery has answered many questions regarding why people suffering from fibromyalgia experience pain in the hands. It established a direct connection between fibromyalgia and the nerves.
A famous neuroscientist, Dr. Frank stated that not only do these nerve endings help in blood flow regulation but they also contribute to the sense of touch.
“This poorly managed blood flow can be the source of discomfort and muscle aches and a sense of fatigue, presumably due to an accumulation of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation in patients with fibromyalgia. This, in turn, can contribute to hyperactivity in the brain,” he says.
When asked about the therapies to treat fibromyalgia, he said that the therapies that were being used currently did not bring relief to all the patients. These treatments involve narcotic analgesics and antidepressants. But now, since the actual cause of this condition has been figured out, there will be a new cure that will help treat the syndrome and its symptoms.
The research is considered to be highly promising and will definitely offer a better cure and future for those who are suffering from this disorder.
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