Could you have fibromyalgia?

May 22, 2017 | by Siva Krishnan, MD
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

Your muscles are aching. You’re tired. Not just stayed-up-too-late tired, but TIRED.

You’ve got recurring headaches, maybe you feel stiff in the morning. You’re feeling mentally foggy.

It can be difficult to diagnose, but those symptoms could point to fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder that has no cure.

An estimated 5 million Americans age 18 or older have the disorder, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. And, for reasons unknown, about 80 percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women.

The disorder is hard to describe. The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary in location and intensity. As Mayo Clinic reports, there is no lab test that will confirm a diagnosis. So doctors analyze your symptoms and put the puzzle together.

This disease can look a lot like a rheumatoid disorder, such as lupus. It can also mimic behavioral health issues like depression or anxiety. It even resembles some neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.

Your risk for developing fibromyalgia increases if you’re a woman, if someone in your family had it, or if you already have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

It can be difficult to find relief for fibromyalgia. But there are things you can do to feel better, including these suggestions from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases:

  • Taking medicines as prescribed
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising
  • Eating well
  • Making work changes if necessary

The Arthritis Foundation also recommends biofeedback and acupuncture as treatment for fibromyalgia. Finding ways to improve your sleep and reduce stress can help you manage your symptoms. Taking care of yourself is always important, no matter what your diagnosis!

Pain does not have to be a constant companion in your life. Learn more about our Pain Clinic.

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