Fibromyalgia is also called a copycat condition that is due to the common symptoms of the condition that are similar to those of common health problems like pain and fatigue.
While there are no specific scans or tests that can help in diagnosing Fibromyalgia. Therefore, it becomes difficult for the doctor to diagnose what is the real reason behind the pains and aches.
When it is confirmed that you are facing this condition then you will have to go to several doctors to diagnose it. When you will get the right treatment, you will feel better.
If your family is familiar with the symptoms and condition of Fibromyalgia then they may tell you about it. while to confirm it, one will have to get an appointment with a doctor of muscles, bones, and joints, known as a rheumatologist.
When you will visit one, then he may ask you about your health as well as your family history. There is more probability that you can get affected by Fibromyalgia if anyone in your family is suffering from it.
The doctor will provide you with a physical exam and may examine your tender points. When pressure is put on the tender points of such a person who is facing Fibromyalgia, one may feel tenderness. The main tenderness is felt in the areas like the neck, head, shoulders, knees, hips, and elbows.
The doctor will ask you about the symptoms you are facing at the moment. Therefore, it is better to keep a record of everything you are facing for the past few days.
Is your pain sharp or dull? Does your is constant or time being? Do you feel fatigued throughout the day? Write all the other problems that you are facing clearly. make sure that you will not miss any single point about the symptoms that you are facing.
Fibromyalgia or Something Else?
The common conditions of Fibromyalgia are fatigue, muscle aches, and body pain. Most of these symptoms are common in other conditions as well like,
- Rheumatoid arthritis: It is any problem in your immune system that results in pain and swelling in the body parts.
- Ankylosing spondylitis: Such condition of arthritis that results in pain in your spine and inflammation as well.
- Hypothyroidism: Such a condition in which your thyroid gland hormonal production is not enough. You will feel fatigued and in pain.
- Polymyalgia rheumatica: Widespread pain is felt in almost all parts of the body and one will also feel stiffness in muscles.
Therefore, to make sure that you are facing Fibromyalgia, the doctor will also go through tests to confirm that you are not facing any other above-mentioned condition. He will take blood tests to see that is there any disorder in your hormones.
Uncommon symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Along with pain, exhaustion, and disturbed sleep, there are many other symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a condition in which you will feel pain in ligaments, tendons, and muscles. One may also feel malfunctions in the nervous system processing.
Various people feel like there are knots in their belly muscles. These knots in the muscles of the patients result in restrictions on their body movements. One will feel difficult in pushing oneself to perform the tasks.
Pain – There are no boundaries in the pain that one feels during Fibromyalgia. Many people give different names to this pain like shooting, throbbing, aching, intense muscle burning, or stabbing. One will feel knotted and tight muscles in such areas. It became difficult to move those painful parts.
Fatigue – One of the most difficult symptoms that most patients with fibromyalgia face are fatigue and exhaustion. People will feel like their arms and legs are like concrete blocks. After performing any task, one will feel like all his energy is drained.
Memory and Concentration – People who are facing fibromyalgia condition, feel it difficult in retaining and concentrating on everyday tasks.
Such a condition is called fibro fog and decreases the number of opportunities. People cannot retain new information and feel distracted whenever they try to concentrate on any certain task.
Sleep Disorders – It is big trouble for such people to fall asleep and even feel more issues in staying asleep. Such a disorder is even worse than the condition of insomnia.
Even when they are sleeping the brain of the patients feel aware all the time. The brain activity is working and aware while one will not feel calm sleep. There are various arousals while one is sleeping.
Exercise Difficulties – Moderate levels of exercise make it difficult for people with fibromyalgia condition. The pain of the person becomes worse after the exercise.
They will feel tired and achy after the workout. When a person will not exercise on daily basis, each of the workout intervals will lead to more stress.
Therefore, it is recommended to patients with fibromyalgia exercise on regular basis. Most of the patients that are facing fibromyalgia condition are not able to run and climb stairs.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Abdominal bloating, diarrhea, abdominal gas, nausea, and constipation are the symptoms that more than half of the patients facing fibromyalgia suffer from.
Chronic Headaches – Almost 50-70 percent suffer from fibromyalgia headaches and migraines. Most of the headaches are severe and occur twice a week. People feel severe pain in myofascial trigger points like the neck, head, and shoulders.
Jaw Pain – A tremendous pain in the jaws is experienced by patients with fibromyalgia due to Temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
The main problem exists in the jaw point around the ligaments and muscles. As the muscles, as well as ligaments of patients, are weak that results in pain in the jaw point.
Other Common Symptoms – Along with these symptoms, other symptoms like shortness of breath, nasal congestion, irregular heartbeat, chemical sensitivities, painful periods, interstitial cystitis, burning or dry eyes, sweating, irritable bladder, muscles weakness, swollen extremities, swollen extremities, and numbness sensations are experienced by fibromyalgia patients.
A Blood Test for Fibromyalgia?
A blood test is used nowadays to test the availability of Fibromyalgia, which is not easy to diagnose. According to researchers, the blood test is accurate, definitive, and objective.
The time Fibromyalgia is spreading makes the conditions hard. While it is not easy to diagnose most people remain unaware of the fact that they are suffering from it.
therefore, a blood test is considered an excellent option to deal with it. while the cost of the test is high that is the reason that most people avoid blood tests.
Most people prefer other methods of diagnosing Fibromyalgia rather than a blood test. A blood test is considered the last option to diagnose it.
18 Points Used to Diagnose Fibromyalgia
As it is not easy to diagnose Fibromyalgia and one of the most accurate methods, a blood test, is highly expensive. Therefore, people look out for other methods to diagnose the condition.
The 18-point test is another accurate and inexpensive method to diagnose the condition. These 18 points that are divided into 9 pairs results in a painful feeling when pressed and one may also feel pain in other parts as well.
Back of the neck
There are tender points at the back of the neck at the point where the skull and neck are connected. one will feel pain at this point when pressed if he is suffering from Fibromyalgia. While one may also feel neck pain when he is facing other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, neck strain, or injuries.
People who are suffering from Fibromyalgia may experience tenderness in each of the elbows. The pain mostly exists on the outer side of the arm and below the elbows crease. Repetitive strain injuries, as well as tendonitis, may also cause pain in the elbows.
Front of the neck
Fibromyalgia patients may feel pain in the front of the neck when it is pressed. The trigger point on the front side of the neck is located above the collarbone or on any of the sides of the larynx.
Most people who are facing osteoarthritis, people feel pain in their joints. There is a tender point located in the buttock curve of the person who is suffering from Fibromyalgia. These curves are joining the things along with the buttocks of the person.
One of the most common painful areas that Fibromyalgia patients experience is the lower back. On the top of the buttocks, a trigger point is located.
When one will press the point, then a painful sensation will be felt on this point. This painful sensation is an indication that the person is suffering from Fibromyalgia.
The inner area of the knee pad may be tender when will touch it if the person is facing Fibromyalgia.
There are tender points located on the tendons where muscles are attached. Fibromyalgia patients feel pain in the upper back where the shoulders are attached to the back.
Along with the upper back, there are tender points on the shoulders of Fibromyalgia patients. The pain is felt on the edge of the shoulders and move towards the bottom of the neck.
One will feel pain on any side of the sternum below the collarbone if he is suffering from Fibromyalgia. The sternum is also called the breastbone and it protects the lungs as well as the heart.
When to see a doctor?
It is recommended to talk to your doctor when you feel any of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. One single test cannot be a perfect exam to diagnose fibromyalgia.
The symptoms you may face can be similar to other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. While various symptoms are not a part of fibromyalgia.
While fibromyalgia is not considered a life-threatening condition but it can highly affect the quality of life a person is living. No matter what you will have to go through multiple tests to confirm that you are facing a fibromyalgia condition.
When you get treatment during the early time, it will slow down the progression of the fibromyalgia condition.
Treatment for fibromyalgia
There is no single cure for fibromyalgia but one can treat the condition. One can easily manage pain to make his life active as well as healthy.
few people can manage pain by using over-the-counter pain relievers. There can be other medicines that may be prescribed by the doctor other than OTC to get rid of pain and fatigue.
The drugs that doctors can recommend include,
Researchers in the past showed that drugs containing magnesium and malic acid resulted in improvement in pain as well as in fatigue. Well, it is better not to take any medications without a prescription from the doctor.
Other than medications there are various other lifestyle changes, home remedies, and exercises that can lead to improving the symptoms related to fibromyalgia conditions.
Following are the symptoms and there are alternative solutions that can help you to get out of the fibromyalgia condition.
- Menstrual cramps – You can apply heat to your abdomen to get rid of them.
- Pain level – Cognitive behavior therapy is considered as one of the effective ways that can manage the behavior and thoughts of a person to lower the pain level.
- Muscle ache – Inclusion of exercise in your routine can affect muscle ache.
- Stress – One can try deep meditation or breathing to get rid of stress.
- Depression – Various depression techniques can be highly effective to ensure relaxation like massage therapy, yoga, and acupuncture.
- Lack of sleep – To make deal with sleeplessness, it is better to limit the naps you take during the daytime and avoid caffeine intake.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that can highly affect your lifestyle but treatment can make it better. It is not easy to diagnose the conditions like the symptoms of the condition are similar to other common diseases but you can get the proper diagnostic test to confirm it.
make sure that you visit the doctor as soon as you feel any of the symptoms. Early treatment can keep you safe from making the condition worse.