Science categorizes fibromyalgia as a health condition affecting your muscle and bones. Medical references describe the disorder as a musculoskeletal malfunction comprised of pain, fatigue, affecting sleep, memory and moods. Research goes into detail based on neurological studies since it involves how the brain, spinal cord and nerves process pain signals.
The concept is based on individuals having a lower than normal pain threshold because fibromyalgia increases the sensitivity to pain. The condition affects mature adults with few diagnosed cases involving children and elders.
The condition is predominant in women compared to men. Heredity or family history with a recent relative having the disorder increases your risks of developing the disorder. Stress or physical trauma, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are contributors to the illness, escalating the probabilities of pain severity.
For some the pain management is difficult, causing a lack of sleep and intrusion of daily activities connected to home and career. For many, coping with the condition includes both physical and emotional challenges leading to depression or anxiety.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia in Women
Women’s pain levels range between a dull ache to bedridden spells. In some cases, the pain is a short duration, but underlying issues causing pain can last up to three or more months per episode, occurring anywhere in the body.
Due a women’s body composition, severe to extreme pain during menstrual cycles happens frequently. A women’s biological musculoskeletal may the reason they experience longer periods of pain compared to men.
Women phasing through menopause, experience the changing of hormone levels that can instigate fibromyalgia sensitivities. Chemical changes in our body during this life phase can cause mood swings, anxiety, achiness or crankiness; all emotions connected with the condition. The moods may result from the lower estrogen levels during menopause or a change in diet, consuming fewer foods that support healthy estrogen production.
Sometimes fibromyalgia exists with endometriosis — this is another painful female disorder, where the tissue lining of the uterus separates and grows outside of the uterus. The condition involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the lining of the pelvis. Both conditions affect the pain thresholds for most women, causing more discomfort or sensitivity to our body areas compared to men. The areas of sensitivity include the pelvic, hip and waist, top of the chest and neck and sometimes between the shoulders – it varies from person to person.
What are the causes of fibromyalgia?
Genetics, viral infections, physical trauma, including emotional stress can prompt the development of fibromyalgia. There are no warning signs, nor cures for the disorder – if there is a family history it’s important for you and your doctor to monitor your health. The brain’s pain receptors generate higher levels of pain when left untreated.
Families with a history of this condition increase the risk of passing the inherited trait to their offspring. Although parents may not show symptoms of the disorder, parents pass on one abnormal gene and one normal gene with a 25 percent risk of affecting the next generation. Children born from two-carrier parents raise the risk by 50 percent when passing the defective gene on to the grandchild.
Unhealthy diets lead to a weak immune system, preventing your body from producing the proteins to help fight infections. Infections and bacteria associated with rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, pneumonia or chronic fatigue syndrome are present in some individuals suffering from fibromyalgia.
Chronic stress can lead to this disorder, causing our muscles to involuntarily contract. So does the lack of daily activity—the impact affects our musculoskeletal—producing chronic muscle pain or spasms accompanied with moderate-to-severe fatigue. The lack of movement or staying in one position for long periods can cause serve stiffness affecting the muscles followed by pain.
Where is fibromyalgia pain located (Picture)?
How to Treat Fibromyalgia
Lifestyle changes involve learning to relax during stressful situations. Eating a nutritious diet along with daily exercise has proven to help reduce the level of frustration and pain linked to the condition. In some cases, therapy treatments are necessary to handle the psychological effects.
If there is a genetic history or recent family illnesses, you need to learn as much as you can about the disease. Talk with your doctor and share all the information to make sure proper treatment and medications are administered. You also need to educate your family and make them aware of the potential risks and consequences of the disorder.
Early diagnosis can prevent other illnesses and irreversible damages. Your doctor may prescribe pain, sleeping medications or recommend over-the-counter alternatives. Self-care is essential and suffers should take an active role in monitoring daily changes to your health and scheduling regular office visits. Be sure to share any information about reactions to medications or changes in your in health with your doctor. If you ignore the condition, it will only lead to more serious health conditions.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia in Men
Men seem to experience more of a neurological and metabolic change with fibromyalgia. It may be the difference between hormones, a man’s immune system or basic genetics. The change involves an abnormal increase of chemicals in the brain signaling pain neurotransmitters.
Cognitive difficulties appear to create struggles with one’s concentration, ability to pay attention and memory retention. Fatigue is common in men- even after a long night’s sleep, they can wake feeling tired. Incidents of pain during the night interrupt sleep- occasionally, restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea develops. Other complaints include chronic pain from headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.
One common trait more predominant in men than women is NOT seeing a doctor when health conditions exist. Men delay office visits, leading to more advanced conditions of the disease along with triggering other illnesses. Another common instigator for men is lifestyle, excess weight. It increases the risks of fibromyalgia—a healthy diet can help manage the condition.
For some men, they view this condition as a women’s illness, the fact of the matter is – it exists in men and more importantly it is treatable—you need to see your doctor. There are medicines, therapy and exercise routines to help you manage the pain and keep an active life.
Keep in mind, our DNA combined with our choice of lifestyles can make a difference to living well. If you are experiencing high levels of pain or your body just isn’t functioning like it did a few years ago, don’t chalk it up to getting older. It may be time to see your doctor and get some peace of mind along with some recommendations for improving your health for the long term.