Fibromyalgia is a relatively new chronic medical condition that is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue. Symptoms include mental “fog “anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, headaches, tingling or numbness, fatigue, and pain. These symptoms can be confused with other conditions like neurological, rheumatic, and mental health disorders. Usually, the most conclusive sign is the widespread pain, which means there is pain above and below the waist lasting for longer than three months. Fatigue is another indicator, but fatigue can be attributed to many other medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders and B12 deficiency.
When talking with your doctor, it is crucial to give a full background of symptoms, including when they started, so an appropriate diagnosis can be made. The physician will expect a detailed report because, unfortunately, there are no conclusive diagnostic tools available to make an indisputable diagnosis. For example, Xray, MRI CT Scan, Ultrasound and blood tests will not confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. However, they can bring to light an alternative diagnosis to explain the recurring symptoms.
Risk factors include family history, a traumatic event, recurrent injuries, or illness. Treatment options typically involve medications to target muscular pain and nerve pain. However, it is essential to add in lifestyle modifiers, such as adequate sleep, a healthy, well-rounded diet, and exercise. It is of vital importance to communicate with your physician throughout your journey with fibromyalgia to continue towards a positive healing path. A cure is not currently available, but healing is always an option no matter the condition.