Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal pain disorder that causes sufferers to feel a heightened sensitivity to pain and tenderness and is commonly accompanied by problems sleeping, fatigue, and trouble with memory and controlling moods. The condition is still not fully understood by scientists, but it is commonly spoken of as one of the most painful conditions to have. People with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia. Conditions that can be mistaken for fibromyalgia include sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Lyme disease, polymyalgia rheumatica and lupus, as they all have symptoms of pain throughout the body and joint issues.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Common symptoms of fibromyalgia can include:
- Chronic widespread pain
- Fatigue and sleep disturbances
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Sensitivity to temperature, noise, and light
- Cognitive difficulties such as memory and concentration problems (otherwise known as 'fibro-fog')
- Stiffness upon waking or after sitting for long periods of time
- Difficulty with fine motor tasks, such as buttoning clothes or writing
- Depression and anxiety
- Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Skin sensitivities and rashes
- Dry eyes and mouth
It's important to note that symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary greatly from person to person and can change over time. Some people may experience more severe symptoms than others, and some people may have symptoms that come and go. It's also important to note that some of these symptoms may be caused by other underlying conditions so it is essential to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis
How is fibromyalgia pain different from other pain?
Fibromyalgia pain is described as a deep, aching or burning sensation that can be constant or intermittent. It can be accompanied by stiffness, tenderness, and difficulty sleeping. Additionally, fibromyalgia pain is often accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and cognitive difficulties. This is known as "fibro fog" which can be hard to explain and sometimes dismissed as emotional symptoms. Another way fibromyalgia pain differs from other types of pain is that it is not always responsive to traditional pain management methods like over-the-counter pain medication. This can make it difficult to manage and can lead to frustration for both the person experiencing the pain and the healthcare provider treating it.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, meaning the pain and symptoms may not be completely cured. However, with proper management and treatment, many people with fibromyalgia are able to lead fulfilling lives and reduce the impact of the pain and other symptoms on their daily lives.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
At Ananta Health, Dr. Risk takes a proactive role in aiding the patient to improve their overall quality of life. This process starts by assessing the patient's history with the BioScan SRT testing. Causes or contributors to the fibromyalgia pain such as candida, parasites, Lyme disease, post-viral syndrome, food sensitivities and allergies, heavy metal toxicity and environmental sensitivities need to be determined. Treatment will often include diet recommendations, lifestyle changes, traditional Chinese medicine and a combination of supplements and herbs according to each patient's needs.
It is important to work with a healthcare professional to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your specific symptoms and needs. With proper management, many people with fibromyalgia are able to lead fulfilling lives and reduce the impact of the pain and other symptoms on their daily lives.
Can acupuncture help fibromyalgia?
Acupuncture is a form of complementary and alternative medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, known as acupoints. Acupuncture is thought to stimulate the body's natural healing processes and improve overall function. Research has suggested that acupuncture may be beneficial for reducing pain and improving sleep in people with fibromyalgia. One study found that people with fibromyalgia who received acupuncture reported significant reductions in pain and improvements in sleep quality compared to those who received a sham treatment. Additionally, acupuncture has been shown to help with other symptoms of fibromyalgia such as fatigue, anxiety and depression. It is thought to work by regulating the central nervous system and releasing endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body.