Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterised by muscular or musculoskeletal pain. This causes stiffness and swelling (though the so-called experts will tell you that swelling isn’t part of the condition)and is usually diagnosed by examining the patient to see if they have areas of tender points on certain parts of the body, whether they have experienced widespread pain lasting three months or longer, if there has been any occurrences of sleep disturbances and signs of fatigue on waking, and if the patient has cognitive problems.
There are no specific tests that can determine whether someone has Fibromyalgia or not and many of the symptoms are often misdiagnosed as either arthritis, Lupus, ME and hypothyroidism, although most people who have Fibto do also tend go on to develop those conditions.
It is not known what causes the syndrome and there have been many arguments and conspiracy theories on whether it is man made or has been left undiscovered for centuries until recently. (Apparently Cleopatra had Fibro, which explains why she was always depicted lying around on her asp all day…well I thought it was funny)
The conjecture is that it could be as a result of previous injury, sleep deprivation, viral infection, stress or genetic predisposition.
The list of symptoms for Fibromyalgia is HUGE and includes :
- Sleep Disturbance
- Cognitive Problems
- Muscle Spasm
- Weight Loss/Gain
- Problems with vision
- Pain that ranges from mild to severe
- Muscle Twitching
- Sensitivity to light/sounds/ odours/weather
- Allergies And Respiratory Problems
- Reproductive And Sexual Problems
- Abdominal and Digestive Symptoms
- Depression, Panic Attacks And Other Emotional problems
- Heart Related Problems
- Skin, Hair And Nails Symptoms
- Haemorrhoids And Other Bowel Problems
- Restless Legs
- Chest Pains
Okay, I think that I better stop there because although there are over a hundred symptoms and even with some of the ones that I have listed above, such as cognitive, pain, abdominal etc, there are a subsection of symptoms within those symptoms.
Fibromyalgia, it’s like the gift that keeps on giving…a bit like chlamydia and diarrhoea.