Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease that effects up to 5% of the population. Being an autoimmune disease it has no definate cause, no permanent cure, no definative diagnostic test and it does not manifest the same in all the people who have it.
A person of any age can get fibromyalgia, even children. Women suffer from it more often than men do and one in four sufferers can no longer work because of it.
The symptoms can be severe and varied, everyone who suffers from it will have muscle and joint pain which is where it’s name comes from (fibro-fibrous tissue such as tendon and ligament, myalgia-muscle pain), but other symptoms can include insomnia, fatigue, rashes, weakness, depression, headaches, nausea, menstrual problems, poor memory, foggy thinking and weight gain.
Some sufferers can notice a big improvement after a year while others others have a hard time with it for much longer. One single “magic bullet” will rarely bring the symptoms under control, the best results usually come from using several different strategies and treatments together.
Medications both pharmacuetical and non-pharmacuetical, massage, chiropractic, osteopathy, acupuncture, stretching exercise and alkaline based diets all work to some extent for fibromyalgia sufferers.
Fibromyalgia like polymyalgia rheumatica is most intense first thing in the morning, it can make you feel much older than you really are. Sufferers tend to loosen up a bit as the day progresses but even on a good day with active fibromyalgia resourcefulness is required to go about your daily business.
If your knees are effected getting on and off the toilet can require extra thought and planning, showering will be easier than getting in and out of baths and using a long handled shoe-horn might come in handy too.
If your shoulders are effected getting in and out of coats might become an embarrassing task on a crowded bus and reaching objects off the top shelf at the supermarket might make you feel like a croc too.
Maintaining an upbeat outlook on life can be seriously tested with fibromyalgia and it can create pressures in even the best relationships. Despite how bad you might feel with it you can still look quite normal and because blood tests cannot detect it you might feel like a hypochondriac, it is hard to avoid suffering over your suffering with fibromyalgia.
Unfortunately it is not just hale and hardy physical people who get down about this condition because of the way fibromyalgia can effect your powers of concentration, even something passive like reading a book is more difficult than usual.
If meditation isn’t your thing learning some other form of mental relaxation using breathing techniques or even hypnosis might help you take your mind off it. If you are not a person who would normally entertain using alternate medicine you might need to change your mind because being stubborn won’t do you any good atall with this condition. Likewise if you don’t normally like “taking drugs” you might need to if want to keep working.