Fibromyalgia (also known as Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS) is a musculoskeletal disorder that causes pain in the fibrous tissues of the body and also leads to tiredness. It is believed to affect around 5% of the world’s population and currently no one knows what causes it. In this article I’ll be taking a deeper look at fibromyalgia and its symptoms, discussing the main risk factors and outlining how to treat it.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
As with many chronic disorders, the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Studies suggest that the level of chemicals in the brain and nervous system of people who suffer from fibromyalgia are different to those in people who do not suffer from the disorder. Many researchers believe that these differing chemical levels affect the way pain messages are transmitted in fibromyalgia sufferers. However, the cause of these changes in chemical levels is still unknown.
What Are The Risk Factors For Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia can affect anyone of age. However, the following risk factors make you much more likely to develop this disorder:
1) Age: Fibromyalgia is very rare in people under 25 and is most likely to develop between the ages of 25 and 55.
2) Gender: Women are seven times more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia.
3) Family History: The children of women with fibromyalgia are much more likely to develop the disorder with studies suggesting that around one in three of these children develop fibromyalgia at some point in their lives.
4) Rheumatic Disorders: People who suffer from rheumatic disorders such as arthritis and tendinitis are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than people who do not suffer from these rheumatic disorders.
5) Stress: People who experience high levels of stress are believed to be at a higher risk of fibromyalgia.
What Are The Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia?
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the main symptoms of fibromyalgia are pain and tiredness, although these are not the only symptoms. The severity and type of symptoms varies greatly between sufferers, with some fibromyalgia sufferers experiencing persistent symptoms and others experiencing more sporadic symptoms. The list below highlights some of the most common fibromyalgia symptoms:
- Disturbed Sleep
- Fluctuating Body Temperature
- Irritable Bladder
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Painful Periods
- Pins and Needles
- Restless Leg Syndrome
How Can Fibromyalgia Be Treated?
While there are many painkillers that can be used to treat fibromyalgia, natural treatments are often much more effective. If you’re currently suffering from fibromyalgia, the list below outlines some simple lifestyle changes that you can make to relieve the painful symptoms associated with this disorder:
1) Exercise Regularly: Regular cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to treat fibromyalgia, as it increases blood flow, enhances flexibility and stimulates the release of pain reducing hormones (such as serotonin). Since the main symptoms of fibromyalgia are pain and tiredness, low impact cardiovascular exercises (such as cycling, swimming, walking and yoga) are often the best solutions.
2) Fill Up On Vitamins, Minerals & Phytonutrients: Studies have shown that a range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (including capsaicin, magnesium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D) can help treat fibromyalgia. By eating a diet that’s rich in healthy, natural, unprocessed foods (such as eggs, fruits, meats, nuts and vegetables), you can ensure that you’re eating plenty of these nutrients and relieve the painful symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
3) Chiropractic & Massage Therapy: Although there is very little clinical evidence to support chiropractic and massage therapy as a treatment for fibromyalgia, many sufferers have reported impressive pain relief as a result of these therapies. These types of therapies are believed to be most effective for relieving back and neck pain.
Although it’s not clear what causes fibromyalgia, natural treatments are one of the best way to relieve the painful symptoms and overcome this disorder. So if you’re currently suffering from fibromyalgia and want the pain to stop, start making some positive lifestyle changes today.