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Fibromyalgia. What Women Need To Know?
In today’s modern society, Fibromyalgia as becoming one of the most common diseases which affects the muscles, tendons and joints of many women. Unfortunately, the problem is still there that many health care professionals do not recognize the condition as a disorder as in many cases not only x-rays, but blood tests and biopsies will often shown that there is no prevalent evidence to support any claims being made by a patient about the complaint. Yet in recent years the use of a thermograph (a device for testing and measuring heat produced in particular areas of the body has helped to diagnose the condition) and studies now indicate that people suffering from Fibromyalgia have decreased blood flow around their body and the actual temperature of the skin is lower in the areas where there is tenderness.
Some of the symptoms which relate to Fibromyalgia include long term muscle soreness, stiffness of muscles, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, mood swings, anxiety and depression. Many people also find that their condition becomes worse when stressed or when the weather changes, but unlike Rheumatism which causes swelling and inflammation of tissues in the body, with Fibromyalgia there is no joint deformity or damage to any of the body’s internal organs.
Many patients who suffer from Fibromyalgia often suffer from other conditions or disorders that may occur. One such disorder is TMJ which is associated with the jaw. Unfortunately many sufferers of Fibromyalgia will find themselves being diagnosed as suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome instead. In some cases patients have complained that they are suffering also from migraines, tension headaches, as well as irritable bowel or bladder syndromes. In some cases there have been women who develop memory loss and concentration levels are reduced. Although some women who have Fibromyalgia also suffer from Fibrocystic Breast Disease or Endometriosis, but as yet no studies that have been carried out can provide a correlation between them.
Unfortunately what causes this condition is still unknown and there are many experts who are carrying out research in respect of the relationship between Fibromyalgia and the menopause as most the women who have been diagnosed with this disorder are between the ages of 40 and 55 (which is when the menopause is likely to occur). Certainly about 85-90% of the reported cases of Fibromyalgia conditions are in women, and it may be hormonal changes such as a reduced level of estrogen in the female body could be contributing to symptoms such as anxiety, depression or sleeplessness in patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Yet research has shown that estrogen or progesterone replacement therapy is not beneficial to those suffering from Fibromyalgia, but there does seem to be some mild benefits reported for those patients who are using estrogen patches rather than taking estrogen pills. In some studies it has been indicated that a low thyroid function along with decreased levels of thyroid hormones, together with both a decrease in estrogen and progesterone hormones could be contributing to muscular pain, fatigue, mood swings as well as anxiety. But at present time the relationship between the menopause and Fibromyalgia is still uncertain and this is mainly due to the lack of research that has been carried out on the subject. However, more tests are now being conducted to find out if declining levels of the estrogen hormone actually affect the onset of Fibromyalgia or not. One such ongoing study is being conducted that may well suggest that abnormally low levels of the Cortisol hormone (this hormone is produced by the adrenal gland) could be linked to Fibromyalgia causes.
Also there is no way that this disorder can be prevented or cured completely at the present time and most of the treatment provided to patients is centered around actually treating the symptoms associated with it. The treatment provided to women varies from woman to woman and according to the symptoms they are feeling. There have been some cases where the use of physical therapy or light exercise has been beneficial to that patient. Also research has found that the immediate use of ice following any form of exercise for sufferers of Fibromyalgia has helped to decrease the pain they feel in their muscles and joints. Also the use of Tricyclic anti-depressants (which are normally used for treating depression) seem to be quite an effective medication for treating Fibromyalgia. These types of medication normally help to relieve the depression and anxiety that the patient feels as well as helping to reducing fatigue and restoring their sleep patterns effectively. In some cases the doctor or health care worker may prescribe a local injection of analgesics to the sore or stiff areas on the patients body. Even the use of pain relievers and muscle relaxations have been beneficial in reducing the pain felt by the patients as well as improving their sleeping patterns. In other cases the doctor may discuss with the patient various pain and stress management techniques which can be used to help eliminate some of the symptoms relating to this disorder.
Another thing which plays an important role in the prevention of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia is your diet. By eating organic products such as fruit and vegetables as well as increasing your intake of low fat, high fiber foods, and those high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids (normally found in fish) are beneficial to sufferers of Fibromyalgia. It has even been suggested by some physicians that lowering sodium rich foods or eliminating certain additives from a diet such as monosodium glutamate (MSG’s) and artificial sweeteners will help relieve many of the symptoms associated with this disorder. A recent study even shows that the use of a vegan diet could help to alleviate the symptoms that many people suffer from in relation to Fibromyalgia. There are also many alternative treatments available especially those of a homeopathic remedy style, which suggest the taking of Magnesium, B-12 Vitamins and Vitamin C.
There are other non medical treatments which involve massage therapy, heat therapy and cold packs which help to temporarily relieve the symptoms that sufferers feel. Sometimes the use of hydro or water therapy can improve circulation of blood around the body which helps to decrease the muscle aches felt by many sufferers of Fibromyalgia. At the present there are ongoing studies which may offer more treatments or even just one specific treatment for helping to relieve the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
Many women who now suffer from Fibromyalgia find that they become withdrawn from those around them due to the pain and anxiety they feel and in some cases the effects as so severe that the women is unable to work in a position that is either physical or very stressful. However the best advice that any person suffering from Fibromyalgia to be given is seek advice and ensure that they maintain an healthy lifestyle, this will include light exercise, a healthy well balanced diet as well as staying active as much as possible both at home and at work.
About the Author: Kerris Samson a work from home mum now residing in Spain and who has spent a vast amount of researching the causes, the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia and how it can be treated. If you would like to know more about this disease and the effects it has on people, please visit www.fibromyalgia.oneohtwo.info.