Fibromyalgia is a Four-letter Word
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Fibromyalgia is a Four-letter Word

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Fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. It has also been linked to ...

Fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. It has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety. I was diagnosed with this condition back in 1998.

I can feel fine on some days, but never am completely pain-free. At times, I get what are called ‘flares’. It’s like having the worst case of flu you can imagine. Feels like you were hit by a truck. These flares can last one day or many.

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    Fibromyalgia is a Four-letter Word Fibromyalgia is a Four-letter Word Document Transcript

    • empowernet work.com http://www.empowernetwork.com/carolehibbard/blog/fibromyalgia-is-a-four-letter-word/Fibromyalgia is a Four-letter WordWhat the Heck is Fibromyalgia?Fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder in which a person has long-term, body-wide painand tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. It has also been linked tofatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety. I was diagnosed wit h t hiscondit ion back in 1998.I can feel fine on some days, but never am completely pain-free. At times, I get what are called‘flares’. It’s like having the worst case of flu you can imagine. Feels like you were hit by a truck. These flares can last one day or many.Right now, I’m on about Day 5 of the worst f lare I’ve had in quite awhile. Probably why I decidedto blog about it. Flares generally happen because I over-did it at some point. When I have gooddays, I tend to do more, stay up later at night, try to catch up on things around the house, and soon.We ‘Fibromites’ can be hard to figure out. Sometimes other people see us on our ‘bad’ days andassume we are lazy, whining complainers who don’t do much. Other people may see us on our‘good’ days and consider us to be over-achievers, great organizers, perfectionists, and ‘takecharge’ types.The truth is that we are just ordinary people who can’t do much a lot of the time, so when we do feelgood, we kind of go overboard. We try to cram several days’ work into one. And that will get usinto trouble. I know exactly what I did wrong and now I’m paying for it.I have a very understanding husband who does his best to accept me for what I am. He says heremembers how I used to be before fibromyalgia became a part of our lives. That helps him tounderstand where it is coming from when I lash out in frustration.I know how lucky I am to have his support! Some people don’t have a loving family whounderstands and this has caused major problems, even divorce. Or their friends just don’t get itand push them away instead. One problem is that we don’t exhibit many outward signs. We don’t‘look sick’, so some people may have a hard time accepting the situation.Causes, incidence, and risk factorsThe cause is unknown. Possible causes or triggers of fibromyalgia include physical or emotionaltrauma, abnormal pain response (areas in the brain that are responsible for pain may react
    • differently in fibromyalgia patients), sleep disturbances, or infection, (such as a virus), althoughnone has been identified. The disorder is most common among women aged 20 to 50, but mencan get it , t oo. It can also affect children as young as ten years of age.T he following conditions may be seen with fibromyalgia or mimic itssymptoms:Chronic neck or back painChronic fatigue syndromeDepressionHypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)Lyme diseaseSleep disordersSymptomsPain is t he main sympt om of f ibromyalgia. It may be mild to severe. Painful areas are calledtender points. Tender points are found in the soft tissue on the back of the neck, shoulders, chest,lower back, hips, shins, elbows, and knees. The pain then spreads out from these areas.The pain may feel like a deep ache, or a shooting, burning pain. The joints are not affected,although the pain may feel like it is coming from the joints. People with fibromyalgia tend to wakeup with body aches and stiffness. For some patients, pain improves during the day and gets worseat night. Some patients have pain all day long. Pain may get worse with activity, cold or dampweather, very hot weather, anxiety, and stress.Fatigue, depressed mood, and sleep problems are seen in almost all patients with fibromyalgia.Many say that they can’t get to sleep or stay asleep, and they feel tired when they wake up. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia may include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), memory andconcentration problems (fibro-fog), numbness and tingling in hands and feet, palpitations, andtension or migraine headaches.Signs and testsTo be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you must have had at least 3 months of widespread pain, andpain and tenderness in at least 11 of 18 areas, including arms (elbows), buttocks, chest, knees,lower back, neck, rib cage, shoulders, and thighs.Blood and urine tests are usually normal. However, tests maybe done to rule out other conditions that may have similar
    • symptoms.T reatmentThe goal of treatment is to help relieve pain and othersymptoms, and to help a person cope wit h t he sympt oms. The first type of treatment may involve physical therapy,exercise and fitness programs, and stress-relief methods,including light massage and relaxation techniques.If these treatments do not work, your doctor may prescribean antidepressant or muscle relaxant. The goal ofmedication is to improve sleep and pain t olerance. Medicine should be used along with exercise and behaviortherapy.Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an important part of treatment. This therapy helps you learn howto deal with negative thoughts, keep a diary of pain and symptoms, recognize what makes yoursymptoms worse, seek out enjoyable activities; and to set limit s so you won’t experience f laresas of t en.Other things that may be helpful are to eat a well-balanced diet, avoid excess caffeine, practicegood sleep routines to improve quality of sleep, and acupressure or acupuncture. Severe cases offibromyalgia may require a referral to a pain clinic.Since there is no cure f or f ibromyalgia, I have had to learn to live with it. Over the years I’ve triednumerous medications, water aerobics, joined a research study, and tried massage therapy. Whatworks one day may not work the next. So I just try to control it’s effect on me and my life.One positive thing is for me to work, even though I’m retired. It keeps my mind occupied andexercises my brain. So Empower Network blogging is perfect for people with fibromyalgia or otherlimiting conditions. It’s not physically taxing and I can blog at my own pace, in my own time and stillearn some extra money to supplement my retirement.Interested in learning more?Click here, enter your email, and watch the video.About T he Author: Carole & Steve HibbardSteve and Carole have been married for over 32 years, have four grown kids andthree juvenile delinquent cats. They love to take cruises, especially to the warm,sunny beaches of the world! Steve likes to ride his motorcycle and Carole likes to
    • gamble at Indian casinos. They are both retired but when they do work, theyd rather work fromhome. Thats why they like promoting Visalus and Empower Network.