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ME/CFS and related chronic complex diseases

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic complex disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness to touch.

The central symptom is a chronic pain in the muscles, joints, skin and tissue that may wax and wane over time, however, there are also several associated common symptoms including moderate to extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to touch, light, and sound, and cognitive difficulties. Symptoms are often exacerbated by stress.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions, estimated to affect around 10 million people in the US with a 3-6% world population prevalence.  The disorder is most prevalent in women (75-90%) and is often seen in families, among siblings or mothers and their children.

  • DIAGNOSIS

    The diagnosis of fibromyalgia usually occurs from 20 to 50 years of age and requires a healthcare provider to assess how widespread the pain is and how you experience symptoms, whether the symptoms have persisted at this level for at least three months and whether there are any other explanations for the symptoms. There is no diagnostic biomarker for this condition and it can typically take 5 years for a patient to receive an accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

  • TREATMENT

    Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia and treatment is typically focused on the management and relief of symptoms. A multi-disciplinary approach is usually recommended and may include a combination of medications, cognitive behavioral therapies, and gentle exercise.

    The current scientific perspective of fibromyalgia is that the nerve stimulus causing pain originates mainly in the tissues of the body.  Hence the increased pain on movement and the aggravation of fibromyalgia by strenuous exertion.

  • CURRENT SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE

    The current scientific perspective of fibromyalgia is that the nerve stimulus causing pain originates mainly in the tissues of the body.  Hence the increased pain on movement and the aggravation of fibromyalgia by strenuous exertion.

    Much more research is required to understand the complexities of this debilitating disorder to expediate the development of a biomarker, a more specified treatment protocol and cure.

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