What is it?
The following things may cause symptoms of fibromyalgia to start or get worse but the actual cause of fibromyalgia is not known.
Signs and Symptoms:
Fibromyalgia causes a group of signs and symptoms. Signs are what your caregiver sees when you are examined (tested). Symptoms are things you tell your doctor about how you feel.
Pain is the main symptom and is usually all over your body. The pain may start in one area like your neck and shoulders and with time spread to other areas. You may feel like you have the "flu." The pain may feel burning, sore, stiff, or aching, or it may feel like numbness and tingling in your hands, arms, feet, or face. The amount of pain changes at different times during the day. Some of the following things can make the pain worse.
You may have "trigger points" which are areas that are very sore when touched, like in the neck and shoulder. These tender points may be on both sides of the body, like the hips, knees, and elbows.
Caregivers will ask you the following questions to help them understand your pain:
Fatigue: You may feel exhausted (very tired) or like you do not have any energy a lot of the time. Being so tired may even be more of a problem for you than the pain. You may also have sleeping problems. You may wake up feeling as though you are not rested. This is because your deep sleep stage may have been interrupted. You may fall asleep easily, but sleep lightly and wake up often during the night. These sleeping problems make your problems with fatigue even worse.
Feeling Depressed: You may feel "blue" or "down" because your mood changes often. You may feel depressed (sad), anxious, and have trouble focusing on small tasks.
Other symptoms: You may have migraine headaches, dry eyes and mouth, abdominal (belly) pain, bloating, bowel problems, and weight gain. You may also be very sensitive to the cold and have no energy to exercise. Or you may be able to exercise for only a short time before you get very tired.
Regular, low intensity aerobic exercise and stretching is good and can improve sleep and decrease symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Medicines (sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants) may help you sleep better. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen, over-the-counter medicine, may help your pain. Other medicines may also be used to help the pain of fibromyalgia.
Herbs and Supplements:
Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.
Other ways of treating your symptoms : Other ways to treat your symptoms are available to you.
Talk to your caregiver if:
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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Last Updated: 6/13/2013
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