Over the last 2 years I have been experiencing the symptoms of fibromyalgia, culminating in July 2008 with debilitating pain and disorientation. I went onto disability in Dec 2008 because I could not continue my middle school health education job. I still have severe problems almost daily from my fibromyalgia – one of the most complicated cases doctors have seen.
Fibromyalgia Overview via WebMD
Learn more about fibromyalgia with its chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
•Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms or tightness, and leg cramps
•Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy
•Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep
•Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long
•Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks
•Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)
•Tension or migraine headaches
•Jaw and facial tenderness
•Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold
•Feeling anxious or depressed
•Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
•Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder)
•Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise
•A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet
•Painful menstrual periods
Fibromyalgia symptoms may intensify depending on the time of day — morning, late afternoon, and evening tend to be the worst times, while 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tends to be the best time. They may also get worse with fatigue, tension, inactivity, changes in the weather, cold or drafty conditions, overexertion, hormonal fluctuations (such as just before your period or during menopause), stress, depression, or other emotional factors.
If the condition is not diagnosed and treated early, symptoms can go on indefinitely, or they may disappear for months and then recur.
When it comes to fibromyalgia treatments, there are medications, alternative remedies, and lifestyle habits that may help decrease fibromyalgia pain and improve sleep. Yourfibromyalgia specialist may prescribe pain medication or antidepressants to help end the pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. In addition, your doctor may recommend regular physical therapy, moist heat and exercise, relaxation, and stress reduction to help you self-manage your symptoms.
There is no one “pill” that treats or cures fibromyalgia. And a multidisciplinary approach that uses both medication and alternative or lifestyle strategies seems to work best to treat fibromyalgia symptoms.