What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition also referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome, characterized by the presence of generalized tender points on the body, disruptions in sleep patterns, feelings of fatigue, and the experience of pain in muscles and joints. It’s a long-lasting or chronic condition that also includes psychological symptoms. To delve into more detail, what is fibromyalgia?

Causes of Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Although the exact causes are not yet fully understood, recent research suggests that fibromyalgia may result from a combination of triggers such as trauma, infections, and stress, which interact with genetic predispositions and hereditary traits.

Treatment of Fibromyalgia

One theory suggests that the brain lowers the pain threshold due to various factors, causing sensations that weren’t previously painful to become very painful over time. Another theory proposes that the nerves and receptors in the body become overly responsive to pain signals, leading to an exaggerated perception of pain. This could result in misinterpretations of normal pain sensations as excessively painful.

This condition is related to chemical imbalances in the brain and nervous system or misinterpretations of central pain signals in the dorsal root ganglion in the brain. The symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome can resemble those of autoimmune disorders. This similarity has led to the theory that fibromyalgia might be an autoimmune condition.

Researchers believe that genetics might play a role in the development of fibromyalgia in some individuals. However, the specific genes related to the disease haven’t been identified yet.

Fibromyalgia often runs in families, suggesting that genetic mutations could contribute to its development. Genes that may affect the transmission of pain signals between nerve cells have been identified. Fibromyalgia typically appears in middle age, with the risk increasing as age advances. It can also occur in younger individuals. Among these potential factors are infections, genetic factors, trauma, stress, and personality traits. Past illnesses might trigger fibromyalgia or exacerbate its symptoms. It’s known that gastrointestinal infections can trigger fibromyalgia as well.

Fibromyalgia can develop in individuals who have experienced emotional and physical trauma. This situation is related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Prolonged stress can lead to escalating effects in individuals. Fibromyalgia triggered by stress is also linked to hormonal changes.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Pain in sensitive areas of the body is among the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Additionally, fibromyalgia is known to cause pain in areas referred to as tender points. When these trigger points are pressed firmly, they elicit pain, indicating sensitivity and tenderness associated with fibromyalgia. These tender points include the back of the head and neck, upper chest area, upper shoulder regions, knees, hips, and outer elbows.

Laboratory tests or imaging scans cannot detect fibromyalgia. The presence of pain areas alone is not sufficient for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Continuous pain lasting for over three months and no other underlying medical conditions can explain the pain are necessary criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia syndrome.

The most prominent symptom of fibromyalgia is pain. It’s experienced as constant and consistent pain in various soft tissues and muscles. The intensity of this pain can range from mild to severe and excruciating. The severity of these pains can vary at different times. In fibromyalgia cases, periods of significant improvement in fatigue and pain levels are also observed.

Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Descriptions and Sensations

Pain in the chest area can sometimes be confused with heart attack pain. These sharp, burning sensations that can resemble stabbing pain can even induce a feeling of breathlessness similar to that experienced during a heart attack.

Pain in the back is a common occurrence in fibromyalgia. These back pains can also be perceived as rheumatic or herniated disc pain. Differentiating between these conditions is not always straightforward. Nevertheless, cases where fibromyalgia pains coexist with rheumatism also exist.

Pain in the muscles and soft tissues in the legs can also be interpreted as fibromyalgia pain. These pains can resemble rheumatic or cramp pain. They are often described as producing a burning, deep, and throbbing sensation.

Individuals with fibromyalgia might also experience numbness and tingling in their legs. Movements of the limbs might feel cumbersome and exhausting, as if they were laden with weight.

Apart from pains, fibromyalgia can also manifest itself through chronic sleep problems, unending fatigue, inability to wake up feeling refreshed even after adequate sleep, persistent headaches, depression, and abdominal pain. Consequently, there can be reductions in daily energy levels and emotional states.

Fibromyalgia is also known as brain fog or fibro fog. These terms have been coined to describe the mental haziness experienced. Symptoms of brain fog associated with fibromyalgia include difficulty concentrating, memory loss, and an inability to focus. In some patients, fibro fog induced by fibromyalgia is perceived as even more distressing than the physical pain.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms in Women

In women, fibromyalgia symptoms are often more severe compared to men. They frequently experience widespread pain. Morning fatigue and gastrointestinal symptoms are also more common among women.

Monthly menstrual periods can be more painful in women with fibromyalgia. Furthermore, transitioning into menopause can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms. The symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome and menopause bear similarities, making it challenging to differentiate between the two.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms in Men

Although fibromyalgia syndrome does occur in men, it is commonly associated with women’s health issues. As a result, diagnosing fibromyalgia in male patients can be more difficult. However, with the increasing adoption of various diagnostic protocols, more men are being diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome.

Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Diagnosing fibromyalgia, which has elusive symptoms, can be challenging. The symptoms closely resemble those of other similar conditions, leading to frequent misdiagnoses.

Areas of Fibromyalgia Pain

To diagnose fibromyalgia, the patient’s medical history is obtained and a physical examination is conducted. Establishing the relationship between symptoms and the distribution of pain areas is crucial. The primary pain points of fibromyalgia syndrome are observed in the arms, legs, and particularly around the spine.

In addition to laboratory tests, a physical examination is crucial for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Muscle strength and joint examinations are performed for this diagnosis. During this examination, areas such as the chest wall, lower back, knees, neck, shoulders, elbows, and hips are evaluated.

Is There a Treatment for Fibromyalgia?

The treatment process for fibromyalgia aims to improve quality of life and reduce symptoms. Personalized treatment protocols are prepared, and dietary supplements are also used to enhance the quality of life. Patients are also guided toward lifestyle changes and self-care methods.

Fibromyalgia treatment incorporates a twofold approach. At our clinic, we shape the treatment process and empower patients with self-care practices. The inclusion of dietary supplements further supports this process.

Physical therapies focus on enhancing muscle endurance and strength while reducing stress in the body. These exercises contribute to both mental and physical well-being, helping patients feel better and manage stress.

Fibromyalgia treatment also involves herbal and entirely natural treatment methods. We focus on both stress reduction and pain alleviation through alternative natural treatments, in conjunction with traditional medical therapies.

Among these treatments are physical therapy, manual therapy, massage therapy, and a healthy diet.

Fibromyalgia, Diet, and Nutrition Recommendations

Individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia are advised to maintain a balanced diet. Paying attention to dietary habits is essential to keep the body healthy and prevent the worsening of fibromyalgia symptoms. This approach is crucial in providing the body with adequate sources of energy. Among the treatment protocols, dietary strategies are also present.