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Fibromyalgia

Published on March 18, 2022 at 8:00 / Updated on April 27, 2022 at 8:01

The main symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread pain throughout the body. The person may be in pain even if no injury is apparent.

The following symptoms are often present:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Mood disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Digestive issues (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Urinary problems (e.g., interstitial cystitis)
  • Body aches and stiffness

Causes and triggers

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown. That said, the following factors may contribute to the development of fibromyalgia or increase its symptoms:

  • Age (between 20 and 50 years)
  • Being a woman
  • Family history
  • Rheumatic diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis)
  • An infection (e.g., a viral infection such as Lyme disease)
  • Trauma or emotional stress
  • Cold or damp weather

Treatment

There is no curative medication or treatment for fibromyalgia. However, several medications or treatments can help improve pain relief, sleep quality, and mood.

The following non-drug methods can help manage fibromyalgia symptoms:

  • Physical exercise (e.g., walking, yoga, aqua fitness, relaxation)
  • Psychotherapy (e.g., cognitive behavioural therapy)
  • Physiotherapy and massage therapy
  • A thorough understanding of the disease
  • Support groups

When should I see a health care professional?

Speak with your health care provider if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Persistent aches, stiffness, and pain throughout your body
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Nonrestorative sleep
  • Memory problems
  • Stomach pain or discomfort
  • Persistent depressive or anxious thoughts
For more information:
Arthritis Society
www.arthritis.ca
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