What is fibromyalgia?

Have you ever had a migraine? Fibromyalgia syndromes (FM or FMS) is the full-body version. If you haven’t experienced migraines, the best way I can explain FM is that it’s like the “just hit by a truck” soreness that goes with a bad case of the flu. It never goes away, though. That’s just how we feel every day. In fact, for some of us, that’s a good day. The main symptoms of FM are widespread pain and chronic fatigue, but there are many others. Recent research indicates that FM is a neurological disorder, rather than a rheumatic one as was originally thought.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder of hypersensitization, meaning that our bodies are “keyed up” all the time. FM patients are more sensitive to pain, but also to hot and cold, drugs, spices, preservatives, scents, textures, chemicals, changes in the weather—everything. Our immune systems are often depressed, so we catch whatever we’re exposed to. We take longer to heal from falls and other injuries, while being more likely to fall due to issues with blood flow to the inner ear region (see FM Network News, April 2006, p 14).

FM patients experience periodic worsening of symptoms, called flares. Flares are usually brought on by stressors of some sort—illness, injury, overwork, emotional stress, anything that upsets the patient’s equilibrium. While FM is not considered a degenerative disease, those patients who live under constant stress do tend to degenerate fairly consistently.

For further information, see Fibromyalgia Syndrome: An Introduction.

One Response

  1. Lydia surgery - November 27, 2011

    Very cool I’ve bookmarked ya on Digg.com under “Fibrant Living » What is fibromyalgia?”. Kudos!

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