Fibromyalgia, What is it?
Fibromyalgia Syndrome, also known as Fibro, FM or FMS, is a chronic illness which presents with widespread pain and profound fatigue.
Fibromyalgia is an incredibly debilitating and life-altering condition; however it is very hard to reach a diagnosis as research into the illness is at such an early stage. It is not easy to find information about Fibromyalgia and treatment is complex and sadly not always effective.
As a result there is a lack of awareness about this illness although there are approximately 3 million suffers across the UK.
With the right support sufferers can sometimes lead a relatively normal life with long periods of remission, so it is vital that we raise awareness and support for sufferers to enable them to have the best quality of life possible.
What are the Symptoms?
- unrefreshing, non-restorative sleep – waking up tired and stiff
- headaches – ranging from ordinary types to migraine
- irritable bowel – alternating diarrhoea and constipation
- sometimes accompanied by gas in the abdomen or nausea
- cognitive disturbances including lack of concentration sometimes known as “Fibro Fog”
- memory impairment and word mix up
- clumsiness and dizziness
- sensitivity to changes in the weather and to noise, bright lights and other environmental factors
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia often develops after some sort of trauma that seems to act as a trigger, such as a fall or car accident, a viral infection, childbirth, an operation or an emotional event. Sometimes the condition begins without any obvious trigger.
The actual cause of fibromyalgia has not yet been found. Over the past several years, however, research has produced some insights into this puzzling condition. For instance, it has been known that most people with fibromyalgia are deprived of deep restorative sleep.
Research has identified a deficiency in Serotonin in the central nervous system coupled with a threefold increase in the neurotransmiter substance P, found in spinal fluid and which transmits pain signals.