Fibromyagia can best be characterized as a habitual state of pain due to disruption in the signals of nerves. Fibromyalgia, or FM, is an intricate malady with a diverse range of symptoms that can come and go with no warning, which makes it hard to recognize and treat. Physicians and experts have estimated that about 10 million Americans have FM, most of them are women.
Fibromyalgia is hard to identify because the symptoms are very similar to those of other disorders, and even often coexist with disorders. Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Pain: The most common symptom of FM is the chronic and crippling pain that all FM patients go through. Pain from FM varies widely in location and intensity, from throbbing, to shooting, to aching. Numbness and tingling sensations can also accompany the pain experienced.
- Exhaustion:The second most defining symptom of FM is widespread and intense exhaustion or fatigue. “Feeling tired” is an understatement in describing this symptom; people afflicted with FM suffer from extreme fatigue that makes it hard to complete one’s everyday routines and habits.
- Insomnia and lack of sleep
- Cloudy or foggy state of mind
- Stiffness in the morning
- Cramping, muscle weakness
- Other: Other significant symptoms of FM can include headaches/migraines, irritable bowels, itchy or burning skin, rashes, weak bladder, bladder spasms, TMJ, arthritis, dry mouth, dry eyes, depression, anxiety, vision issues, dizziness, lupus, ears ringing, sensitivity to sound, touch, light, and Raynaud’s syndrome. Phsyicians will also look at 18 different but specific pain points while diagnosing FM.
As of today, there are three medications approved to treat FM. Seeing as there is only three medications approved, there is a lot more research that needs to be conducted over FM. Treatment is primarily focused on the treatment of pain because there is no known cure for FM. Due to the constant pain experienced by those with FM, it leads to them being withdrawn from friend and family and can eventually lead to depression.
If you or a loved one is experiencing fibromyalgia, is looking for answers, or is seeking to engage in a medical research study, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Institute for Advanced Medical Research at 770-817-9200.