Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although about 70%-90% of sufferers are women. It is often experienced in the wake of a physical trauma, surgery, infection, or substantial psychological stress. However, it does not always have a triggering event.
Mental health symptoms are commonly experienced alongside fibromyalgia pain. This includes characteristic “fibro fog” that makes it difficult to focus and pay attention. Many fibromyalgia patients also suffer anxiety and depression.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia treatment focuses on managing symptoms and maintaining quality of life. Fibromyalgia symptoms do not necessarily worsen with age, but they tend to be pervasive. Fibromyalgia flare-ups can be debilitating.
Fibromyalgia patients are generally treated with pain-relieving medication customized to their symptoms. Many patients will begin with an OTC pain reliever like Tylenol and then progress to a prescription pain medication when symptoms require. Some patients respond to anti-seizure drugs.
Fibromyalgia can lead to anxiety or depression. Proactive mental health care helps. Traditional talk therapy is one way of addressing a sense of mourning or other negative feelings that arise from fibromyalgia. Therapy can talk place in a group setting or one-on-one.
Many people with fibromyalgia also experience sleep disturbances such as insomnia – making it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep. This may make them vulnerable to other health complications. Fibromyalgia treatment often includes a number of measures intended to raise sleep quality. Many states allow the use of medical cannabis for fibromyalgia.
Physicians believe that more effective fibromyalgia treatments may be possible if links between these disorders are studied in greater detail. Likewise, fibromyalgia clinical resources exploring genetic disease factors are still under development.
About ten million people in the U.S. have fibromyalgia – as does 6% of the world population. Yet, the origin of fibromyalgia remains mysterious. Proactive treatment for fibromyalgia relies on today’s fibromyalgia clinical studies and those who choose to participate. Patients of any age and background, including those with a family history of fibromyalgia, have important roles to play.