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What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia  is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that Fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

Women are much more likely to develop Fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have Fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.

While there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.

Am I At Risk?

Many factors come into determining your level of risk.  Take this short assessment, answering yes or no to each question.

Do you have widespread pain in your body that seems not to go away?

Do you feel worn out or exhausted most days even after a sound night’s sleep?

Do you have a family member who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia?

Do you feel as if you are in a “fog” with difficulty of concentrating or paying attention?

Do you suffer from other disorders such as tension headaches, IBS, Depression or TMJ?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you may be suffering from Fibromyalgia. You need to contact your health provider for more information and possible diagnosis.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Family History

Because Fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.

Illness

Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate Fibromyalgia.

Physical or Emotional Trauma

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been linked to Fibromyalgia.

Gender

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed more often in women than men.

Rheumatic Disease

If you have a rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you may be more likely to develop Fibromyalgia.

What Can It Do To My Body?

Widespread Pain

The pain associated with Fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.

Fatigue

People with Fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep is often disrupted by pain, and many patients with Fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.

Cognitive Difficulties

A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to concentrate on mental tasks.

Other Issues

Many people who have Fibromyalgia also experience symptoms like depression, headaches, and pain or cramping in the lower abdomen.

What Can I Do?

The first step is to contact your health care provider for diagnosis.  After that, self-care is key!

You can reduce the pain and help with the fatigue by making lifestyle changes.  These changes can be overwhelming and difficult.  As a health coach, I can help guide you and provide support and information to help you make these changes.

Yoga

A regular gentle yoga practice has can reduce pain and fatigue which are two of the biggest complaints of sufferers of Fibromyalgia.

Healthy Foods

Dietary changes can make a difference.  It has been shown in many studies that changing to an anti-inflammatory diet can reduce the inflammation that causes joint pain.

Better Rest

A good night’s sleep is key to good health overall. The combination of a gentle restorative yoga practice and stress reducing techniques such as meditation, massage, and daily walks can help improve your sleep.

Let’s get started!

The first step is to complete one of the health history assessments. I offer a free 50-minute session to discuss how making small changes in your daily habits can lessen the symptoms. Let’s start now, so you can start feeling better soon!