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What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that affects the muscles of the entire body. The individuals affected with this condition usually have more sensitivity to pain than people who do not have this condition. In India, it affects 0.5% to 2% of the population. It is common in women; nearly 3-7 times more than in men.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The frequently occurring symptoms include:

  • Pain, tenderness and rigidity over the entire body, especially in certain spots
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Inability to sleep well
  • Intense headache
  • Severe menstrual pain
  • Loss of sensation or tingling of the limbs
  • Memory problems  
  • Depressive episodes (Read more: Depression symptoms)

Female preponderance is more in this condition than males and affected women experience morning tiredness, entire body pain, and irritable bowel syndrome.       

What are its main causes?

The exact reason for this condition is still not known, though it is said that genetics may be involved. They may experience pain sensations more rapidly than others. The trigger factors that precipitate this condition are:

  • Hormonal alterations
  • Stress levels
  • Climate changes

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The diagnosis includes a detailed history taking, where the patient may be asked about the severity of the condition, points of tenderness, triggers and others. Symptoms most often provide a clear picture of the condition. Laboratory tests are usually not needed except to rule out other condition that can cause body pain and lethargy. It may take years for the patient to understand this condition. Imaging, especially X-ray may be done to rule out other diseases.

Treatment usually includes combination of medications and non-drug methods:

  • Pain relieving medicines
  • Exercising daily for muscle strength
  • Sleep improvement techniques
  • Management of stress by performing yoga, or meditation
  • Depression or anxiety may be managed by cognitive behavioural therapy.

Self-care tips:

  • Exercising and engaging oneself in physical activities may help control symptoms.
  • Self-care classes can help overcome difficulties in performing daily activities.

Since it is a life-long severe condition, symptom-relieving techniques are usually beneficial to improve the quality of life. Proper follow-up and consulting with the physician about any queries regarding the condition can help restore confidence and improve fibromyalgia.

  1. Medicines for Fibromyalgia
  2. Doctors for Fibromyalgia
Dr. Kamal Agarwal

Dr. Kamal Agarwal

8 Years of Experience

Dr. Rajat Banchhor

Dr. Rajat Banchhor

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Dr. Arun S K

Dr. Arun S K

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Dr. Sudipta Saha

Dr. Sudipta Saha

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  1. Office on women's health [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Fibromyalgia
  2. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Fibromyalgia
  3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Fibromyalgia
  4. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Fibromyalgia: In Depth
  5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Fibromyalgia
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