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What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain throughout the body,  fatigue  , and other symptoms. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than those without fibromyalgia. This is known as abnormal pain perception.

What is the cause of fibromyalgia?

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known. Researchers think that certain things may contribute to its appearance, such as:

  • Traumatic events, such as traffic accidents

  • Frequent injuries

  • Diseases such as  viral infections

Sometimes fibromyalgia can develop on its own. As it can run in families, genes may be responsible for its cause.

Who is at risk for fibromyalgia?

Anyone can have fibromyalgia, but it is more common in:

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose. One reason for this is that there is no specific test for it, and its main symptoms, such as pain and fatigue, are common in many other conditions. Health care professionals should rule out other causes of symptoms before making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. This is called  differential diagnosis .

To make a diagnosis, your doctor may use:

  • Your medical history, including detailed questions about your symptoms

  • A physical exam

  • X-rays or blood tests to rule out other conditions

  • Guidelines for diagnosing fibromyalgia, which include:

    • History of general pain lasting more than 3 months

    • Physical symptoms including fatigue, waking up tired, and cognitive problems (memory or thinking)

    • The number of parts of your body where you had pain in the last week

How is fibromyalgia treated?

Fibromyalgia is treated with a combination of therapies, which may include medications, lifestyle changes, talk therapy, and complementary treatments:

  • Medicines

    • Analgesics

    • Prescription medicines specifically approved to treat fibromyalgia

    • Certain antidepressants, which can help with pain or sleeping problems

  •       Lifestyle changes

    • Sleep well

    • Exercise regularly. If you haven’t exercised, start slowly. You may need to see a physical therapist, who can help you create a plan that works for your needs.

    • Learn to manage  stress

    • Eat a healthy diet

    • Learn to take things calmly. If you do too much, it can make your symptoms worse. Therefore, you must learn to balance being active with your need to rest.

  • Talk therapy : Some, like cognitive behavioral therapy, can help you learn strategies to deal with pain, stress, and your negative thoughts. If you also have depression along with your fibromyalgia, talk therapy can help.

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