Fibromyalgia, when everything is pain

By Jorge Franchella | It is a chronic disease that does not have a specific and definitive cure, although it does treat to control the symptoms and improve the quality of life of the patients.
Suddenly and annoyingly, some people are noticing discomfort in different parts of the body. Little by little they are becoming a little confusing because they are not easy to describe and are attributed to different reasons.

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As the days go by, those pains seem to come from the whole body, although pressing certain points hurts more. In a moment they become intolerable and a picture is formed that is called Fibromyalgia.

A long road to diagnosis
More frequent in women (it suffers approximately 4 to 6% more), we could describe it as a condition in the perception of pain. It is not an autoimmune disease nor is it based on inflammation. Doctors diagnose it based on the symptoms (what it feels) and not only depending on the number of sensitive points during recognition.

There is no specific study to detect this disease, but you may still need a laboratory or x-ray to rule out other health problems. In addition to pain, fibromyalgia causes many other symptoms: patients have fatigue, sleep disorders and up to 25 percent anxiety or depression.

Symptoms such as poor tolerance to exertion, feeling of generalized stiffness (especially when getting up in the morning), feeling of inflammation difficult to describe, tingling that affect diffusely on the hands, migraine headaches, pains in menstruation, colon are also very frequent. irritable, dry mouth and eyes.
What causes it?
The cause of this alteration is not known, but it is thought that there are many factors involved. There are people who develop the disease without apparent cause and in others it begins after identifiable processes such as an infection, a car accident or in other cases it appears after another known disease limits the quality of life (rheumatoid arthritis, for example) .

These triggering agents do not seem to cause the disease, but what they probably do is wake up in a person who already has a hidden predisposition in their ability to respond to certain stimuli. Diagnosis almost arises due to the exclusion of rheumatic diseases.

  1. Pain and symptoms present during the previous week: Large number of different painful areas plus a level of severity of these symptoms: fatigue; wake up tired; cognitive problems (memory or thinking)
  2. Symptoms that remain at least three months at a similar level.
  3. There is no other health problem that could explain pain and other symptoms.

The aim of the treatment is to improve the pain and treat the accompanying symptoms, to achieve an improvement in the quality of life. It is important to know what are the triggering factors of outbreaks, perform treatment of the associated psychological disturbances if there are (anxiety and depression) and perform daily physical exercise smoothly.

It has a benign character because it does not produce sequelae, nor does it influence the patient’s survival. In any case, the impact that originates on the quality of life of the sufferer is very variable from one person to another and may be limiting. It is essential to learn to live with her.

Jorge Franchella, is a Sports Doctor and Cardiologist (MN 44 396) Director of the Postgraduate Specialist Course of Sports Medicine of UBA. Director of the Physical Activity and Sports Program of the Hospital de Clinicas UBA.

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