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I’m sure you’ve heard of Fibromyalgia. Are you wondering what it is exactly and what it’s like to actually have the illness? I’m here today to explain it all.
Unfortunately, I suffer from Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is often abbreviated to just “Fibro”. The simplest way I explain what it feels like to have Fibro is to imagine the aches/pains of the worst case of the flu you ever had. Now times that by 100. That’s what it’s like for me every single day. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? There are a lot more symptoms involved than just feeling pain.
What exactly is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points, which can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes, and stress management.
Common symptoms of fibromyalgia:
- Concentration and memory problems — known as “fibro fog”
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Morning stiffness
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Sleep problems
- Numbness, and tingling in hands, arms, feet, and legs
- Tender points
- Urinary symptoms, such as pain or frequency
The above picture shows what the typical trigger points are. Symptoms vary from patient to patient though.
Some days I have symptoms of Fibro just because I have it. There are also days that things I’ve done the day before or even days before make me have a flair up. Some of those types of triggers are:
- Changes in weather — for example, cold or humidity
- Hormonal fluctuations such as PMS
- Lack of sleep or restless sleep
- Periods of emotional stress
- Physical exhaustion
- Sedentary lifestyle
Books on Fibromyalgia:
The last one on that list a “Sedentary lifestyle” is a catch-22. A Sedentary lifestyle is having little to no activity. Where you sit still basically you are a couch potato. The catch-22 part comes in because while it’s better for your overall health, in general, to be active, being active when you have fibromyalgia can cause you to have more pain.
Stress is a HUGE trigger for me. So is living on the 3rd floor of an apartment building with no elevator. I try to reduce my stress as much as possible. I’ve even made the difficult decision to cut out toxic members of my family from my life to reduce my stress and to be happier. That was the best decision I could of ever make for myself.
There is no cure or even real treatment for Fibromyalgia. Some patients are fortunate enough to be given medication to help with their pain and symptoms. Others like myself, are not. It all depends on your doctor and how knowledgeable they are about Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is an “invisible illness”. You can’t tell by looking at someone they are sick/in pain/struggling in life. This is why it’s important to be nice to everyone you meet. You never know what their daily struggles are like.
Do you have fibromyalgia or know someone that does? I’d love to connect with you and hear your story.
**some information shared from webmd.com**