Fibromyalgia: The Mysterious And Frequent Disease That Decreases One's Quality Of Life

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We want to tell you about a disease that is seen especially in those who work hard frequently, and that makes most people feel like they have been beaten up. Symptoms are very difficult to make sense of for the most of us: Fibromyalgia. Experts say that it is the disease of our time.

Let's take a look at this disease together, which infiltrates every part of our lives and affects our quality of life very negatively. But despite its frequency, it still manages to keep being mysterious.

(Note: This gallery is NOT sufficient for you to diagnose yourself. See your doctor.)

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that manifests itself with extensive body aches and exhaustion.

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Widespread muscle ache, headache, exhaustion, weariness, sleep disorders and sometimes irritable bowel syndrome are among the symptoms. Fibromyalgia is also referred to as FMS.

It comes with these symptoms:

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  • One starts feeling like he isn't the person he used to be anymore.

  • One's body doesn't work enough to do what one wants to do.

  • One doesn't like being touched as much as he did in the past.

  • One has trouble expressing himself.

  • Despite all of these, one's physical appearance is still normal.

The first input the patient gives is that an ache starts in a body part and extends through the whole body.

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This ache is usually described as a burning or twinge-like feeling. Sleep disorders -sleeping too much or insomnia- are also common. As a result of sleep problems, one's emotional state also starts deteriorating. A feeling of being out of balance can also be reported among the symptoms above.

Depression and anxiety are two of the symptoms that are used in the diagnosis.

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Fibromyalgia can lead to depression and social isolation. This effect is an end product of big physical and psychological difficulties experienced with FMS. These difficulties can lead to unemployment and lower income by decreasing our work hours.

FMS is one of the few diseases whose cause is still unknown, despite its high frequency.

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However, it is reported that it is observed in very sensitive people who can easily and quickly be affected by pretty  much everything.

Moreover, even today, it is mostly misdiagnosed and misunderstood.

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FMS is one of diseases which are most commonly mixed with another disease because its symptoms resemble the symptoms of many other diseases. Additionally, there are no lab tests that can be used in the diagnosis of this disease. In this point, considering that the only input is the patient's complaints, the accuracy of the diagnosis becomes critical.

Actually, fibromyalgia syndrome is a group of symptoms.

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(Which is the exact reason why it is often mistaken for anther disease) 

When these symptoms co-occur, they signal that the likelihood of the disease or the likelihood of the development of the disease is very high.

In order to diagnose someone with FMS, the patients have to have had the symptoms for at least three months.

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Another condition is that the patient is sensitive to pain in at least 12 points (neck, head-neck, chest, tip of the shoulders, outer elbow face, the inner sides of blade bones, waist-hip transition point, outer sides of hips, inner parts of the knee, etc. areas).

When the patient mentions these, the tests conducted at this point carry a great importance.

It is mostly common among women and young adults.

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The stress and anxiety that are caused in women by the changes in hormone levels (menstruation, menopause) can be very difficult to handle. This makes it more likely for the disease to repeat or become more chronic. The studies on the cortisol hormone, which emphasizes the causality between the disease and menopause and stress in women, support this view as well.

In addition to that, lack of exercise or over exhaustion of the body, excessive cleaning and relocating the furniture often build up the base for Fibromyalgia. Moreover, environmental factors, such being exposed to hot-cold changes can also be considered as a cause of FMS.

FMS affects many occupational groups.

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Perfectionists, workaholics, and people who work with environmental factors causing FMS (architects, dentists, people who have an office desk job, brokers, journalists) are in this group.

It decreases the work quality and impairs attention and comprehension skills.

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Because it lowers one's joy of life, it also lowers the motivation and efficiency. According to a study conducted in the USA, Fibromyalgia ranks in the second place (following hearth diseases) on the list of most expensive diseases because it causes loss of employment.

Which means that we can call FMS, which affects the economy, professional and private lives, 'today's disease' as well.

"I experience similar symptoms. Where should I go?"

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First of all, the right specialist to go to for a Fibromyalgia diagnosis is Rheumatology. However, as it is a complicated disease, your doctor might want to resort to other experts' opinion.

"What about the treatment?"

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There isn't only one expert to treat FMS, which means that it is a multi-discipline business. Many branches might have to join their powers in its treatment. Physiotherapy and rehabilitation, psychologists and work therapists are the first branches that come to mind. If necessary, consultation from other doctors from other fields can be used.

It is very unlikely that all of the symptoms can be eradicated at the same time.

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There is not one standard treatment of FMS. Instead, there are rather many steps starting from one's input, diet, exercise, to psychological support and medication.

"What can I do to avoid FMS?"

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The following:

  • Dress according to the weather

  • Avoid locations that lack fresh air

  • (As it is not that probable to avoid stress althogether) Learn how to cope with stress

  • If needed, seek psychological support in order to be at peace with yourself.

  • Good diet

  • Good allocation and separation of work and leisure time

  • Rearrange your work space: get an ergomomical armchair, suitably-high desk, a computer monitor at your eye level, a good keyboard that supports your elbow and hands.

  • Find a sport that is suitable for you

  • Also, participating in activities that seek the body and mind harmony such as yoga, swimming, tai-chi and tai-bo can be very helpful.

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