“But you don’t look sick.” This is a phrase many people with fibromyalgia hear every day. People with the condition often look completely healthy, but are in near-constant pain.
Fibromyalgia is a common, little-understood condition that is described as by widespread pain and fatigue.
This “invisible illness” is often treated with medications, including painkillers and antidepressants.
But there is more you can do then just take medications, fibromyalgia is real and manageable!
Tune in this Tuesday October 4th with Dr. E to hear what you can do to manage fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a mysterious disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s not life-threatening, but it can be crippling and debilitating, making it difficult to get through the day. So what causes fibromyalgia? How do you know if you have it? And how do you treat it?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that affects your body’s ability to handle stress. It’s characterized by widespread muscle pain, tenderness, fatigue, and other symptoms.
While it’s not known what causes fibromyalgia, research suggests that it may be related to changes in how your brain processes pain. It’s also believed that the disorder may be due to genetic and environmental factors. The symptoms of fibromyalgia often begin at a young age and become worse as you get older.
The condition can be difficult to diagnose because there are no lab tests or X-rays that can prove that you have fibromyalgia. Instead, your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and order blood tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, such as anemia or hypothyroidism.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
What causes fibromyalgia isn’t well understood. Some researchers think it’s caused by issues within the central nervous system, which comprises the brain and spinal cord. Others think it’s an autoimmune disorder (which means your body is attacking itself). Still, others believe it results from inflammation or stress hormones.
There is no known cause of fibromyalgia, but there are things that can trigger flare-ups:
A healthy microbiome contains trillions of bacteria that help your body digest food, regulate immune function and hormone production, process nutrients, and protect against infection. When your microbiome becomes imbalanced, it can lead to inflammation throughout your body—which can cause symptoms like muscle aches and joint pain.
SIBO and Leaky Gut
SIBO is an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, which can cause digestion problems, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. A leaky gut syndrome is a condition where your intestinal lining becomes so damaged that it allows undigested food particles to enter your bloodstream and travel throughout your body. This can lead to inflammation throughout the body and cause symptoms like joint pain and fatigue.
Food sensitivities differ from allergies because they don’t involve an immune reaction—they’re more like intolerances than true allergies. When you’re sensitive to certain foods, your body doesn’t process them properly, and they can cause digestive problems like bloating or diarrhea. These problems lead to more inflammation in the body and trigger pain signals from the nerves around your joints and muscles.
Thyroid issues are a common cause of fibromyalgia. When your thyroid gland is underactive, it’s called hypothyroidism. When it’s overactive, it’s called hyperthyroidism. Both can cause many of the same symptoms as fibromyalgia, including fatigue, muscle pain, and stiffness.
Nutrient deficiencies are a common factor in fibromyalgia. Vitamin D deficiency is a well-documented risk factor for fibromyalgia and other conditions such as osteoporosis and cancer. A lack of vitamin B12 can also be linked to an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia.
Other nutrient deficiencies may include magnesium and vitamin C, which are both important for supporting muscle function and combating inflammation in the body. Although not always the main cause of fibromyalgia, these nutrient deficiencies could indicate that something else is going on with your health that should be investigated further.
When you have adrenal fatigue, it can cause chronic stress and high levels of cortisol in your bloodstream—the same hormone that helps us deal with stressful situations or emergencies. When this happens over time, it can lead to increased pain sensitivity and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Mitochondrial issues have been identified as one possible cause of Fibromyalgia. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, and when there are problems with these organelles, it can lead to a host of symptoms, including fatigue and muscle pain.
What Are The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain and stiffness in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The symptoms usually start gradually, but they can also come on suddenly. Typically, they fall into one of three categories:
Painful Tender Points
The most common symptom is a pain in areas of the body where there are 18 tender points on the body that are easy to identify. These points are located between your shoulder blades, neck and lower back, on both sides of your hips, and below the knees or elbows.
Many people with fibromyalgia experience extreme fatigue or exhaustion that interferes with their daily activities. This can be caused by increased sensitivity to pain and inflammation and lack of sleep due to pain or other factors such as depression or anxiety.
Cognitive symptoms are changes in thinking, memory, and attention that interfere with daily life. They include confusion, lack of focus, poor concentration, and difficulty making decisions or planning things out.
How Doctors Diagnose Fibromyalgia
When diagnosing fibromyalgia, doctors will want to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Because of this, you must bring all of your medical histories to your appointment so the doctor can be sure they know everything they need to know.
A few different tests can help determine whether or not you have it. These include:
Your doctor will examine your joints, muscles, and tendons to see if there is any tenderness or pain. They’ll also check for other conditions that could cause similar symptoms, like arthritis or thyroid disorders.
Your doctor may run blood tests to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms, like diabetes or thyroid disorders. If these tests come back negative, but your doctor still suspects that you have Fibromyalgia, they may order other types of blood tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC) or immunoglobulin M (IgM) test. If these results return normal as well, you will likely have fibromyalgia after all!
What Can I Do If I Have Fibromyalgia?
Now that you know what fibromyalgia is and how to recognize it, the next step is to figure out how to control it. This isn’t as easy as it sounds because there’s no cure for fibromyalgia. However, there are ways to manage your symptoms so they don’t interfere with your life.
One of the best ways to manage fibromyalgia symptoms is by staying active. Exercise helps increase blood flow throughout the body and releases endorphins that help combat pain and boost moods. It also helps improve sleep quality, which is often disrupted in people with fibromyalgia due to pain or discomfort during sleep hours. Additionally, exercise can help strengthen muscles and bones to better support your body weight when carrying out daily activities such as walking up stairs or lifting heavy objects (which can make muscles sorer when starting an exercise program).
Eating well is one of the best ways to help manage your fibromyalgia symptoms. Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables will help you get all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It also helps if you eat smaller meals more often than three large meals daily.
When you’re feeling down or stressed out, it’s easy to reach for junk food like chips or sweets instead of healthier options like nuts or yogurt. You may start out with good intentions, but before you know it, half an hour has passed, and you’ve eaten too many calories in one sitting!
Another important thing is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. When we’re dehydrated, our bodies don’t work as well, so we must stay hydrated with enough water so that our bodies can function properly.
If you have fibromyalgia, it’s important to take supplements that support mitochondrial function. This means taking nutrients that protect your mitochondria from free radicals and other damage caused by stress and inflammation.
Some of the best mitochondrial-protective nutrients include acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, n-acetyl-cysteine, resveratrol, and magnesium. Omega 3 also helps promote mitochondrial health.
Supplements are a great way to ensure that you’reyou get all the nutrients your body needs to function properly. This can help you feel better and reduce some of your pain.
It’s important to find a supplement that works for you and is easy to take daily. There are many different supplements, so it’s important to find one that meets all your needs!
Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that can be hard to understand. But if you know what to look for and how to get help, it’s possible to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
We hope this article has helped you learn more about fibromyalgia and how it affects people’s lives. If you have any questions or want more information on the topic, please book an appointment here. We look forward to hearing from you!