Fibromyalgia is not “an imaginary disease”, it is real and it needs to be addressed as such. It is a seriously misunderstood illness, mainly because, as you know, many sufferers may not “look sick.” This is why it is so important to talk about it as a so-called “Invisible Disease,” because not a lot of people nor medical doctors take it seriously.
Clinicians should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia and diagnose the condition with minimum investigation. Any Medical Doctor who doesn’t know how to detect this pathology, needs to take some courses about how to diagnose it and treat it.
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, you need to know some facts about it and remember: do not feel shame for feeling the way you do. You can control this disorder and don’t let it over-power you.
Fibromyalgia can be a hard disease to get a diagnosis for since so few people understand it.
It is imperative that we learn and educate our patients, my followers and our loved ones about what fibro warriors go through every day. Let’s take in consideration their suffering and support them fully.
UNDERSTANDING THE ILLNESS:
Patients with fibromyalgia experience body pain that weakens them. There is chronic aching in different points of the body, stiffness and tenderness.
They feel tired most of the time and this makes them nervous, worry and in some cases their blood pressure tends to increase due to the pain and the worryness.
Patients often tell me that they feel their vitality is going away and their strength with it.
Problems for mental concentration start to appear because of the lack of serenity and constant pain that doesn’t go away with pain killers. Yes, the pain, they say, might subside for a little bit, few hours maybe, but it comes back, sometimes in the same area of the legs, knees, shoulders. Some other times it comes back stronger attacking another area of the body.
Patients say “even the skin burns, it hurts so much it is scary”. Patients do hurt, not only physically but mentally, so much that their quality of living begins to diminish. At this time is when this disease -fibromyalgia- causes panic attacks, excessive crying and/or depression.
FIBROMYALGIA IS A DEBILITATING DISEASE
Patients tell me they have problems to go up and downstairs, difficulty to lift up the arms. They feel a burning sensation along the inside of the skin of the legs, the arms, even the back.
They refer to a constant “pain in my lower back”, call lumbalgia.
The cervical spine and both sides of the neck hurt so much some doctors confuse the diagnosis with torticollis and prescribe medicine for it. Of course, the patient might feel some relieve for a day or two and then the pain comes back.
Muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin burn and hurt, making the movements of all the parts of the body strenuous, walking and daily activities very arduous and depending on the gravity of the illness, even impossible.
…include headaches, lose of strength in the hands to hold objects, which they fall off their hands: “Things just fall off my hands. It’s like my muscles don’t have strength anymore”.
Tripping on is more common, clumsiness, general discomfort. Sometimes patients lose balance and fall backwards or forward.
ORIGINS OF THE FIBROMYALGIA
This illness has multiple causes and factors. Usually a very stressful childhood, child abuse of any kind.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) of any origin: soldiers who come back from war, a stressful or violent marriage, separations, forced immigration, traumatic abandonment of any kind, the loss of loved ones, even the loss of a limb can trigger this syndrome.
THE PATH TO RECOVERY
Recovery is possible. Taking control of your life is absolutely needed to achieve this goal. You can be happy and pain free increasing the quality of your life.
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Losing a loved one can be one of the most painful and stressful events in your life, and it might cause severe emotional crisis that could develop into different physical symptoms or diseases:
- High blood pressure
- Bone aches
- Worsening of arthritis symptoms.
- Gastritis or worsening of symptoms.
- And more….
This emotional maelstrom can affect behaviour and judgement. Many patients report to me stomach pain, eating habit changes: loss or gain of appetite, intestinal upsets, sleep disturbances and loss of energy. Of all life’s stresses, mourning can seriously test your natural defense systems. Existing illnesses may worsen or new conditions may appear.
In stressful and sad times you don’t need people around you who do not support you. You need to surround yourself with loving human beings who actually care about you. Go out with them, trust them if they have proven to you that they are loyal and faithful.
Having and caring for pets like dogs, cats, birds, is another way to find comfort. I especially love cats, but others prefer dogs or birds. Some people don’t like animals and would rather care for plants. Therefore, get into planting, gardening, farming and grafting. Some of my patients have expressed their liking towards social activities like volunteering, helping others, “not being at home where there are so many memories” — they say. It is fine, but remember, sooner or later you have to face reality and stay at home. So do the volunteering for another reason such as helping others and just “not” to be at home.
Remember: After the storm, calm is restored
If you want to know more do not forget to like 👍 this post and subscribe for free — Dr. Martha A. Castro, MD