-Anxiety or depression
-Specific tender points
There are 18 specific tender points doctors use to help them diagnose this condition. Women between 25 -60 are more susceptible to developing fibromyalgia. They are 10 times more likely to develop the condition than men.
There are many theories about the causes of fibromyalgia, but research has yet to pinpoint a clear culprit. Some doctors believe hormonal or chemical imbalances disrupt the way nerves signal pain. Others suggest a traumatic event or chronic stress may increase a person’s susceptibility. New research suggest that certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder. Those genetic mutations could be trigger or caused by the hundreds of chemicals in our daily lives. Most experts agree that fibromyalgia probably results from a combination of factors rather than a single cause.
What makes fibromyalgia symptoms worse? There are some common triggers which include:
- Cold or humid weather
- Too much or too little physical activity
- Poor sleep
-Physical or emotional trauma
Many women also suffer with depression as a result of this poorly understood condition. Some researchers believe the depression may be as a result of the pain and fatigue. Other researchers suggest brain chemistry abnormalities which may also be related to hormonal changes.
Treatments include over the counter pills for pain to prescription drugs which include anti-depressants like Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella) which may help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Your doctor may prescribe amitriptyline or fluoxetine (Prozac) to help promote sleep.
There are safer and natural herbal and homeopathic medicines to do the same things as these drugs do WITHOUT risks and side effects. Other natural treatments include acupuncture, chiropractic , massage, nutritional supplements and exercise. As a Doctor of Chiropractic many patients have come to me and report they are tired of taking so many prescriptions drugs with their related side effects. This is why natural treatments like Chiropractic have been able to help millions of people. You could be next.
Exercise can also help relieve fatigue and depression. Simple exercises like walking, stretching, swimming, water aerobics, tai chi, chi gong and yoga are all excellent forms of exercise for anyone with fibromyalgia.
Certain foods can trigger and worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia. These foods include: NutraSweet (aspartame), monosodium glutamate (msg), caffeine and nightshades like tomatoes. It’s important to listen to your body to see if any of these foods seem to worsen your condition. Once you’ve identified a possible trigger you can eliminate that food or foods which contain these chemicals and see if your symptoms improve.
On a different note, it was gratifying to see WEBMD include natural treatments like Chiropractic in their recommendations for treating fibromyalgia. It has long been overdue but the time has come for ALL doctors to come together and help all patients with every possible treatment.
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