Fibromyalgia: Facts for the Newly Diagnosed
You've just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. While it's likely a huge relief to finally be properly diagnosed (the National Fibromyalgia Association says that it takes the average person five years before receiving a correct diagnosis), you may be feeling a little confused and overwhelmed.
This article is meant to provide some insight into the condition and what you can expect.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
You've likely already had this discussion with your doctor. But here is an overview.
This condition, pronounced fi-bro-mi-AL-jah), has a range of symptoms that vary between patients and can be difficult for which to pinpoint the cause. The major symptom is pain over the entire body with the pain being especially intense in tender spots.
Some sufferers also experience pain in the tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect the bones to the muscles. Ligaments are hard tissues, like cartilage, that connect bones together at the joint and prevent them from rubbing against each other.
Fibromyalgia causes no damage to body parts or the tissues in the body.
The pain makes fibromyalgia sufferers extremely tired. Many who have the condition also suffer from sleep problems. Some science suggests that people can become afflicted with fibromyalgia because they have sleep problems.
Fibromyalgia can impact daily activities and make it impossible or very difficult to do simple daily activities like cleaning your house. The condition is more common in women in men.
According to the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) as much as six percent of the population has the condition with 75% to 90% of the affected being women. Fibromyalgia affects all ethnic groups and can even be found in children.
Diagnosis is usually between the ages of 20 and 50. By 80 approximately eight percent of adults have the symptoms of fibromyalgia as described the classification guide created by the American College of Rheumatology.
Fibromyalgia doesn't damage to your body, but there are still risks if left untreated. The never-ending pain will have a psychological impact and could trigger depression and anxiety. The pain could become worse and more drastically impact your life.
The pain of undiagnosed fibromyalgia could also cover discomfort from other conditions that should be treated like severe headaches, leg spasms or bowel problems.
Getting the Best Fibro Care
You have a right to be completing informed and be a part of your treatment plan. This is called providing informed consent about the treatment types you receive.
To fully give informed consent, you need to understand your health condition in words you know. This site has a six-part glossary that will help you understand some of the common terms used when talking about or treating fibromyalgia.
Click on the link for the letter that the word you're looking for begins with.
· Glossary Part 1: Words that begin with letter A,B or C
· Glossary Part 2: Words that begin with the letter D,E or F
· Glossary Part 3: Words that begin with the letter G, H or I
· Glossary Part 4: Words that begin with the letter J, K, L or M
· Glossary Part 5: Words that begin with the letter N, O or P
· Glossary Part 6: Words that begin with the letter Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y or Z
Your treatment process may involve providing signed consent that allows medical professionals to complete certain tests, procedures or treatments. You have the right to ask as many questions as you want to help you understand what the treatment involves before you sign the paper.
Tests could include:
· Lumber puncture. Also called spinal tap where a needle is placed into your back to remove spinal fluid for examination.
· Blood tests.
· Sleep studies.
· Urine testing.