Information on Fibromyalgia

Getting a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia or M.E is a difficult time in your life and it is often a very misunderstood condition.

The most common symptoms for Fibromyalgia are; muscle pain and stiffness‚ fatigue‚ tender points‚ disturbed sleep‚ poor concentration and IBS but there are other symptoms that go alongside this debilitating condition.

The most common symptom of M.E is severe and debilitating fatigue‚ but painful muscles and joints‚ disordered sleep‚ gastric disturbances‚ poor memory and concentration are other symptoms which are almost identical to Fibromyalgia symptoms‚ hence why the two conditions seem to go hand in hand.

Fibromyalgia/M.E are debilitating conditions that affect every aspect of everyday life‚ and it is often a struggle to understand when you used to be so active‚ and now the fibro slows you down.

It is often hard to explain to family and friends because you often “look well” but you know different!!!

Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) is characterised by chronic widespread pain and a heightened and painful response to pressure. Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain‚ leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue‚ sleep disturbance‚ and joint stiffness. Some people also report difficulty with swallowing bowel and bladder abnormalities‚ numbness and tingling‚ and cognitive dysfunction. Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and stress-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Not all people with fibromyalgia experience all associated symptoms.

Its exact cause is unknown but is believed to involve psychological‚ genetic‚ neurobiological and environmental factors. There is evidence that environmental factors and certain genes increase the risk of developing fibromyalgia – these same genes are also associated with other functional somatic syndromes and major depressive disorder. The central symptom of fibromyalgia‚ namely widespread pain‚ appears to result from neuro–chemical imbalances including activation of inflammatory pathways in the brain which results in abnormalities in pain processing. The brains of fibromyalgia patients show functional and structural differences from those of healthy individuals‚ but it is unclear whether the brain anomalies cause fibromyalgia symptoms or are the product of an unknown underlying common cause. Some research suggests that these brain anomalies may be the result of childhood stress‚ or prolonged or severe stress.

(Some information gathered from:

List of Symptoms

Common symptoms of fibromyalgia –– also known as fibromyalgia syndrome or FMS –– may include:

With fibromyalgia‚ you may feel:

Note‚ not all these fibromyalgia symptoms will apply to all patients. Common signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

What can help to manage Fibromyalgia?

Information gathered from:

M.E – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) is a long–term illness with a wide range of symptoms. The most common symptom is extreme tiredness.

Symptoms of CFS/ME

The main symptom of CFS/ME is feeling extremely tired and generally unwell.

In addition‚ people with CFS/ME may have other symptoms‚ including:

Most people find overexercising makes their symptoms worse.

The severity of symptoms can vary from day to day‚ or even within a day.

The symptoms of CFS/ME are similar to the symptoms of some other illnesses‚ so it’s important to see your GP to get a correct diagnosis.

Treating CFS/ME

Treatment for CFS/ME aims to relieve the symptoms. Your treatment will depend on how CFS/ME is affecting you.

Treatments include:

Most people with CFS get better over time‚ although some people don’t make a full recovery. It’s also likely there will be periods when your symptoms get better or worse. Children and young people with CFS/ME are more likely to recover fully.

Causes of CFS/ME

It’s not known what causes CFS/ME‚ but there are a number of theories – for example‚ it may be triggered by an infection‚ or certain factors could make you more likely to develop the illness.

Suggested causes or triggers for CFS/ME include:

Living with CFS/ME can be difficult. Extreme tiredness and other physical symptoms can make it hard to carry out everyday activities. You may have to make some major lifestyle changes.

CFS/ME can also affect your mental and emotional health‚ and have a negative effect on your self–esteem.

As well as asking your family and friends for support‚ you may find it useful to talk to other people with CFS/ME.

ME Association is a charity that provides information‚ support and practical advice for people affected by the condition.