FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - Fibromyalgia Facts & Tips

 

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FIBROMYALGIA FACTS AND TIPS

  • The two most common fibromyalgia symptoms are widespread chronic pain and debilitating fatigue.

  • About 5 million people in the US who are 18 years or older have fibromyalgia. Most people with fibromyalgia are diagnosed when they're middle-aged.1

  • The majority of people who have fibromyalgia are women - about 80% to 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. But men and children can have fibromyalgia, too.1

  • There are 18 tender points - a classic fibromyalgia symptom - located all over the body, including on the neck, chest, back, and knees. Patients who have fibromyalgia experience pain in at least 11 of the 18 tender points.

  • Many people with fibromyalgia have memory and concentration problems. This is often referred to as "brain fog" or "fibro fog."

  • Fibromyalgia usually doesn't have just one main cause. Instead, many factors can contribute to developing this chronic pain condition, such as your genes, an injury, or trauma.

  • Being overweight or obese may trigger fibromyalgia. But maintaining a healthy weight can reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.

  • Currently, there are 3 FDA-approved medications that can help treat fibromyalgia symptoms: duloxetine (Cymbalta), pregabalin (Lyrica), and milnacipran (Savella).

  • Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids - which are found in foods, such as salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, and olive oil - can help reduce fibromyalgia-related pain. If you don't like these foods, you can take a fish oil supplement to boost your omega-3s.

  • Exercise is a very important part of fibromyalgia treatment. Try to incorporate aerobic, strengthening, and flexibility exercises as part of a regular exercise program to help treat pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms.

  • If you have another pain condition - rheumatoid arthritis, for example - you may be more susceptible to developing fibromyalgia.

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Sources:

  1. What is fibromyalgia? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia_ff.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2011.
  • By Julie M. Gentile, Reviewed By Forest Tennant, MD, DPH, 11 Fibromyalgia Facts and Tips, Practical Pain Management, Accessed 1-28-12, ©1999 - 2012 Vertical Health LLC.
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