What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a pain disorder that is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and both emotional and mental distress. Those with fibromyalgia may also have abnormal pain perception processing, which makes a person more sensitive to pain.

Somewhere around 4 million American adults suffer from fibromyalgia. While fibromyalgia cannot be cured, the symptoms can be treated and managed with both medications and lifestyle changes. Fibromyalgia may target the nervous system, but it is not classified as an autoimmune disease or an inflammation-based illness.

What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is marked by a series of symptoms, including:
Widespread Pain. Pain and stiffness all across the body, usually described as a dull ache that lasts for at least three months. The pain must be on both sides of your body, and above and below your waist, to technically be “widespread pain”.
Fatigue. In addition to general feelings of tiredness or restlessness, fibromyalgia also tends to disrupt normal sleep patterns and further lead to fatigue. Many people with fibromyalgia also report having other sleep disorders like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.
Cognitive Difficulties. Fibromyalgia may also impair a person’s ability to focus or concentrate. This is sometimes referred to as the “fibro fog”.
Depression.
Anxiety.
Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.

Other conditions that commonly co-exist with fibromyalgia may include:
Migraines
Interstitial Cystitis
Painful Bladder Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or other digestive problems
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)

What are the causes?

What exactly causes fibromyalgia is still not understood. Research does seem to indicate the nervous system is involved somehow (in particular the central nervous system), but fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune, inflammation, joint, or muscle disorder.

Fibromyalgia may be partially hereditary, but genes themselves are not thought to be the cause of fibromyalgia. Usually, there is a specific triggering factor that sets off fibromyalgia in a person. For some, it may be arthritis, an injury, or another type of physical stress, but emotional stress can also trigger fibromyalgia in some.

Some scientists think fibromyalgia can best be described as a Central Pain Amplification disorder. To put this in simple terms, this means the amount of pain sensation within the brain is turned up to a level too high.

What are the risk factors?

There are a litany of suspected risk factors, but much research is still required to properly understand fibromyalgia. These factors may include:

Age. People of all ages may be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but most people are diagnosed during middle age.
Lupus/Rheumatoid Arthritis. Those suffering from these two disorders are also more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
Sex. Generally, women are two times more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
Traumatic Events.
Repetitive Injuries.
Illness. Specifically, viral infections.
Family History of Fibromyalgia.
Obesity.

What are the complications?

Generally speaking, the pain and fatigue fibromyalgia bring will often affect your quality of life and ability to function in both your personal and professional lives. Some other complications may include:

Hospitalizations. Those with fibromyalgia are 2x more likely to be hospitalized as someone without the disorder.
Depression. Adults suffering from fibromyalgia around 3 times more likely to develop major depression or suicidal thoughts. If, at any point, you are experiencing suicidal ideations or are thinking about taking your own life, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
Other Rheumatic Conditions. Fibromyalgia will often co-occur with osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

How can I improve my life with Fibromyalgia?

Physical Fitness. Adults should be moderately physically active for at least 150 minutes per week. This equates to 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. Being physically active will also reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Spend time relaxing. Practicing deep-breathing or meditation can help reduce the stress fibromyalgia and its symptoms bring into your life.
Get into a pattern of sleep. Without getting enough your sleep, your body doesn’t have the time it needs to repair itself both physically and mentally. Limiting caffeine and nicotine intake can not only improve sleep but also help reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia.

What new treatments are available?

There are a variety of treatment options available for those suffering, but it is important to remember that fibromyalgia can not be cured, only managed. Ketamine infusion therapy has been shown to help provide rapid relief in some patients. Ketamine Infusions are an exciting new treatment option, IV Ketamine Infusion is thought to help reset and restore nerve connections within the brain.

How do Ketamine Infusions help treat Fibromyalgia?

Ketamine was first approved by the FDA as an anesthetic but has been used as a pain and depression treatment since 2006. Infused at a low dose from an IV into the bloodstream, Ketamine has been shown to improve pain and depression symptoms in 75-80% of patients. If you or a loved one is suffering from fibromyalgia and has questions about Ketamine treatment, we invite you to call us and schedule a free phone consultation to decide if Ketamine infusion therapy for Fibromyalgia Treatment is right for you.

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