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FIBROMYALGIA

Fibromyalgia seems to be an elusive health problem that the medical community is still trying to figure out how to treat. There seem to be several theories on what causes fibromyalgia. There are also many theories on how to treat it. We do observe that a high number of those who have been sexually abused as children suffer from both Fibromyalsia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder resulting in widespread muscular-skeletal pain, fatigue, and tender points. The tenderness occurs in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips.

Here are a few resources to research the causes and possible treatment options.

Immune Support - Coping with Fibromyalgia. Also information on understanding fibromyalsia, and treatment of fibromyalgia

Arthritis.org - Coping with Fibromyalgia.
Arthritis.org - Fibro vs CFS

Coping with Fibromyalgia
Many people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia experience episodes of unclear thinking or cognitive dysfunction. They become forgetful, lose their train of thought, forget words or mix them up. This is what is popularly called “brain fog” or “fibro fog.”

Following are some basic memory and communication tips that can help you deal with episodes of minor cognitive dysfunction.

Here are some common-sense pointers that can help you clear the fog:

1. Repeat yourself. Repeat things to yourself over and over again. Repetition will keep thoughts fresh in your mind.

2. Write it down. Whether you write in a calendar, in a notebook or on sticky notes, if you're afraid you won't remember something, putting pen to paper can help.

3. Pick your best time. If there is something you need to do that requires concentration and memory, such as balancing your checkbook or following a recipe, pick your best time to do it. Many people with fibromyalgia say they perform best early in the day.

4. Get treated. Depression, pain and sleep deprivation can influence your ability to concentrate and remember. Getting your medical problems treated may indirectly help your memory.

5. Engage yourself. Reading a book, seeing a play, or working a complex crossword or jigsaw puzzle can stimulate your brain and your memory.

6. Stay active. Physical activity, in moderation, can increase your energy and help lift your fibro fog. Speak to your doctor or physical therapist about an exercise program that is right for you.

7. Explain yourself. Explain your memory difficulties to family members and close friends. Memory problems often result from stress. Getting a little understanding from the ones you love may help.

8. Keep it quiet. A radio blasting from the next room, a TV competing for your attention, or background conversation can distract your attention from the task at hand. If possible, move to a quiet place and minimize distractions when you are trying to remember.

9. Go slowly. Sometimes memory problems can result from trying to do too much in too short a period of time. Break up tasks, and don't take on more than you can handle at once. Stress and fatigue will only make the situation worse.

Source: © 2003 The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org)

 

Fibromyalgia - What is it?
Adapted from these Arthritis Foundation publications: Fibromyalgia brochure, Guide to Good Living with Fibromyalgia and Good Living with Fibromyalgia Workbook.

Fibromyalgia (fye-bro-my-AL-gee-ah) is an arthritis-related condition that is characterized by generalized muscular pain and fatigue. The term "fibromyalgia" means pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. This condition is referred to as a "syndrome" because it's a set of signs and symptoms that occur together.

Fibromyalgia is especially confusing and often misunderstood condition. Because its symptoms are quite common and laboratory tests are generally normal, people with fibromyalgia were once told that their condition was "all in their head." However, medical studies have proven that fibromyalgia does indeed exist, and it is estimated to affect about 2 percent of the U.S. population today.

In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology, the official body of doctors who treat arthritis and related conditions, finally legitimized fibromyalgia in the medical community by presenting its criteria for diagnosing it. It is diagnosed when the you display the following symptoms:

A history of widespread pain (pain on both sides of the body and above and below the waist) that is present for at least three months

Pain in at least 11 of 18 tender-point sites

Adapted from these Arthritis Foundation publications: Fibromyalgia brochure, Guide to Good Living with Fibromyalgia and Good Living with Fibromyalgia Workbook.

Source: © 2003 The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org)




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