Fibromyalgia, which is sometimes referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome, is a controversial disorder of the central nervous system. The unique name, which combines Latin and Greek, translates to “muscles and connective tissue pain.”
The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia are debilitating fatigue, muscle aches, and increased sensitivity to pressure on the skin. Other physical symptoms can include muscle spasms, weak limbs, and insomnia.
There are also usually mental symptoms as well, such as impaired long and short-term memory, short attention span, and inability to multitask, among others. Some doctors do not consider fibromyalgia a disease, but rather a blanket term for common reactions to mental and environmental stresses
There are a number of causes associated with fibromyalgia, some of the main causes are believed to be stress, genes, post-traumatic stress disorder, hormone imbalance, as well as neck injuries. These are just a few of the purported causes and researchers are still looking into other hypotheses
Diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be difficult, but the main criteria that doctors will look for is a history of pain lasting more than three months that affects the entire body, and tenderness in at least 11 out of 18 designated points in the body.
Just as there are a number of believed causes, there is a variety of treatment options. Lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise can resolve symptoms. In addition to antidepressants, there are now specific drugs for fibromyalgia relief.