May 25, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia

Close up of a woman's torso. The woman is laying in bed under the covers during the day.

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes muscle and joint pain throughout the body. Other symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, poor sleep, memory and mood issues, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, bloating, increased urination, constipation, dry mouth, and sensitivity to light, sound, or temperature.

It’s common for people who have fibromyalgia to also have irritable bowel syndrome, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, anxiety, and depression

There’s no cure for fibromyalgia. However, treatment can help reduce the symptoms.   

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Research into the causes of and treatments for fibromyalgia is ongoing. Experts believe that the condition affects how the brain and spinal cord process nerve signals. 

In many cases, the symptoms develop following physical trauma, intense psychological stress, an infection, or surgery. However, in others, the condition develops slowly with no obvious cause. 

Research suggests that you’re more likely to get fibromyalgia if you:

Some people suffer fibromyalgia flare-ups or attacks, in which the condition worsens significantly.

What Causes Fibromyalgia Flare-Ups?

Risk factors for fibromyalgia flare-ups include:

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How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

There’s no definitive medical test for fibromyalgia. Doctors make the diagnosis based on a patient’s symptoms, their medical and family history, and a general physical exam. A doctor may also order blood work and additional tests to rule out other causes. 

The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is typically made if pain and other symptoms are present for more than three months. 

How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?

Treatment for fibromyalgia focuses on managing and minimizing the symptoms. Doctors prescribe medications and lifestyle changes, including:

These treatments — and simply having the support of a healthcare provider who understands what you’re going through — can help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms and flare-ups.

Get Help with Fibromyalgia from Baptist Health

While fibromyalgia can’t be cured, it’s not a condition that you simply “have to live with.” Your doctor can work with you to identify and address your triggers. Then, they can prescribe treatments that reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. 

If you believe you suffer from fibromyalgia, contact your Baptist Health physician today. If you don’t yet have a Baptist Health doctor, you can find one near you in our online provider directory

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