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5 things to know about fibromyalgia



Fibromyalgia is a condition recognized by the World Health Organization since 1990. On the occasion of the world day dedicated to it, let’s take stock of this still poorly understood disease, which mainly affects women.

Various symptoms

Fibromyalgia covers a series of non-specific symptoms: “permanent muscle or joint pain, chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders”, describes the medical dictionary Vidal. This variety of symptoms makes fibromyalgia a difficult disease to diagnose, but one thing is certain: chronic pain is its main symptom, aggravated “by stress, cold, humidity and emotions”.

Women are much more affected

Fibromyalgia, long perceived as an imaginary disease, affects approximately 2% of the population. And particularly the women: always according to the Vidal, “in more than 80% of cases, fibromyalgia affects women between the ages of 30 and 55. It appears more frequently around menopause”.

A significant impact on daily life

In some patients, the symptoms of fibromyalgia are not only chronic, they are also debilitating. They cause disruptions in the activities of daily living and have family and social repercussions, with difficulties in maintaining employment, withdrawal, isolation and a reduced quality of life., summarizes the Medicare. However, it is not, to date, recognized as a long-term condition in the same way as other chronic diseases.

Still mysterious causes

Given its prevalence in women, the hormonal origin of fibromyalgia has long been one of the favored hypotheses to explain its occurrence. There are others: it could be due to“altered pain detection and control system”to psychological and social factors, such as “personal history of depression, illness, a difficult life context, a feeling of isolation (…), physical or psychological trauma such as an accident, a viral infection, childbirth”, etc Finally, recent studies suggest that fibromyalgia is probably of autoimmune origin.

No typical treatment

To date, there is no treatment specifically designed for fibromyalgia. “The main treatment for fibromyalgia is physical activity, which allows muscle reconditioning. Its benefits are multiple, as it reduces pain, fatigue and stress, increases functional abilities (mobility, etc.) and improves feeling. of well-being”, says Medicare. If non-drug treatments are not enough, Tramadol-type analgesics can be prescribed for the pain. But also drugs to improve any associated sleep and/or anxiety disorders.

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