Imagine waking after getting several hours of sleep and still feeling exhausted
and feeling pain radiate throughout one's body with no apparent cause.
For an estimated five million U.S. adults, painful and disruptive symptoms
like headaches, widespread pain and fatigue are unfortunately something
experienced on a daily basis. In many cases, an individual may suffer
for years and endure countless medical tests and misdiagnosis before finally
learning that he or she has fibromyalgia.
A mysterious and chronic disorder, roughly eight out of 10 fibromyalgia
sufferers are women. The disorder is most readily associated with physical
pain that affects the soft body tissues as well as fatigue. In some cases,
these symptoms are severe and disruptive making it difficult to impossible
for those with fibromyalgia to perform basic tasks, enjoy everyday activities
and perform work duties.
To date, no one knows what causes fibromyalgia but some believe the disorder
may be triggered when an individual experiences a "physically or
emotionally stressful or traumatic event." Scientists also believe
that genetics plays a role in the development of the disorder. Because
the causes of fibromyalgia remain a mystery and symptoms often mimic those
readily associated with many other disorders and diseases, the legitimacy
of the disorder has been questioned by some within the medical field.
For individuals who believe they may suffer from fibromyalgia or who have
been diagnosed with the disorder, it's wise to seek advice and treatment
from a physician who is knowledgeable and experienced in treating fibromyalgia.
While there is no cure for the chronic disorder, certain medications as
well as lifestyle changes may help reduce the severity of one's symptoms.