Sample Essay on Fibromyalgia

Few people have heard of Fibrmyalgia syndrome (FMS). It is a sever disorder in which not a lot of people know much about. So what actually is FMS? Fibromyalgia syndrome is a widespread chronic musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons- the fibrous tissues in the body. FMS used to be called fibrositis, implying that there was inflammation in the muscles, but research later proved that inflammation did not exist.

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Every muscle, ligament, and tendon shouts out in pain. Fibromyalgia can occur by itself, which is called primary fibromyalgia, or it can be overlaid on top of another chronic illnesses, such as lupus or cancer and then it is referred to as secondary fibromyalgia.

Although the definite cause of FMS is unknown, researchers have several theories about causes or triggers of the disorder. One theory is that below-normal levels of growth hormone may cause it. Growth hormone deficiency has been associated with low energy, muscle weakness, sensitivity to cold, weakened ability to remember and think, and other problems-, many of which are seen in patients with fibromyalgia. Some scientists believe that an injury or trauma may cause the syndrome. This injury may affect the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia may be associated with changes in muscle metabolism, such as decreased blood flow, causing fatigue and decreased strength. Although researchers have many different theories, no one truly knows why it happens.

Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms mimic those of other disorders. The physician reviews the patient’s medical history and makes a diagnosis of fibromyalgia based on a history of chronic widespread pain that persists for more than three months. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has developed criteria for fibromyalgia that physicians can use in diagnosing the disorder. According to ACR criteria, a person is considered to have fibromyalgia if he or she has widespread pain in combination with tenderness in at least eleven of eighteen tender point sites.

The pain of fibromyalgia is more than normal muscle aches common after physical exertion. It can sometimes be sever enough to disrupt a person’s daily work and activities. With FMS often comes unrestful sleep, fatigue, and morning stiffness. Less common symptoms or conditions that can accompany FMS include Headache, Raynaud’s Syndrome , and irritable bowel syndrome . Fibromyalgia is not a psychological condition, although it has some components that are related. As with many conditions that cause chronic pain, anxiety and depression are common in people with FMS and may make symptoms worse. Many people with fibromyalgia report that their muscle pain is made worse by cold or damp weather, poor sleep, fatigue, stress, overexertion, and anxiety. The skin may be ultrasensitive, reacting to a firm touch with tingling, numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation.

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