Described by patients as “debilitating pain and fatigue which has been going on forever and all my doctors say there is nothing wrong”.
Unfortunately for all fibromyalgia patients they must wait for many tests to be done to finally get a diagnosis, this is called a diagnosis of exclusion, all other potential diagnoses must be rule out first. This can cause extra hardship during the wait as most patients will go without any treatments over the months it can take to rule out all the other diseases.
What is Fibromyalgia?
It is a condition of widespread pain and can include sleep issues, fatigue and mood disorders. It is believed that the brain/spinal cord are processing signals differently and causing this amplification of pain sensations. Most patients report the symptoms beginning after an event: physical trauma, infection, stress (emotional or traumatic event) or obesity. Every presentation of fibromyalgia differs but may include any of the following symptoms: dull ache widespread pain, fatigue, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, depression/anxiety, sleep disturbances, memory/concentration issues, and headaches. Also most Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from co-existing conditions like: IBS, chronic fatigue syndrome, interstitial cystitis, TMJ disorders and tachycardia. Fibromyalgia affects women 5 times more than men. There may also be a genetic predisposition.
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
Again, it is a diagnosis of exclusion, so all other symptoms must be rule out. A full work up will be performed which will include full patient history, physical examination, imaging and bloodwork.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
The main goal of treatment is to improve the patients quality of life and may not completely resolve the condition. I first recommend physical activity, even daily walks to start can significantly improve quality of life. Next, I recommend things to improve quality of sleep. We will also incorporate an aspect of therapy to change the way you may act or think of past events. Lastly, if needed we will add in supplements, acupuncture or other physical therapies.
If you have any further questions you can book an appointment with Dr. Pace, ND
Book at beachealth.janeapp.com or 416.546.4887