Fibromyalgia - what is it and why do I have it?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain throughout the body. While painful symptoms are typically present throughout the day, additional pain can be caused by pressure or touch.

 

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not currently known, but we do know that genetics plays an important role in the development of this disease, as it can be observed in families across multiple generations. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are thought to result from mutations to genes controlling nerve transmission. This is why people with fibromyalgia experience consistent pain.

 

Environmental factors can also contribute to the development of fibromyalgia. Factors such as stress, trauma or infections can all contribute to the development of this condition. Other, more modifiable factors, such as high body weight/obesity, lack of physical activity and smoking are also thought to increase this risk of developing fibromyalgia. Controlling lifestyle and environmental factors is an important strategy for living a healthy lifestyle with fibromyalgia.

 

This condition can be difficult to diagnose since there is no one specific test for fibromyalgia. As such, a diagnosis can only be reached after ruling out peripheral neuropathies, chronic pain, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders. Fibromyalgia is present in approximately 8% of the population and females are twice as likely to develop the condition compared to males.

Read this article on the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia.

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