a chronic disorder that causes diffuse muscle pain and body stiffness in
all four quadrants of the body. It is most common in women under age
fifty. While we do not know what causes fibromyalgia, we believe there
is a problem with certain hormones in the brain that makes a person
experience pain differently. Fibromyalgia patients usually have a lower
threshold for pain.
Other symptoms commonly seen with fibromyalgia include migraine
headaches, fatigue, carpal tunnel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and
poor sleep. Anxiety and depression also tend to accompany this disease.
Cognitive behavioral therapy from a psychologist or psychiatrist is
beneficial. Referral to a physical therapist is also important in
managing this condition. Notably, an aqua program (walking in water) is
considered one of the best forms of exercise for this condition.
Your rheumatologist will examine your body for tender points that are
linked to this condition. To date, there is no blood test, x-ray or
other imaging test that can detect fibromyalgia, the diagnosis is made
after excluding other types of arthritis.
In many cases, more than one specialist is required to assist in
treating this illness. Your rheumatologist can recommend a combination
of medications that can improve sleep and function while decreasing
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