Are there any stages of fibromyalgia?
My wife has two chronic conditions, one illness, and one disorder. Her endometriosis is one of the worst types, stage IV deep infiltrating, her fibromyalgia however varies from day to day. I know a lot about the stages and types of endometriosis, but are there any stages of fibromyalgia?
There are three known stages of fibromyalgia. The first stage is characterized by mild symptoms that come and go, the second stage has moderate symptoms that are more constant, and the third stage has severe symptoms that are always present.
- My reasons why?
- Basics of fibromyalgia.
- The stages of fibromyalgia.
- Clarification of stages of fibromyalgia.
- Wrapping up fibromyalgia stages…
My reasons why?
There is another reason why I became consumed by the knowledge of fibromyalgia. I always focused more on endometriosis since it is my wife’s primary condition, whereas fibromyalgia is her secondary condition, therefore I never really researched it as much.
After further contemplation, I realized that the reason I became so focused on learning about fibromyalgia was that there is no cure for either endometriosis or fibromyalgia.
In the case of endometriosis, there is surgery to remove the endometriosis lesions, but the chances of the endometriosis returning are very high. There is no surgery for fibromyalgia, which brings me to my last point – endometriosis is an illness, and fibromyalgia is a disorder.
Why does it matter?
It matters because the existence of endometriosis can be proven, there is clear evidence of endometriosis tissue that can be physically cut out of the body during surgery such as laparoscopy.
Fibromyalgia is not visible and even though there is no cure, and this disorder clearly causes people chronic suffering, there are still those who deny that fibromyalgia is a real condition.
This is the reason why I became so passionate about learning about fibromyalgia I want to help my wife and others who suffer from this debilitating disorder.
Many people don’t believe that fibromyalgia is real, let alone has stages or degrees.
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Basics of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes chronic pain and fatigue. Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain, and the presence of tender points, or areas of the body that hurt when pressure is applied.
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but there are many theories, such as it being caused by an imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain, or it being a reaction to physical or emotional trauma.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are treatments that can help lessen the symptoms.
Why is fibromyalgia a disorder?
A chronic illness is an illness that lasts for a long time or is recurrent. A disorder is a structural or functional abnormality. Chronic illnesses have a clear cause, such as bacteria or a virus, whereas disorders do not have a known cause.
Fibromyalgia is classified as a disorder because the cause is unknown. Even though the cause is unknown, fibromyalgia is a real condition that causes chronic pain and fatigue.
Despite fibromyalgia giving real symptoms, many people still do not believe that it is a real condition. This is because the symptoms of fibromyalgia are invisible, and there is no clear physical evidence of the condition.
This is why I believe that it is important to spread awareness about fibromyalgia and the different stages of the condition.
What are the early stages of fibromyalgia?
The early stages of fibromyalgia are characterized by mild symptoms that come and go. The symptoms may include fatigue, muscle aches, and difficulty sleeping.
The early stages of fibromyalgia are often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to other conditions.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The most common symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic pain. The pain is often described as a deep ache that feels like it is coming from the bones. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping
- Cognitive difficulties (fibro fog)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
Fibromyalgia is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to other conditions.
A diagnosis of fibromyalgia is usually made after ruling out other possible causes of the symptoms.
To make a diagnosis, a doctor will typically ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also order blood tests and imaging studies to rule out other conditions.
How is fibromyalgia managed?
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are treatments that can help lessen the symptoms. Treatments include medication, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Many people with fibromyalgia also find relief from complementary and alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture, and yoga.
The stages of fibromyalgia.
I needed to know more details about the stages of fibromyalgia, so I began to research it, and it left me with more questions than answers, to begin with, including:
- Are there different levels of fibromyalgia?
- Are there degrees of fibromyalgia?
- Does fibromyalgia progress with stages?
The answer is a little complicated. Fibromyalgia isn’t like other chronic conditions because the symptoms can vary so much from day to day, and even minute to minute. So, there isn’t really a definitive answer when it comes to the stages of fibromyalgia.
That being said, some doctors and researchers have proposed different models for the stages of fibromyalgia. One common model is the three-stage model, which divides the condition into three phases:
- The first stage is characterized by mild symptoms that come and go.
- The second stage is characterized by moderate symptoms that are more constant.
- The third stage is characterized by severe symptoms that are always present.
Another model proposed by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) divides fibromyalgia into four categories:
- Painful points: This category is characterized by the presence of at least 11 out of 18 specific tender points on the body.
- Widespread pain: This category is characterized by the presence of widespread pain for more than three months.
- Sleep problems: This category is characterized by the presence of sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, that are not caused by another condition.
- Fatigue: This category is characterized by the presence of fatigue that is not caused by another condition.
So, while there is no definitive answer when it comes to the stages of fibromyalgia, there are some models that have been proposed by experts in the field.
Clarification of stages of fibromyalgia.
So, we’ve learned so far that there are four types of fibromyalgia, according to the American College of Rheumatology :
- Classifying fibromyalgia by symptoms
- Classifying fibromyalgia by the number of tender points
- Classifying fibromyalgia by the presence of other conditions
- Classifying fibromyalgia by the severity of symptoms
Let’s expand on these four levels of fibromyalgia one by one, starting with the first stage, which is the mildest form of the condition.
1. Classifying fibromyalgia by symptoms.
There are three types of fibromyalgia, based on the symptoms a person experiences:
- Musculoskeletal pain type: People with this type of fibromyalgia experience muscle pain and tenderness all over their bodies. This is the most common type of fibromyalgia.
- Sleep disturbance type: People with this type of fibromyalgia have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. They may also wake up feeling tired.
- Fatigue type: People with this type of fibromyalgia feel tired all the time even after getting enough sleep. They may also have trouble concentrating and memory problems.
2. Classifying fibromyalgia by the number of tender points.
There are two types of fibromyalgia, based on the number of tender points a person has:
- Limited fibromyalgia: People with this type of fibromyalgia have 11 or fewer tender points.
- Generalized fibromyalgia: People with this type of fibromyalgia have 18 or more tender points.
3. Classifying fibromyalgia by the presence of other conditions.
There are two types of fibromyalgia, based on the presence of other conditions:
- Primary fibromyalgia: This is the most common type of fibromyalgia. People with primary fibromyalgia don’t have any other conditions that could be causing their symptoms.
- Secondary fibromyalgia: People with secondary fibromyalgia have another condition that could be causing their symptoms, such as an autoimmune disorder or an injury.
4. Classifying fibromyalgia by the severity of symptoms.
There are two types of fibromyalgia, based on the severity of symptoms:
- Mild fibromyalgia: People with mild fibromyalgia have symptoms that don’t interfere too much with their daily lives.
- Severe fibromyalgia: People with severe fibromyalgia have symptoms that make it hard to do everyday activities. They may also have depression, anxiety, and other conditions that make their symptoms worse.
Wrapping up fibromyalgia stages…
So now we know there isn’t one clear-cut answer to the question, “What are the stages of fibromyalgia?”
However, even though not everyone believes in fibromyalgia existence, there are some models that experts have proposed that can help us better understand the different levels of the condition.
- Classifying fibromyalgia by symptoms.
- Classifying fibromyalgia by the number of tender points.
- Classifying fibromyalgia by the presence of other conditions.
- Classifying fibromyalgia by the severity of symptoms.
If you or someone you love is dealing with fibromyalgia, or any chronic condition for that matter, it’s important to talk to a doctor to get the best treatment possible.
If you think you may have fibromyalgia, it’s important to see a rheumatologist so they can properly diagnose and treat it. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are treatments that can help lessen your symptoms and make your life more manageable.
If you have any questions about the stages of fibromyalgia? Let us know in the comments below!
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Fibromyalgia for Caring Men
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information about endometriosis and fibromyalgia for men…