What type of condition is fibromyalgia considered?
I hear people say about fibromyalgia being a long-term illness, and although it is a chronic condition, it isn’t an illness nor it is a disease. “Wait, what!?” I hear you say. What type of condition is fibromyalgia considered if not an illness?
Let’s find out…
- What is fibromyalgia?
- What causes fibromyalgia?
- Who gets fibromyalgia?
- What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
- What are the treatments for fibromyalgia?
- What about the diagnosis?
What type of condition is fibromyalgia considered?
Fibromyalgia is considered a chronic disorder. Chronic means that it is a long-term condition that can last for months or even years. Disorder means that even though it indicates being a specific disease, there is not enough clinical evidence for diagnosis.
There is a big difference because diseases have diagnoses, and when you have an illness, there is generally an infection or a virus going around. It can be either acute or chronic. Acute means it is a short-term illness that will go away on its own, like the flu, whereas, chronic is long-term and requires more serious medical treatment.
Chronic illness is a general term that is used to describe an illness that lasts a long time and usually doesn’t have a cure. I say “usually” because cancer is chronic but can also be cured. When you have a disorder, it means that it is chronic, there isn’t any infection or a virus, but there is something definitely wrong because there is no cure.
Fibromyalgia doesn’t necessarily fall into one category or the other because it lacks a lot of clinical evidence for diagnosis. However, because it is a long-term condition, it is considered a chronic disorder.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in the joints, muscles, and tendons. It is also accompanied by sleep problems, morning stiffness, anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating, commonly known as “fibro fog”.
Fibromyalgia falls under the category of musculoskeletal pain disorders. These types of disorders are characterized by chronic pain in the muscles and bones. Fibromyalgia is one of the most common musculoskeletal pain disorders, affecting millions of people worldwide.
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What causes fibromyalgia?
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but it is thought to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is also a theory that it may be caused by an infection or trauma. Other theories suggest that it could be the result of an imbalance in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine.
Who gets fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia can affect anyone but it is most commonly diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 55. It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects 2-8% of the population.
According to this source “It is well known that central sensitization conditions such as Fibromyalgia (FM) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) affect disproportionately more women than men. Indeed, the ratio is quite startling, with most studies putting the percentage of women affected at in excess of 75% and some as high as 90%”.
More women are diagnosed with fibromyalgia because they are more likely to seek medical help for their symptoms. However, this does not mean that men don’t get fibromyalgia. It is estimated that 1 in every 20 people with fibromyalgia are men.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from person to person, however, the most common symptom is widespread musculoskeletal pain. This pain is often described as a deep ache that is felt all over the body. The pain is often worse in the morning and can be exacerbated by weather changes, stress, and physical activity.
Other common symptoms include:
- sleep problems
- morning stiffness
- difficulty concentrating
What are the treatments for fibromyalgia?
There is no cure for fibromyalgia but there are treatments that can help to relieve the symptoms.
The most common treatment for fibromyalgia is pain medication, such as over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antidepressants.
From a non-medical point of view, exercise, relaxation techniques, and cognitive behavioral therapy are also often recommended. A holistic approach helps to manage fibromyalgia flare-ups, and focusing on self-care is important.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating and managing fibromyalgia and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to try and find a treatment plan that is right for you.
What about the diagnosis?
Fibromyalgia is generally diagnosed by a primary care doctor, such as a family doctor or internist. However, it can be difficult to diagnose because there is no one test that can confirm the diagnosis. Besides, general practitioners usually have little to no knowledge about this chronic disorder.
Fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed by a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other disorders that affect the joints, muscles, and tendons).
To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you must have had widespread pain for at least three months. You will also be asked about your medical history and any other symptoms you may be experiencing.
Your doctor will also rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms, such as arthritis, thyroid problems, and sleep disorders. There is no one test that can diagnose fibromyalgia. Instead, your doctor will likely use a combination of tests, including a physical exam, blood tests, and X-rays.
But if general practitioners, family doctors or internists have usually limited knowledge about this disorder, which doctor can diagnose fibromyalgia?
What category does fibromyalgia fall under?
What type of condition is fibromyalgia considered? Fibromyalgia is considered a chronic pain condition. It falls under the category of conditions that are known as “central sensitization syndromes”. These syndromes are characterized by heightened pain sensitivity and increased pain perception.
Other conditions that fall under this category include:
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- irritable bowel syndrome
- temporomandibular joint disorder
- chronic pelvic pain
Is fibromyalgia a neurological condition?
I ask this question because I’ve done my research.
My wife suffers from multimorbidity, meaning, she has multiple chronic conditions. She has a chronic illness and a chronic disorder. She has stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis and fibromyalgia disorder.
I’ve done endless work on researching both conditions for my blog. Here are my findings on the connection between fibromyalgia and its neurological component.
Fibromyalgia is considered a neurological condition because it affects the nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord. Fibromyalgia is characterized by changes in the way the brain processes pain signals. People with fibromyalgia have a higher threshold for pain, meaning they need more stimulation to feel pain.
Fibromyalgia is also associated with changes in the way the brain processes other types of stimuli, such as touch, sound, smell, and even temperature. Fibro can also lead to problems with memory and concentration.
Fibromyalgia is not a degenerative disease, and it does not damage the nervous system. However, the changes in the way the brain processes pain signals can lead to chronic pain and fatigue.
While fibromyalgia is considered a neurological condition, it is not clear what causes the changes in the way the brain processes pain signals. It is possible that there is a genetic component, as fibromyalgia seems to run in families. So, there is a debate on what type of condition is fibromyalgia considered.
It is also possible that the changes are due to an injury or illness. For example, people who have had a car accident or viral infection often develop fibromyalgia. I believe that my wife developed fibromyalgia disorder after the shock of her diagnosis with endometriosis. It was a very traumatic event. But she also experienced a lot of trauma in her childhood.
Which doctor can diagnose fibromyalgia?
They say, rheumatologist. My wife was also diagnosed by one, however, there is no one type of doctor that can diagnose fibromyalgia. Because it is considered a disorder, any type of doctor can diagnose it.
However, because it is a long-term condition, it is usually diagnosed by a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other disorders that affect the joints, muscles, and tendons).
Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose because it shares symptoms with other conditions, such as arthritis and sleep disorders, therefore another doctor who specializes in treating pain (a pain management specialist) can also diagnose fibromyalgia.
If fibromyalgia is also considered a neurological condition, can a neurologist diagnose you with it?
The answer is yes. A neurologist can diagnose you with fibromyalgia.
I’ve heard some people ask if they should see a neurologist or a rheumatologist for their fibromyalgia. I think it depends on your symptoms and what you want to focus on treating. Remember that fibromyalgia can also cause chronic fatigue and it isn’t uncommon for people to have CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
If you are experiencing pain and fatigue, you might want to see a rheumatologist. If you are experiencing problems with memory and concentration, you might want to see a neurologist.
To sum it up!
To refresh your memory and give you all of the above information in one place, fibromyalgia is:
- A neurological condition
- Caused by changes in the way the brain processes pain signals
- Not a degenerative disease
- Does not damage the nervous system
- Difficult to diagnose
- Treated by a rheumatologist, pain management specialist, or neurologist.
And what category does fibromyalgia fall under?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that falls under the categories of neurological conditions and central sensitization syndromes. Other conditions in the neurological category include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- cerebral palsy
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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…