Fibromyalgia Causes and Risks

The cause of this disorder is unknown. Physical or emotional trauma may play a role in development of the syndrome. A number of lines of evidence suggest that fibromyalgia patients have abnormal pain transmission responses. It has been suggested that sleep disturbances, which are common in fibromyalgia patients, may actually cause the condition. Another hypothesis suggests that the disorder may be associated with changes in skeletal muscle metabolism, possibly caused by decreased blood flow, which could cause chronic fatigue and weakness. Others have suggested that an infectious microbe, such as a virus, triggers the illness. At this point, no such virus or microbe has been identified. Pilot studies have shown a possible inherited tendency toward the disease, though evidence is very preliminary. The information about Fibromyalgia presented here will do one of two things: either it will reinforce what you know about Fibromyalgia or it will teach you something new. Both are good outcomes. The disorder has an increased frequency among women 20 to 50 years old. The prevalence of the disease has been estimated between 0.7% and 13% for women, and between 0.2% and 3.9% for men. Symptoms * Multiple tender areas (muscle and joint pain) on the back of the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hip, shin, elbows, knees. * Fatigue * Sleep disturbances * Body aches * Reduced exercise tolerance * Chronic facial muscle pain or aching Signs and Tests A number of tests may be done to rule out other disorders. An examination reveals multiple tender areas on the back of the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hip, shin, elbows, or knees. Sometimes, laboratory and X-ray tests are done to help confirm the diagnosis. The tests will also rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms. Other underlying ailments, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis, can also be present. New patients should be checked for these underlying conditions as well as fibromyalgia

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