May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month
May is Fibromyalgia Month and May 12th is a Fibromyalgia Day. This is a day to learn more about a painful condition called, Fibromyalgia or to support someone you know who has it. The first National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day was observed in 1992 in honor of the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was a woman credited with the founding of nursing school, even while she was mostly bedridden and in tremendous pain herself. Historical documentation suggests Nightingale may have suffered from symptoms similar to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that mostly affects the muscles and soft tissue in your body. It generally causes widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep and memory issues. Other symptoms are tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Chronic muscle pain throughout the body (usually will not respond to over the counter
- Severe fatigue
- Anxiety or Depression
- Sleep issues (insomnia or oversleeping but waking up still tired)
- Painful tender points or trigger point
- Brain Fog (memory issues and general confusion)
- Reduces ability for physical activities
- Stiffness upon waking or sitting in one position too long
- Sensitivity to sounds, light, foods, smells, temperature chnge, medication and certain foods
(This is just a short general list of symptoms, see links posted before for full list.)
There is no known cause although some have linked Fibromyalgia to Lyme Disease and Epstein Barr Virus and other bacterial infections in some cases. Fibromyalgia often co-exists with other conditions such as Lyme Disease, Epstein Barr Virus, POTS, Interstitial cystitis and Chronic Fatigue Disorder.
Some Fibromyalgia Facts
- About 5 million people in the US who are 18 years or older have fibromyalgia.
- About 80% of people diagnosed with Fibromyalgia are women.
- There are 18 tender points throughout the body and patients who have fibromyalgia experience pain in at least 11 of the 18 tender points.
- Many people have memory or comprehension problems they refer to as brain fog or fibro fog.
There is a test called the FM/a® Test that is a multi-biomarker-based test, which analyzes your immune system’s white blood cell’s chemokine and cytokine patterns. The company states that patients with fibromyalgia have an irregular pattern regarding these proteins. The FM/a® Test results are based upon a 1-100 scoring system. The test is positive and confirms the diagnosis of fibromyalgia if the test result is above 50.0. The company claims that the sensitivity for the FM/a® Test is about 99% accurate. It was developed at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. It has been peer-reviewed and published in leading medical journals. Check out the website here: fmtest.com.
Learn more at:
- Invisible Illness Links: Fibromyalgia
- Fibromyalgia Linked to Lyme Disease
- Fibromyalgia on Web MD
- Fibromyalgia by Mayo Clinic
- Blog: Chronicles of Fibromyalgia
- Blog: The Fibro Frog
To find good links to support groups, online support groups, books, websites and blogs visit: Invisible Illness: Fibromyalgia