What is Fibromyalgia?
“Fibromyalgia is the name for a chronic condition that causes generalised pain and muscle stiffness in many parts of the body. Fibromyalgia is common and affects around 2 to 5 in every 100 people, mainly young to middle-aged women.” Health Direct.
Who is at risk?
Fibromyalgia is more common in patients with previous underlying conditions such as viral and bacterial infections, lupus erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, depression, mood disorders and chronic pain syndromes. In some instances, Fibromyalgia could be triggered by genetic or inherited factors.
What causes Fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still not known, and it is the subject of ongoing medical research.
How is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?
There are no specific tests to diagnose fibromyalgia. It is a diagnosis of exclusion, and the doctor will come to the diagnosis after ruling out all other common causes of similar symptoms.
It is important to find a GP you can talk to openly with. Together, you and your GP can plan a multi-disciplinary approach that suits your individual health needs, based on your symptoms.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but treatment can help manage symptoms.
Important things to tell your GP are:
- Your symptoms
- How long you’ve been experiencing them
- How it’s affecting your mental health
- If you have a family history of Fibromyalgia
Are Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the same?
No, but they have similarities. “Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are medically unexplained illnesses, predominantly of women, characterised by disabling fatigue and by widespread pain with tenderness, respectively. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are medically unexplained syndromes that can and often do co-occur.” National Library of Medicine.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)?
“ME/CFS is a complex and disabling disease that affects many systems of the body. These include, but are not limited to, the brain, muscles, digestive, immune and cardiac systems.” Emerge Australia.
Active Medical GP, Dr Victor Sammut, has a special interest in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. Phone the team on 9363 0954 if you would like to make an appointment to discuss your individual health needs.
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