Posts Tagged Chronic Illness

Fibromyalgia Itching & Marijuana

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Many people who have fibromyalgia also report that they feel a constant itching sensation. It doesn’t seem to be caused by any irritation of the skin but is rather just a persistent itchiness that can occur all over the body. And for many people, fibromyalgia itching is worse than the pain.

The constant itch is incredibly frustrating and close to impossible to satisfy. And that leads to many people scratching until they break the skin, which leads to infections. Unfortunately, this kind of chronic itching is not understood very well by science. And fibro itching, in particular, is not the target of much research by most medical researchers.

But with marijuana increasingly being accepted as a medication, many wonder if it can help treat fibromyalgia itching. So what exactly is fibro itching? And can marijuana help?

What Is Fibromyalgia Itching?

Fibro itching is something that affects many people with fibromyalgia. And while usually itching is caused by irritated skin, people with fibromyalgia get the feeling of itching for seemingly no reason. Many find that the itching comes and goes, but some feel it nearly all the time.

No one is sure what causes it, but this kind of chronic itching is actually common in many chronic pain disorders. And some doctors think that the itching is the result of the same over-active nerves that cause these disorders. They believe that the nerves are sending itching signals to the brain by mistake, which causes the chronic itching feeling.

Can Marijuana Help?

Marijuana is increasingly gaining acceptance as an effective treatment for many chronic health conditions. And there is some evidence that marijuana can help cure itching in some conditions, especially psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes skin cells to be produced too quickly, which results in scaly, itchy skin.

Scientists have studied marijuana as a treatment for this condition and found that it is effective. And it is also effective in treating chronic itching caused by liver disease. So certainly, some forms of itching are treatable with cannabis.

Unfortunately, there isn’t that much understanding about how exactly cannabis stops itching. It seems like the most logical explanation is that it stops nerve cells from interacting with each other.

As far as fibromyalgia itching goes, little to no research exists on how effective cannabis is. And for many people, marijuana can actually cause itching. This is especially true for people who are allergic to cannabis.

So is marijuana effective for fibromyalgia itching? It’s tough to say. It does seem to help with certain itching disorders, but it isn’t clear that this is one of them. However, if it works with other conditions that cause chronic itching, it stands to reason that it could be effective. It’s certainly worth pursuing as an option.

How Can You Get Prescribed Marijuana For Fibromyalgia Itching?

The first thing you need to ask when trying to get a prescription for medical marijuana is whether or not your state allows it. There are currently twenty-three states where doctors can prescribe it. So if you want to get a medical marijuana prescription, you have to first establish residency in that state with your doctor according to the law.

Then, all you have to do is discuss it with your doctor like you would any other condition. Your doctor will determine if medical marijuana is a good choice for you and then give you a prescription like with any drug.

Then you will have to go to a legally licensed dispensary to obtain your medication. Be careful when choosing a strain that you tell the staff if you are a first time user. The THC content varies substantially among different strains, and starting with too much THC can cause panic attacks which can be psychologically traumatizing.

With that being said, marijuana for medical purposes has been determined to be safe for most patients. Though people with pre-existing mental health conditions might want to think carefully before trying it.

Is Marijuana Effective For Other Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia?

Marijuana is gaining a lot of acceptance as an effective medical option for people with chronic pain diseases like fibromyalgia. And there’s a lot of evidence that THC-derived medications can be at least as effective as opioid pain relievers in treating fibromyalgia pain.

A study in Germany found that forty subjects with fibromyalgia reported significantly reduced pain after taking cannabis-based medications over the period of a month. So as far as chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia go, marijuana seems to be an effective treatment for a lot of people.

So if you’re suffering from the chronic pain of fibromyalgia without really finding an effective treatment, it might be worth considering medical marijuana.

But aa lot of people with diseases like fibromyalgia worry about using marijuana because they don’t want to take a psychoactive drug like marijuana. And that’s a valid concern. People who are likely to abuse drugs might worry that using medical marijuana might lead to addiction, which is more of a concern with marijuana than people in the media often argue. And using psychoactive drugs like marijuana always carries specific risks. Not to mention that some people simply don’t enjoy the feeling of being high.

And using psychoactive drugs like marijuana always carries specific risks. Not to mention that some people simply don’t enjoy the feeling of being high.

With that being said, medical marijuana can be used without getting you high, and thus it might still be worth a try if that’s a concern. It’s up to you to way the risks and benefits with your doctor. Be honest with your medical provider about your concerns and listen to their opinion about whether marijuana might be an effective treatment for your fibromyalgia itching.

 

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Fibromyalgia & Psoriasis

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People who fibromyalgia often don’t just suffer from fibromyalgia. There are a number of diseases that seem to go hand-in-hand with the condition. Fibromyalgia seems to be linked to things mood disorders, PTSD, arthritis, and IBS. Sometimes, you can even see the conditions that go along with fibromyalgia, like psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a tough condition to deal with, which is why it’s such a concern for people with fibromyalgia. So, what should you know about psoriasis? And how is it liked to fibromyalgia?

What Should You Know About Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a condition that causes scaly patches to form on the skin. These patches are usually red and inflamed. And they are often very sensitive to the touch and may be quite itchy. The issues with the skin usually come and go. Sometimes, you might experience small outbreaks. And other times, there may be major outbreaks that cover large areas of the skin.

There are a few different types of psoriasis. The most common form is called plaque psoriasis. This form causes the basic skin outbreaks that you might be familiar with, and it can occur anywhere.

Then, there’s inverse psoriasis. The major difference in this form of the condition is that the plaques seem to form from friction. So, the most common places to suffer from inverse psoriasis are the armpits and under the breasts. But anywhere where the skin rubs together can be vulnerable to outbreaks.

These are probably the most common form of psoriasis, but there are also other, less common forms. Those forms include nail psoriasis, which causes damage to the finger and toenails, and erythrodermic psoriasis, which creates a huge rash all over the body.

Finally, there’s psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that combines the skin problems of psoriasis with the joint pain of arthritis. This joint pain can sometimes make it hard to distinguish from fibromyalgia, which also causes pain near the joints.

Like other forms of psoriasis, Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. In a healthy immune system, your body produces cells that target and destroy bacteria. It’s an important part of keeping you healthy. But sometimes, the immune system begins to target the body’s own cells instead.

When this happens, it produces an autoimmune disease. In the case of psoriasis, the immune cells attack the skin cells, which causes them to multiply rapidly. That explosion in the number of skin cells produces the scaly patches we associate with the disorder.

Psoriatic arthritis is especially interesting for people with fibromyalgia because the conditions can actually cause similar symptoms.

And there seems to be a strong link between Psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia.

How Is It Linked To Fibromyalgia?

Both conditions can lead to fatigue and stiffness. But while a trained doctor can easily tell the difference between the two conditions when you go for a check-up, there does seem to be a link between the conditions. People with fibromyalgia often seem to develop Psoriatic arthritis and vice versa.

That link can probably be explained by the fact that psoriasis is an autoimmune condition.

We know that people with fibromyalgia seem to develop autoimmune diseases at a higher rate than the rest of the population. For a long time, doctors assumed that meant that fibromyalgia itself might be an autoimmune disorder. But most researchers no longer think this is the case.

Instead, the link may simply be due to stress. Experiencing long periods of stress substantially raises your risk of developing autoimmune diseases. And of course, few conditions cause long-term stress like fibromyalgia. It could that the stress of fibromyalgia is actually making people more likely to develop autoimmune conditions like psoriasis.

And it turns out that stress might also play a role in developing fibromyalgia. So essentially, autoimmune diseases like psoriasis might be so stressful that it makes you more likely to develop fibromyalgia. It’s a horrible, self-reinforcing cycle that might just explain the link between the two conditions.

Both autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia are poorly understood by modern medical science. And until we know more about both conditions, it’s hard to say for sure what the link between them is. But chronic stress may be the best answer we have at the moment.

This may be another sign of how important it is to reduce stress when you’re living with psoriasis or fibromyalgia. It may prevent you from developing another, related medical condition. The good news is that both conditions can also be managed with medications. Always consult your doctor if you think are suffering from a serious medical problem and follow their advice.

 

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Fibromyalgia & Esophagitis

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Fibromyalgia can cause a lot of very unpleasant symptoms. There are the obvious fatigue and chronic pain, but it can also lead to a wide range of other problems including things like chronic itching and frequent urination. But one of the most uncomfortable side effects has to be GERD, or gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease. Basically, it causes your stomach acid to escape into the esophagus, which can lead to another condition called esophagitis.

Esophagitis can be extremely uncomfortable and make basic things like eating excruciating. So what exactly do you need to know about esophagitis? And what can you do to treat it?

What Is Esophagitis?

Esophagitis happens when the lining of the esophagus gets inflamed. And there are a number of things that can cause this to happen like:

  • Certain medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen among other forms of NSAIDs.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Vitamin supplement, particularly potassium and vitamin C.
  • Infections of the esophagus, especially among people who are immunocompromised.
  • Allergies.

But when it comes to fibromyalgia, GERD is probably the most common reason to develop the condition. When you have GERD, not only does acid escape back into the esophagus, but bits of undigested food can flow up into your esophagus as well. These chunks of acid-covered food can damage the lining of the esophagus, which leads to inflammation.

The symptoms of the condition can range from minor irritation to difficulty swallowing, chest pain so severe that is often confused with heart attacks, nausea, fever, and vomiting.

And it’s also possible to breathe some of the stomach acid into your lungs, which results in a chronic cough as your body tries to expel the acid. And if the damage to your esophagus is severe enough, it may begin to bleed, which leads to blood in your spit or even vomit.

How Can You Treat It?

The best way to manage a condition like this is to make basic lifestyle changes that can decrease the severity of your symptoms. Being overweight is a major risk factor, so making sure to follow a balanced diet and exercise can go a long way towards reducing the effects of the condition. Losing just five or ten pounds can significantly reduce the pressure on your stomach, and makes a huge difference when it comes to GERD.

In addition, smoking can damage the esophagus and irritate the inflamed tissue, as can alcohol. So making sure to drink moderately and not smoke can help as well.

In addition, there are certain types of food that you should avoid. Spicy or fatty foods cause your stomach to produce more acid, which can make GERD worse. And when you regurgitate spicy food back into your esophagus, the chemicals that make it spicy can also be very painful when they come into contact with the damaged tissue of the esophagus. Finally, chocolate and mint are also known to increase the risk of acid reflux.

And instead of eating large meals three times a day, it’s often better to eat more frequent, smaller meals. This gives your stomach a chance to digest the food before it gets too full. Having less space in your stomach makes it more likely that the acid will flow back up.

Many people also find that their acid reflux problems are worse at night. That’s partially because your body is digesting all the food you’ve had for the day and partially because when you lay down to sleep, it’s easier for the acid to flow back out of the stomach. Instead of sleeping on your side, consider elevating your body on a few pillows or a specially designed pad. Elevating your body can help keep the acid in the stomach where it belongs.

Finally, there are a number of medications that you can use to reduce your GERD symptoms. Basic antacids, such as you might get at a drug store, can help. But for severe acid reflux, they usually aren’t enough. Consider seeing a doctor to get some prescription strength acid reflux medications like Prilosec.

It’s also a good idea to see a doctor to have them examine your esophagus. It’s possible that you might actually have a tear in the lining, which lets acid flow into your body and can be extremely dangerous. This kind of tear requires surgery, so it’s always worth having a doctor look at your symptoms and give you some professional advice on what to do.

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The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Fibromyalgia & Hair Loss

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If you have fibromyalgia, you may notice that your hair hurts. Loss of hair is just one symptom of fibromyalgia out of many. Several common symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, depression, muscle and joint issues, and chronic pain. Fibromyalgia is a condition in which people experience widespread chronic pain throughout the body. Widespread pain caused by fibromyalgia occurs on both sides of the body and both above and below the waist. The brain processes abnormal pain signals, which creates the widespread pain and makes it heightened.

Hair loss and hair pain are possible if you have fibromyalgia. Before reading the following article, make sure to contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. This article is simply discussing why your hair hurts in relation to fibromyalgia.

Hair Loss

Many people who have fibromyalgia experience hair loss. Hair loss or thinning can be one symptom of fibromyalgia. Hair pain may also arise, which is discussed further in this article.

Why am I losing so much hair?

So, why are you experiencing hair loss? Here are a few possible reasons:

Medication: One reason why you may have hair loss is due to medications for fibromyalgia. If you start a new medication and notice you are losing more hair, make sure to speak to your doctor.

High Stress: Another reason may be due to times of high stress. During times of high stress or symptom flares, individuals with fibromyalgia can experience unusual hair loss or widespread thinning. The good news is that stress-induced hair loss is reversible and can be treated.

Thyroid Dysfunction: Hair loss may be due to thyroid dysfunction. Thyroid dysfunction is thought to be more common in people who have fibromyalgia. Check your thyroid hormone levels and speak to your doctor for more information concerning thyroid dysfunction.

Autoimmune Issues: If you are experiencing hair loss in multiple spots, you may be experiencing autoimmune issues. Hair loss occurs as several coin-shaped bald spots, which is also known as alopecia.

Treating Hair Loss

Although there is no proven treatment for preventing hair loss before it falls out, there is good news. Luckily, hair grows back, and there are several steps you can take to help treat hair loss. It is important to not allow yourself to get more stressed. Instead, stay calm and look into the different approaches to treatment.

To treat hair thinning and hair loss, one option is to optimize overall nutritional support. This is especially good for stress-induced hair loss cases. Low iron negatively affects hair growth. Try taking an iron tablet. Another resource to try is Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder. However, keep in mind too much of anything is never a good thing. Too much iron can result in dangerous levels of excess iron in the body.

Another way to treat hair loss that is caused by high levels of stress is to optimize thyroid function. As mentioned earlier, thyroid dysfunction is more common in people who have fibromyalgia. In order to check your thyroid hormone levels, speak to your doctor.

Hair Pain

Several people who have fibromyalgia also experience the symptom of hair pain. In fact, several accounts say that the head gets so sensitive that it is difficult to touch the hair. There are many stories online that include people from the fibromyalgia community who report a burning sensation. The painful sensation comes and goes but makes it hard for people to touch their hair, much less wash or brush it.

People who have fibromyalgia ask whether or not there are steps to take to ease the pain. There are recommendations, such as leaving your hair down. Putting hair up in a ponytail or bun may create even more pain. If you need to put your hair up, it is recommended to use hair elastic scrunchies. Another possibility is to cut or shave your hair.

Why does my scalp hurt?

When hair loss or hair thinning occurs pain may arise from the scalp muscles being too tight. Allodynia, or pain caused by touching the skin, is a nuisance, which is why treatment is important.

Treatment

Certain medications can help ease the scalp pain caused by fibromyalgia. According to Dr. Teitelbaum, there are steps you can take to address the hair pain symptom. Ultram and Neurontin are low-cost generics that can be used. Additionally, there is End Pain by Enzymatic Therapy and Curamin by EuroPharma. If you are experiencing other symptoms or have questions and concerns, it is important to contact your doctor.

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The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Fibromyalgia & Psoriasis

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People who fibromyalgia often don’t just suffer from fibromyalgia. There are a number of diseases that seem to go hand-in-hand with the condition. Fibromyalgia seems to be liked to things mood disorders, PTSD, arthritis, and IBS. Sometimes, you can even see the conditions that go along with fibromyalgia, like psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a tough condition to deal with, which is why it’s such a concern for people with fibromyalgia. So, what should you know about psoriasis? And how is it liked to fibromyalgia?

What Should You Know About Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a condition that causes scaly patchesto form on the skin. These patches are usually red and inflamed. And they are often very sensitive to the touch and may be quite itchy. The issues with the skin usually come and go. Sometimes, you might experience small outbreaks. And other times, there may be major outbreaks that cover large areas of the skin.

There are a few different types of psoriasis. The most common form is called plaque psoriasis. This form causes the basic skin outbreaks that you might be familiar with, and it can occur anywhere.

Then, there’s inverse psoriasis. The major difference in this form of the condition is that the plaques seem to form from friction. So, the most common places to suffer from inverse psoriasis are the armpits and under the breasts. But anywhere where the skin rubs together can be vulnerable to outbreaks.

These are probably the most common form of psoriasis, but there are also other, less common forms. Those forms include nail psoriasis, which causes damage to the finger and toenails, and erythrodermic psoriasis, which creates a huge rash all over the body.

Finally, there’s psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that combines the skin problems of psoriasis with the joint pain of arthritis. This joint pain can sometimes make it hard to distinguish from fibromyalgia, which also causes pain near the joints.

Like other forms of psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. In a healthy immune system, your body produces cells that target and destroy bacteria. It’s an important part of keeping you healthy. But sometimes, the immune system begins to target the body’s own cells instead.

When this happens, it produces an autoimmune disease. In the case of psoriasis, the immune cells attack the skin cells, which causes them to multiply rapidly. That explosion in the number of skin cells produces the scaly patches we associate with the disorder.

Psoriatic arthritis is especially interesting for people with fibromyalgia because the conditions can actually cause similar symptoms.

And there seems to be a strong linkbetween psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia.

How Is It Linked To Fibromyalgia?

Both conditions can lead to fatigue and stiffness. But while a trained doctor can easily tell the difference between the two conditions when you go for a check-up, there does seem to be a link between the conditions. People with fibromyalgia often seem to develop psoriatic arthritis and vice versa.

That link can probably be explained by the fact that psoriasis is an autoimmune condition.

We know that people with fibromyalgia seem to develop autoimmune diseases at a higher ratethan the rest of the population. For a long time, doctors assumed that meant that fibromyalgia itself might be an autoimmune disorder. But most researchers no longer think this is the case.

Instead, the link may simply be due to stress. Experiencing long periods of stress substantially raises your risk of developing autoimmune diseases. And of course, few conditions cause long-term stress like fibromyalgia. It could that the stress of fibromyalgia is actually making people more likely to develop autoimmune conditions like psoriasis.

And it turns out that stress might also play a rolein developing fibromyalgia. So essentially, autoimmune diseases like psoriasis might be so stressful that it makes you more likely to develop fibromyalgia. It’s a horrible, self-reinforcing cycle that might just explain the link between the two conditions.

Both autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia are poorly understood by modern medical science. And until we know more about both conditions, it’s hard to say for sure what the link between them is. But chronic stress may be the best answer we have at the moment.

This may be another sign of how important it is to reduce stress when you’re living with psoriasis or fibromyalgia. It may prevent you from developing another, related medical condition. The good news is that both conditions can also be managed with medications. Always consult your doctor if you think are suffering from a serious medical problem and follow their advice.

 

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Five Common Muscular Diseases

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Swimming, walking, running, sitting, and even talking are all activities that rely on muscles. Any motion, whether we are conscious of it or not, depends on muscles. We rely on our muscles to move throughout the motions of everyday life. Without muscles, our bodies would not be able to function properly. When problems arise due to muscular disorders the body can feel weak and painful. Muscles are very significant to our lives, yet we may take them for granted at times. Muscle disorders, also known as myopathy, can create difficulty for those dealing with certain muscular diseases.

The following article will be examining common muscular diseases. However, first, it is important to observe a general understanding of muscle diseases.

Overview

There are three types of muscles within the human body: skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, and cardiac muscle. Skeletal muscle is the only type of muscle in the body that is under voluntary control. Additionally, it is the muscle attached to bones by tendons. Smooth muscles are involuntary and can be found in the stomach, intestine, and blood vessels. Also, cardiac muscle is involuntary. Because it is named the cardiac muscle, it is found within the heart. Because the body relies on the different types of muscles, it is important to understand how different muscular diseases work.

Muscular diseases can occur at all ages and can be complicated and severe depending on the certain condition. Additionally, there are two different types of muscle diseases: genetic and non-genetic. Genetic muscular diseases include disorders that are related to a gene disorder and involve muscular dystrophies. Other genetic muscle diseases include storage myopathies, mitochondrial diseases, periodic paralysis, and congenital myopathies. Unlike genetic diseases, non-genetic disorders are not genetic (hence the term “non” genetic). Instead, non-genetic conditions are acquired. Inflammatory muscle diseases, myasthenia gravis, and drugs or hormonal disorders involve non-genetic muscular diseases.

Causes

The following are causes of muscular disorders:

  • sprains or strains
  • cramps or tendinitis
  • genetic disorder
  • infections
  • inflammation
  • some cancers
  • certain medicines
  • diseases of nerves that can affect muscle function

Symptoms

The following are a few general symptoms that people may experience if they have muscular diseases:

  • Weakness and Fatigue: muscle weakness tends to be progressive and involves muscles located near the hip or shoulder
  • Trouble Moving: difficulty moving, such as walking, running, climbing stairs, or attempting to stand from a seated position
  • Trouble with Shoulder Muscles: difficulty in using shoulder muscles, such as lifting or carrying heavy loads, reaching above the head, or holding heavy items
  • Muscle Atrophy: shrinking muscle mass
  • Pain: defects in blood circulation, injury, or inflammation may cause pain in the muscles

Muscular Diseases

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that involves musculoskeletal pain. Researchers have determined the disease is caused by amplified pain sensations that are perceived by the brain. Fibromyalgia is more common among women. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are ways to manage symptoms, such as medications, exercise, and relaxation techniques.

Polymyositis

The condition is an inflammatory disease, which causes muscle weakness. There are several symptoms of polymyositis, such as difficulty standing from a seated position, climbing stairs, or reaching above the head and lifting certain objects. Polymyositis is a rare condition, but tends to affect people around 30 to 50 years of age.

Cerebral Palsy

As a result of brain damage, cerebral palsy involves an impairment or loss of motor function. People who have cerebral palsy are either born with the condition or it develops after birth. Problems associated with cerebral palsy include lack of muscle control, body movement, muscle coordination, and difficulty balancing.

Mitochondrial Myopathies

Mitochondria are important components within cells because they provide energy. They are known as the energy factories of the cell. Problems connected with the mitochondria affects mitochondrial encephalomyopathy. Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy involves muscular and neurological problems, such as muscle weakness, difficulty exercising, hearing loss, difficulty balancing, seizures, and learning deficits.

Muscular Dystrophy

Usually caused by abnormal gene mutations, muscular dystrophy is a group of 30 genetic diseases that involve the loss and degeneration of muscle mass. Muscular dystrophy leads to muscle weakness. It is used as a broader term associated with genetic diseases due to the gene mutations that interfere with healthy muscle proteins. The most common types of muscular dystrophy include those that affect individuals in early childhood and males. Problems and symptoms include difficulty walking, losing the ability to walk, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Major forms of muscular dystrophy include:

  • Myotonic
  • Duchenne
  • Becker
  • Limb-girdle
  • Facioscapulohumeral
  • Congenital
  • Oculopharyngeal
  • Distal
  • Emery-Dreifuss

Although there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, certain medication and therapy can help to slow down the disease.

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The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Fibromyalgia Or Lupus?

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Among all the syndromes of our days there are two that excite a continuous fascination on researchers and doctors around the world: Lupus and Fibromyalgia. Both of these medical conditions have long been researched and on both of their causes many theories have been built. Still, up to now, there is no absolute and complete answer to the questions both doctors and their patients pose about Fibromyalgia and Lupus.

In both of these cases, determining the actual cause behind it is almost impossible, mainly because they show a lot of random symptoms that can differ a lot from one person to another. On Fibromyalgia, the main theory states that it is caused by the abnormal levels of neuro-chemicals in the human brain, which lead not necessarily to pain itself, but to feeling pain more stringent.

Other theories claim that environment and genetics are important in determining what actually triggered the Fibromyalgia syndrome, but up to now, no conclusive evidence has been brought.

There are even theories that are based on how the number of vessels in the extremities of the human body can change the way the brain perceives pain. How the other symptoms of the syndrome occur and how they can be so varied and affect multiple parts of one’s body – this still remains a complete mystery.

As for Lupus, things are not clearer either (not even by far, actually). Its causes may be related to a lot of things, including environment and stress (like in the case of Fibromyalgia), but not limited to it. Lupus does seem to “run in the family” and stress does play an important part, but there are other causes behind it as well.

Among these, you can often find infections with CMV (cytomegalovirus), a parvovirus, Hepatitis C virus and the Epstein-Barr one. Also, exposure to UV light, to trichloroethylene (and other chemicals) and certain types of antibiotics (such as the penicillin-based ones) can be causes of the development of Lupus.

The mystery behind the causes of Lupus and those of Fibromyalgia are not the only thing that these two medical conditions have in common. Also, some of their symptoms may overlap a lot to the point where misdiagnoses (and thus, poor treatment) occur. Some of the symptoms they have in common include painful joints, swelling of the extremities (in the case of Fibromyalgia only the sensation may occur), fatigue, photosensitivity and rapid, unexpected shifts in weight can occur.

One thing that is quite particular to Lupus though is the fact that patients can develop butterfly-shaped rashes on various parts of their skin, which is not found in the case of Fibromyalgia. However, a lot of Lupus patients show no such symptom as well.

Furthermore, Lupus can be mortal (and Fibromyalgia cannot directly cause the death of anyone), especially when it gets to affect serious very important parts of the human body. Quite frequently, it can get to affect kidneys (leading to kidney failure), lungs, the Central Nervous System, the heart, and it can make one’s body more prone to acquire infections or even to develop Cancer.

So how can medical professionals distinguish between Lupus and Fibromyalgia?

Thorough analysis of a patient’s state is key when trying to put a diagnosis and having to choose between Lupus or Fibromyalgia. A series of inquiries will be made by the doctor, as well as a series of examinations to establish how many parts of the body are affected and how they are damaged.

In the case of Lupus, medical professionals will start by analyzing the patient’s symptoms and they will run a series of basic blood tests to determine if he/she has anemia or lacks certain elements in the blood. Furthermore, the doctor will also run an ERS (an Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) which can determine the presence of an autoimmune disease in the body. If the red blood cells settle faster than the usual during this examination, then the patient will become a Lupus or an autoimmune disease suspect.

Other tests that may be run by a doctor to determine exactly if it is Lupus or not that he/she is dealing with include testing the kidneys and the liver (to see if certain enzymes are present or not), testing the urine (to see which is the level of proteins and which is the level of red blood cells in it) and testing for Syphilis (to check the presence of anti-phospholipid antibodies).

In the case of a patient who is rather a suspect of Fibromyalgia, the medical professional will start out by testing the pressure points on the patient’s body. According to a set of guidelines, if the doctor is testing 18 such pressure points and the patient finds them painful, then the chances of Fibromyalgia are quite high.

Further on, the doctor will run a blood test that is very good in diagnosing this syndrome. This test is called FM/a and it can determine whether or not certain markers are present in the blood cells (markers which, apparently, are present in all the patients suffering from Fibromyalgia).

Other than that, there are not many tests that can clearly determine the presence of Fibromyalgia, although doctors may choose to investigate the patient for other Fibromyalgia-related diseases as well (Arthritis, Hypothyroidism, renal diseases, the Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and so on).

Diagnosing correctly Fibromyalgia and Lupus is essential for the improvement of the patient’s health. Although the two medical conditions do show common things, their treatment may vary a lot and it may not be “transferrable”. For instance, in the case of Lupus, measurements will be taken to avoid serious complications, while in the case of Fibromyalgia other than pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs will not be administered (and, according to each case, anti-depressants and sleeping pills will be prescribed). In the case of Lupus, the same range of drugs may be used, but the dosages and the exact type may vary, according to each patient’s symptoms, their medical history and their severity.

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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