Fibromyalgia and Multiple Sclerosis

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There is so much mystery in the world of fibromyalgia, in large part because it effects everyone differently. Another reason for the mystery is due to the similarity in fibro symptoms compared to other diseases and syndromes. Fibromyalgia is sometimes misdiagnosed as a different problem and vice versa. This is because the myriad of symptoms associated with fibro are commonly found in other illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, also known as MS. So how can you tell if it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?

What Exactly is MS?

The National MS Society defines it as follows: “Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.” If you or a loved one live with fibromyalgia, you can definitely spot some familiar buzz words and phrases, can’t you? Specifically, “immune system,” “abnormal response,” and “central nervous system.” In fact, the similarities in symptoms become quite striking when you review a side-by-side comparison. Note that most, not all, of the fibromyalgia symptoms overlap with MS symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish whether it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis:

MS SYMTPOMS FIBROMYALGIA SYMPTOMS
Fatigue Fatigue/Exhaustion
Numbness or Tingling Numbness &/or Tingling
Weakness Muscle Weakness
Dizziness & Vertigo Dizziness
Pain Pain
Emotional Changes Anxiety
Walking (Gait) Difficulties Impaired Coordination
Spasticity (i.e., muscle stiffness and spasms) Muscular aching, throbbing, & twitching
Vision Problems Vision Problems
Bladder Problems Bladder Problems
Bowel Problems Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Cognitive Changes Cognitive Problems
Depression Depression
Tremor Restless Leg Syndrome
Headache Headaches/Migraines
Swallowing Problems Dry Eyes & Mouth
Itching Itching &/or Burning
Sexual Problems Insomnia/Poor sleep
Speech Problems Ringing in the Ears
Breathing Problems Neurological Symptoms
Seizures Skin Sensitivities & Rashes
Hearing Loss

It is plain to see many similarities in symptoms between fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis, including clear neurological connections associated with pain, numbness, and tingling. However, experts explain that unlike MS, fibromyalgia does not show up as brain lesions on an MRI. Furthermore, while both conditions have no known source, MS is distinctly categorized as an auto-immune disease, but fibromyalgia is not. So that is one way to determine if it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis.

A key difference in MS is that the patient actually accrues long-term nerve damage which leads to physical and cognitive impairments. In fact, some types of MS are progressive. Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), for example, “is characterized by worsening neurologic function (accumulation of disability) from the onset of symptoms, without early relapses or remissions.” While fibromyalgia, on the other hand, is often mistakenly considered an arthritic condition, it does not actually cause damage to joints, muscles, or tissues.

Just What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is primarily characterized by chronic and wide-spread pain. A close second is the debilitating fatigue. But as you can see from the chart above, the symptoms are quite broad. The problem many patients run into is that fibromyalgia resembles so many other conditions that it’s usually difficult to nail down a diagnosis. However, some physicians are more inclined to spot it than others.

How Are MS and Fibromyalgia Evaluated?

The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that a fibromyalgia diagnosis is comprised of a detailed muscle exam that includes checking for tenderness at specific locations on the body. Rating the severity of specific symptoms is another key part of the exam. The symptoms must be present for at least three months. They add that there are no blood, urine, or laboratory tests which can provide a conclusive fibromyalgia diagnosis. However, fibro diagnosis also means that no other disorder or condition can explain the symptoms.

Diagnosing MS, however, is quite different because it causes several more neurological symptoms than fibromyalgia. Thus, exams tend to focus on brain and nerve function, including a brain MRI and sometimes a spinal tap. Even though MS can also be difficult to diagnose, it is often easier than fibromyalgia. This is because the evaluation requires searching for lesions or damaged areas to the central nervous system.

How Can I Tell if it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?

It’s true that the similarities between multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia are striking. But given the neurological damage caused by MS, it is a condition that is slightly easier to target than fibromyalgia. Patients with MS are usually treated by a neurologist. But so are many fibro patients. As such, a neurologist likely has a keen eye in making the distinction between the two.

From Fibromyalgia Treating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only.  Please check their website for additional information.
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Fibromyalgia and Dental Care


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Few people enjoy going to the dentist, but for someone with fibromyalgia, it can be an extremely frightening and painful experience. The pain increase caused by a dental visit can be enough to send someone with FMS into an anxiety attack long before the visit day even arrives.

Fears of the emotional and physical distress of a dentist appointment are very real if you have fibromyalgia, but the last thing you want to do is skip going to care for your oral health altogether.

Bringing extra anxiety

Going to the dentist is worse for fibromyalgia patient because it is stressful thinking about the pain and flare that a dentist visit can possibly cause, setting you on a downward spiral for weeks.

While fibromyalgia pain is widespread, it is often most prevalent in the head and neck, which sets up the fear of dental problems, and the fear is not unfounded. Those with FMS may be more susceptible to these issues – especially if they continually put off going to see the dentist and need to spend more time getting worked on.

Other fears which fuel anxiety over dentists if you have fibromyalgia is that an infection may come and cause a flare of the syndrome, debilitating your body for long periods; the after visit pain will be unbearable; or, the dentist will be unable to numb you enough, since those with FMS usually require more shots to be numbed.

Sensitivity to touch

The fear of going to the dentist with fibromyalgia is mostly founded in the sensitivity to being touched. Simple touching can cause pain in overly sensitive fibromyalgia nerves. This symptom may cause a lack routine dental hygiene, such as flossing and brushing, to be avoided because of the pain it causes. This would make those with FMS more in need of regular dental visits than most.

To ease the pain before going to the dentist, prepare for this in advance with anti-inflammatories, just check with the dentist about which ones to use. Some medications, such as aspirin, can cause increased bleeding– something you definitely do not want when you are having dental work.

No tolerance to pain

It is a bit of a catch-22 for fibromyalgia patients since going to the dentist can cause pain, but not going regularly can cause more pain since you’ll have to sit in the chair longer and have more work done on your teeth. Also, it is important to make sure the pain in your jaw that you’ve been considering part of fibromyalgia syndrome for the last few months is not really a dental problem.

With FMS, you can sometimes start believing all the pain you have is from the disease and not consider other causes, such as a tooth abscess which is badly infected. Only regular dental visits can identify problems like this.

The numbing shots alone can cause a trip to the dentist to be worse for those with fibromyalgia, especially when you need more than the norm, but you can ask for desensitizing gel to help a bit with the pain. I don’t be afraid to speak up if you aren’t as numb as you should be. A dentist has no what of knowing that unless you tell him. The last thing a dentist wants is to cause unnecessary pain.

Don’t give up the Dentist

It is important if you have fibromyalgia to not give up on going to the dentist for regular visits. Ask your friends about their dentists. Find a dentist who is not only knowledgeable on fibromyalgia and its impact on the widespread pain. You also want to make sure he is sensitive to your specific needs, whether it’s severe anxiety, TMJ, more than average numbing, or low tolerance to pain – all part of fibromyalgia.

As soon as you schedule your dentist appointment, ask about medications you can take in advance to ease your anxiety and pain. You also want to discuss and what you will be given during and after the procedure to handle your unique pain.

Dentists sensitive to the fact that a visit is worse for fibromyalgia patients can use relaxation techniques in their offices, such as more comfortable chairs and soothing music. You might also want to consider complete sedation or at least a medication which will alter consciousness so you don’t feel much while you are there. It is possible to make a trip to the dentist easier – even if you have fibromyalgia.

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional information, please visit their website or consult your doctor or dentist.

(Repost)

Fibromyalgia & Peripheral Neuropathy


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Anyone ever heard of – or been diagnosed with small nerve fiber neuropathy? I’ve heard so many screwball therapies and “cures” about and for FM and been misdiagnosed so many times, all the chatter usually falls by the wayside with me. My sister got my attention with small nerve fiber neuropathy, however, because it’s treatable!  It can also be diagnosed with ONE test… in a doctor’s office! I am a little leery of any test which has the word “punch” in the name (skin punch test). But at this point, nothing is off the table.

Read the article below and check with your doctor. Maybe… just maybe, your Fibromyalgia isn’t Fibromyalgia.

(My sister has Type II diabetes but received a diagnosis for Fibromyalgia long before the onset of diabetes. Her skin punch test was negative for small nerve fiber neuropathy. Not encouraging because of genetics, but I still plan to give it a shot.)

From FibromyalgiaTreating.com

Have you ever heard of peripheral neuropathy? If you don’t deal with chronic pain conditions, odds are good that you haven’t encountered this particular piece of medical jargon. But if you have a condition like fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy might actually play a significant role in your disease and it’s symptoms.

In fact, some people have even suggested that it might be at the root of fibromyalgia. But what exactly is peripheral neuropathy? And how does it relate to fibromyalgia?

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is, to break the word down,  a disorder (pathy) related to the nerves (neuro). And peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the nerves that extends throughout the peripheries of the body (so beyond the brain, basically).  And since the nerves connect the body and the brain and are responsible for physical sensations like pain, a breakdown in this connection can lead to serious problems.

The nerves transmit signals from the skin to the brain, which the brain then interprets and sends back down the nerves. This is why you feel pain in your hand when you touch a hot stove. You’re not actually feeling pain in your hand, the sensation of pain is coming from your brain. But your brain relies on the signals from your hand to know that you are being injured and it signals that your hand is hurting as you pull it away. This system helps us avoid serious injuries.

But when it comes to people dealing with nerve pain conditions, those signals get crossed, and your brain starts triggering pain signals without any actual injury.

And there are many different kinds of this condition depending on where in the body they occur and how severe they are but there are two main categories: mononeuropathy and polyneuropathy.

Mononeuropathy means that only a single nerve connection is damaged. Injuries are the most common cause of mononeuropathy. A good example is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused when a repetitive stress injury in the hands and wrist damages the nerves in the hand. Polyneuropathy occurs when several nerve connections are damaged. Diabetes is a good example.

And in all forms of neuropathy. The damaged nerves cause pain, numbness, and tingling. And the symptoms can range from a minor annoyance to very severe.

Neuropathy and Fibromyalgia

The idea of pain with no obvious cause probably sounds familiar to people who suffer from fibromyalgia. And nerve damage might play a much larger role in the condition than you suspect. A study conducted by a Harvard-affiliated hospital in Massachusetts found that almost half of the fibromyalgia patients in the study had evidence of something called small nerve fiber neuropathy.

Small nerve fiber neuropathy is basically nerve pain caused by damage to some of the small nerves that carry pain and touch signals from the skin to the brain.  As that study demonstrated, half of all fibromyalgia patients have the condition. And many also have less of these small nerve fibers than they should.

This implies that the root of fibromyalgia pain might actually be neuropathy in some patients. Their brains are sending pain signals even though there’s no actual damage. This would explain the mystery pain, but there are a few problems with presenting neuropathy as a comprehensive explanation of fibromyalgia.

To begin with, not all patients with fibromyalgia have small nerve fiber neuropathy. So, this theory doesn’t explain what’s going on in those patients. And it doesn’t explain why these patients are developing neuropathy in the first place

But the fact that half of all fibromyalgia patients have small nerve fiber neuropathy implies that something is going on. Some people have suggested that what is actually going on is that a significant portion of people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia are actually suffering from small nerve fiber neuropathy, but because the symptoms are so similar, it’s difficult to tell them apart.

It’s an interesting theory, and because small fiber neuropathy is treatable, it could shift the way we treat fibromyalgia. And it is especially interesting because, if true, it might mean that fibromyalgia is actually not a single condition but a wide spectrum of neuropathic conditions all presenting similar symptoms. Luckily, there is a simple test that you can get to determine if you have small fiber neuropathy called a “punch biopsy.”

So if you have fibromyalgia, it may be worth looking into getting this test, because it might mean having access to new treatment options. And this new way of looking at fibromyalgia may even help us steer research to a breakthrough. At the moment, this remains a theory, but it is an interesting one.

The preceding article is posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional information, please visit RedOrbit.com.

Fibromyalgia & Pain Management

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Fibromyalgia discomfort is a very common ailment that affects millions of people on planet each year. It is generally known as a wide spread fatigue, muscular pain, and multiple tender points. Even though this pain is very common, Fibromyalgia syndrome is usually misunderstood and under diagnosed ailment in health market. Medical professionals and research workers are still working hard to know about the actual causes of the disorder, identify and deal with its signs or symptoms.

On the other hand, it does not mean that people affected by this health disorder are hopeless of a life with ongoing and unending exhaustion and regular pain. You will find a number of effective natural ways for fighting Fibromyalgia and get back to your natural life.

1. Talk to Your Doctor

You always need regular visits to a highly qualified professional and skilled medical doctor with the years of experience in the field of Fibromyalgia to get a new and effective fitness or health plan every month.

A highly skilled medical professional with the years of experience in the field is the best person to recommend you the best exercises for fighting Fibromyalgia effectively.

He will also be able to tell you the most efficient every day diet plan that will help you to fight this disorder effectively. A good mixture of healthy diet and every day workouts is the most ideal way to fight this disorder successfully.

2. Keep Moving

Regular daily workouts and effective physical exercises play a very important role to regulate the growth hormone that can help you to maintain powerful muscles, soft tissue health which will result in a healthy and deep sleep at night.

In most cases, people who have difficulties with this disorder often get in touch with this pain by reducing their daily movement which causes pain in their joint body parts and muscular tissues.

Reducing your everyday movements and workouts can invite stiffness and pain in the body and increase the possibilities for injuries that can cause more pain. Daily workouts and efficient exercises is a key element in fighting this pain. These workouts will also help you to reduce a great amount of

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Imbalanced blood circulation

So, always make sure to take exercises regularly to deal with this health condition effectively.

3. Make Sure You Remember to Stretch

Never ever forget to stretch. Mild stretching workouts will help you to improve the stiffness of ligaments and muscular tissues.

These stretching exercises also help you to improve the range of motions. Always make sure you are including stretching workouts at the beginning and end of each exercising session.

4. Choose Exercises That You Enjoy

Make your daily workouts and physical exercises a fun thing. Your exercises should not be uninteresting, boring or painful in order to be effective.

Include things that you enjoy to make your exercising session interesting and fun. This can amazingly help you to reduce a great amount of depression and stress effectively.

5. Set Your Goals and Targets

Setting the goals and targets in an effort to fight this syndrome effectively is the finest way to get success. Set your goals and targets and stay positive during the process of fighting the disorder.

A great mind with a great attitude can deal with this health condition effectively. Always make sure you are listening to the voice of your body and do not take heavy exercises that cause further pain in your muscles or joint body parts.

6. Determination

Determined people are successful in this world. No matter what you do in your life, your determination always plays a big role in reaching your target. One of the best tips for fighting Fibromyalgia is how you take the job, seriously or lightly.

Your determination plays a key role in dealing with this disorder effectively. Always be positive and determined in an effort to treat your condition in an appropriate way.

7. Always Sleep on Time

Sleeping on time should be your top priority. As a matter of fact, all those men and women who have difficulties with this condition often report sleeping disorders like feelings of overwhelming exhaustion.

This health condition may disturb the daily sleeping routines and leave its sufferers in more fatigue and anxiety in the morning hours than before going to bed at night time. A healthy and timely sleeping is really an important and essential factor to treat this disorder effectively.

8. Set a Schedule

It is really important for you to set a good schedule of every day diet plan, healthy foods, good exercises and most importantly, timely sleeping. Set your exercising schedule for at least 30-45 minutes a day because it is really important for you take these exercises regularly to deal with this health syndrome.

As mentioned earlier, healthy and balanced diet is also an important factor that must not be ignored. Set a schedule for your daily healthy meals to live healthy. Sleeping at night is vital. Set a schedule of at least 8 hours of timely sleeping. You can write all these notes in your diary or use your Smartphone to set your schedule with alarm.

9. Reduce Stress

Stress is an emotional feeling. However, it can harm your body in a very bad manner and leave you in a miserable health condition. It can introduce tension and anxiety in different body parts including muscular tissues, increases a great amount of discomfort in joint body parts, upset your digestive system, and disrupts sleeping routines.

All those people who suffer Fibromyalgia report that they feel huge amount of stress without adding an extra burden with the body. In an effort to heal your body from this disorder, you will need to reduce the stress by any means to live like a normal human.

10 . Deep Breath

Stress management techniques like deep breath, meditation, yoga, and tai chi are great ways to calm the body and reduce stress.

Tips for fightingmFibromyalgia pain are really easy to follow. You just need determination, optimistic approach and dedication to treat the disorder effectively

 

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

Explaining Chronic Illness to Children


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Getting diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions can make your regular daily activities of living very difficult. It can be extra difficult explaining these limitations our loved ones, and even more difficult to explain fibromyalgia to a child. Our kids are going to want to know, “What’s wrong with Mommy?” and “Why can’t daddy play catch with me?”

Well, the good news is, you’re not alone. There are lots of parents going through this exact thing, and there are lots of resources out there for parents with chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia. We took a look at books that explain a parent’s chronic illness to children. Some of the books are specifically for people with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, while others are for more general illnesses.

Whichever you choose, your kids are sure to enjoy reading them, and they may help you explain to them what’s going on with you, and how they can help. And that’s a good thing.

1. Why Does Mommy Hurt? by Elizabeth M. Christy

 

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Why Does Mommy Hurt? is narrated by a little boy who is learning to understand and cope with his mom’s chronic illness. Neurologist Dr. Kent Smalley says, “This book helps open up communication about some of the most common problems for those with a chronically ill parent-child relationship, including fatigue, forgetfulness, and frustration.” Also, portions of the proceeds are donated to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA).

2. Ravyn’s Doll by Melissa Swanson

 

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Melissa Swanson says she wrote Ravyn’s Doll after being diagnosed when her daughter was 9 years old. “I found myself always apologizing and explaining why I could not do things that I used to do. I work in a school district with elementary and middle school children. The kiddo’s (sic) have asked why I sometimes wear dark sunglasses, wear a tens unit, use ice packs/heating pads or move very slow and wince in pain. I find myself explaining not only to the students but to adults that I encounter.”

3. How Many Marbles do you Have? by Melinda Malott

 

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How Many Marbles do you Have? by Melinda Malott is another great book for explaining fibromyalgia to a child. She says, about writing the book, “I have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a Master’s degree in community health education, but my formal education did not prepare me to explain something as complex as CFS and fibromyalgia to young children. I decided rather than try to explain something I couldn’t understand that it was best to try to help my children understand my limitations.”

4. Mommy Has to Stay in Bed by Annette Rivlin-Gutman

 

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Mommy Has To Stay In Bed is not specifically about fibromyalgia, but it can still be useful for explaining the limitations of a chronic illness to a child. The author, Annette Rivlin-Gutman was placed on bed rest during her 2nd pregnancy and was struggling to explain that to her 18 month-old daughter. So she wrote this book, because, “While on bed rest, […] she explained what was taking place to her daughter, but also recognized that it would have been helpful to have a related, illustrated and easy-to-understand children’s book.”

5. What Does Super Jonny Do When Mom Gets Sick? by Simone Colwill

 

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Another book that is not specifically about fibromyalgia, but is nonetheless good for explaining illness and hospitals to children. Simone Colwill wrote What Does Super Jonny Do When Mom Gets Sick? when she developed Chrone’s Disease and started spending lots of time in the hospital. If you find yourself visiting the hospital often, this book could be for you.

6. Mommy Can’t Dance by Katie Carone

 

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As anyone with a chronic illness like fibro will tell you, one of the toughest things to deal with is not being able to do things that you really used to enjoy doing. As Conscious Crafties writes, “It can be sad and confusing for both kids and moms when a mother is hurt or sick and can’t do all the things she used to. This simple and sweet book helps children understand limitations. It shares ideas on how kids can help, as well as activities a mom and child can still do together.”

 

The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional info, please visit their website.
Re-post from October 2017

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Fibromyalgia & the Burning Sensation

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It’s the fibromyalgia burning sensation: Do you ever feel like your bones are on fire? What about the top of your leg or your back, maybe even under the skin? Some fibromyalgia patients feel like lava is being pumped through their veins rather than blood. You might even have that burning sensation in your brain, which is interesting in itself since the brain has no pain receptors. Still others feel like their stomach, tendons, or ligaments are burning right inside their body. For many with fibromyalgia, the searing pain is so severe that they cry and scream in pain. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s nothing to show for it! For example, when my skin feels like it’s on fire, it’s not even red. Does that happen to you? Does it make you angry? I mean, if I’m going to suffer I would really like a bruise, a mark, redness…. something as some sort of evidence at the very least. Because we all know that it’s really hard to get people to believe that something is wrong when they can’t see a single problem on your body.

What in the World is Going On?

According to medical experts, “Research suggests that the pain associated with fibromyalgia is caused by a “glitch” in the way the body processes pain. This glitch results in a hypersensitivity to stimuli that normally are not painful. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), research has shown that people with fibromyalgia have reduced blood flow to parts of the brain that normally help the body deal with pain.”

The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association puts it perfectly: “Fibromyalgia pain has no boundaries.” They add at the “body-wide symptoms are greatly magnified by malfunctions in the way the nervous system processes pain.” This coincides with the previously mentioned research regarding a “glitch” in the system, so in this context it makes sense the body will sometimes register stimuli as a burning feeling.

The burning that fibromyalgia patients often experience is sometimes associated with allodynia, which is a painful sensation caused by touch and frequently associated with migraine headaches. However, many fibro patients do not have to experience being touched in order to feel the burn that seems to come from within and sometimes on the surface. So while allodynia may be the situation for some with fibromyalgia, it does not explain the burning sensation across the board. To be fair, however, there seems to be almost nothing that explains any fibromyalgia symptom across the board. Thus, the great mystery surrounding this strange affliction.

Can Anything Be Done About It?

Here are some examples of what fellow patients say works for them to ease the fibromyalgia  burning sensation:

  • Massage therapy – A typical feature of fibromyalgia is the inability to relax the muscles. Often our muscles are tense and we don’t even know it. This leads to a build-up of lactic acid which can also be a cause of the burning sensation, especially in the muscles. A highly skilled massage therapist (you may even consider a medical massage therapist) who understands fibromyalgia can work with you weekly or bi-weekly to release the acid. For some patients this reduces and even removes the burning sensation entirely.
  • Cortisone shots – Administered by a healthcare practitioner, this is a temporary relief and does not apply to all situations of burning sensations.
  • Gabapentin – Prescription medication used to treat pain caused by shingles.
  • Heat therapy – It sounds counter-intuitive but fibro patients experiencing a burning sensation often report that heat therapy options such as hot tubs and electric blankets provide a great deal of relief.
  • Supplements – Although the exact cause of the burning feeling is unknown, some patients appear to be nutritionally deficient, which can be a leading cause of many fibromyalgia symptoms. Look for a high-quality (preferably whole foods) vitamin in addition to a high dosage of Vitamin D and a steady dose of magnesium (due to our commercial agricultural practices, almost everyone in North America is magnesium deficient which causes a litany of symptoms both related and unrelated to fibromyalgia.)
  • Lidocaine patches – These actually fall into the category of local anesthetics. Even though there are versions of them available over-the-counter, for our purposes of relieving the burning sensations, you’ll want to get a prescription from your doctor. In fact, they are often used to relieve nerve pain after shingles.
  • Antihistamines – Benadryl and Zyrtec have been reported as effective for relieving the burning pain in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Decreasing stress – You’ve heard it a thousand times because it’s true. Finding ways to relieve stress and cope with stressors can do wonders for many fibromyalgia symptoms, including the strange burning.

Whatever the source of the fibromyalgia burning sensation, it sucks. Have you found anything that relieves it for you? Tell us. In fact, tell us the things you’ve tried that haven’t worked too. Because something will always work for someone and anything we can do to help each other is more than welcome!

 

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

Fibromyalgia & Effective Medications

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Fibromyalgia is an incredibly difficult condition to treat. Most people with fibromyalgia go through a great ordeal trying to get both diagnosis and treatment. Finding the right medication can be a challenge as well because there are so many possible options. Here’s a list of some of the most commonly prescribed medications for fibromyalgia and which are most often effective.

FIBROMYALGIA MEDICATION LIST

LYRICA

Lyrica is the brand name of the drug pregabalin. It was the first drug ever approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating fibromyalgia. Lyrica works by blocking calcium channels in the body. This means it is also sometimes useful in treating epilepsy. When Lyrica is effective in treating fibromyalgia, it reduces pain, alleviates anxiety, and can make you feel calm and relaxed.

However, like most medications, it also has potential negative side effects. The most common side effects of Lyrica include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased hunger and weight gain
  • Confusion
  • Vision changes

As the first medication specifically approved for treating fibromyalgia, this is often the first treatment that may be prescribed for you.

SAVELLA

Savella is the brand name of the drug milnacipran. It is an FDA-approved fibromyalgia medication. Savella is in the class of drugs called selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, or SNRI. This class of medication is often prescribed as an antidepressant, but that does not imply that fibromyalgia and depression have similar causes. When Savella is working well to treat fibromyalgia, it reduces body aches and pain and decreases muscle tension.

The potential negative side effects of Savella include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Increased sweating
  • Higher blood pressure

Many of these side effects will go away or decrease after a few weeks as your body gets adjusted to the medication.

CYMBALTA  

Cymbalta is the brand name of the drug duloxetine. It is also approved for treating fibromyalgia and is in the SNRI class of medications. It is supposed to be very effective in reducing nerve pain and overall physical body aches. As an antidepressant, it may also provide a boost to your mood and improve depression which is common in fibromyalgia.

Negative side effects of Cymbalta can include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased libido
  • Increased sweating

These side effects may go away or become less as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, for both Cymbalta and Savella, like other SNRI medications, it’s very important to take the drug at approximately the same time every day. These medications can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as “brain zaps,” even an hour or two after a missed dose.

NEURONTIN

Neurontin, the brand name of the drug gabapentin, is often prescribed for fibromyalgia. However, this particular usage of the medication is not FDA-approved and is therefore considered “off label.” Neurontin is actually in the anticonvulsant class of drugs more commonly prescribed for treating epilepsy.

Neurontin is being subject to restricted access in some states, as it has come under scrutiny because of the possibility of dependence. If it is still accessible in your state, expect that your doctor may use closer monitoring if prescribing the drug. Neurontin can cause lightheaded feelings or even a mild “high” feeling. However, it is known to reduce neuropathic pain and physical body aches.

Negative side effects of Neurontin may include the following:

  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

Many people with fibromyalgia also suffer from frequent headaches, and they may find that Neurontin is beneficial for that purpose. This drug is often prescribed off label for treating frequent migraines.

ULTRAM

Ultram is the brand name of the drug tramadol. This is another drug commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia. Like Neurontin, Ultram is prescribed off label and is not FDA-approved for treating fibromyalgia. Although it is not approved for treating fibromyalgia, studies did find that it may be effective as a second-line treatment.

Ultram is an atypical pain reliever. It is believed to have similar effects to an opioid medication, although seems to have less potential for addiction. It is also an SNRI medication, but it binds to the opioid receptors in the body and provides relief of moderate to severe pain.

Side effects of Ultram can include nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness.

These are the five most commonly prescribed medications for treating fibromyalgia. However, talk to your doctor about all of your options. If these medications don’t work for you, other drugs may be prescribed off label and may be effective.

 

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