Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fibromyalgia "The Invisible Illness"

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The following is a guest post from Cheri McBurnette, an independent contributor to the WashCo Chronicle.

The term fibromyalgia derives from, fibro-, meaning "fibrous tissue", myo-,"muscle", and algos-, "pain". Fibromyalgia is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread body pain. Other characteristics of this horrible illness is fatigue, sleep disturbances, joint stiffness, numbness and tingling in the body, are some just to name a few. Fibromyalgia affects 2 out of 4 percent of the population, with a female radio of 9 to 1.

Fibromyalgia is not a stand alone illness. Most sufferers are plagued by other illnesses as well, which are as equally as painful. Most fibromyalgia sufferers have a tendency to isolate do to lack of understanding and belief. To understand fibromyalgia, one must have had sufferered with this,  otherwise it's inexplicable. It is called the invisible illness by sufferers because it's not seen by the naked eye. Extensive tests must be done in order to get a definitive diagnosis, otherwise it's difficult to diagnose.

As a sufferer of fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses, it's a struggle daily. Some of the ways that we get through each day is by prescribed pain medications. In addition, we take Epsom salt baths to relax the muscles and joints. Pain patches and herbal rubs gives a little relief.

Managing fibromyalgia is not easy. Because hot water relaxes the muscles and joints, taking aquatic  exercise classes in a heated pool always works well for sufferers. Any kind of resistance training always helps the cardiovascular. Tai chi, yoga and meditation can also give sufferers relief. Because it's not easily believed, some fibromyalgia patients suffer a great deal of stress. Speaking with a therapist can help ease some of the stress and worry associated with fibromyalgia. The following three medications have been approved by the FDA for fibromyalgia. Pregabalin, was approved in June of 2007, duloxetine, was approved in June of 2008 and milnacipran was in January 2009.

If you know someone with a chronic illness, being understanding and sympathetic would greatly aid in the sufferers daily processes of survival.

If you need support for fibromyalgia, you can go to People Living with Fibromyalgia Pain, on Facebook.
Many thanks to Cheri for sharing her story and guidance.