If you’ve watched television lately, you’ve probably seen commercials advertising medications for fibromyalgia. In those commercials, they say the symptoms of fibromyalgia include “chronic widespread pain.” That’s not a very specific description. But, the vagueness of the description kind of sums up the disease itself because there’s still so much confusion and misunderstanding surrounding it. Fibromyalgia is a disease that can strike at any age, including as an older adult. If your aging relative has been diagnosed with the disease or is complaining of chronic pain with no apparent cause, knowing more about fibromyalgia may allow you to get them the help they need.
General Information About Fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that has no cure. No one knows exactly what causes the disease, but doctors believe it may be a combination of things, including:
· Genetics: People with family members who have fibromyalgia are more likely to develop the disease themselves. This suggests that there might be something in a person’s genes that leads to fibromyalgia.
· Infections: Often fibromyalgia begins after certain kinds of infections or illnesses. In addition, existing fibromyalgia can be worsened by infections.
· Trauma: Some cases of fibromyalgia begin after a person suffers a physical trauma, like a car accident. There is some indication that emotional stress can also trigger the disease.
Scientists think that the pain of fibromyalgia happens because of changes in the brain itself. It appears that when nerves are repeatedly stimulated, the brain undergoes changes, such as an increase in neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that tell the brain when to feel pain. Also, brain receptors seem to overreact to pain stimulus.
Although widespread pain is the symptom most often associated with fibromyalgia, there are other symptoms, including:
- Pain and stiffness in the jaw.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Trouble concentrating and thinking, often referred to as “fibro fog.”
- Muscles and joints that feel stiff in the morning.
- Hands and feet that feel numb or tingle.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Restless leg syndrome.
There’s no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are ways to treat the condition. Doctors may prescribe medications and recommend physical and occupational therapy. They may also recommend counseling to help the patient deal with the emotional aspects of the disease.
In addition to following the doctor’s advice, there are ways you can help your aging relative manage the condition at home. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say that leading a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress, exercising, and resting when needed are useful in coping with fibromyalgia. Home care can help with all these things. Home care providers can prepare nutritious meals that support the overall health of your loved one. Home care can also help them to be more physically active. And, just knowing that home care is available to assist them can reduce stress.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Long Beach, CA, talk to the caring staff at Cambrian Home Care today. (562) 498-1800 / (877) 390-4300