Fibromyalgia is a common cause of widespread pain in adults.
Widespread or multisite (>8) pain for at least 3 months without an identifiable cause, plus fatigue or sleep problems, are the main diagnostic findings in fibromyalgia.
Patients with fibromyalgia or chronic pain in other parts of the body ( other than muscles) are considered ” difficult patients” in Conventional medical practice.
In Integrative medicine, we look at the root cause of these symptoms and try to treat multiple pathologies.
Fibromyalgia is troublesome but not deadly, we can help patients move past unreasonable worry and concerns about misdiagnosis.
There is a lot of research looking at the changes in different organs and causes of these symptoms.
Research supports a complex neurophysiological ( such as elevated level of Glutamate and drop in the level of GABA in some parts of the nervous system) , neuroendocrine, ( such as decreased the level of IGF-1 or impaired increase level of growth hormone in response to exercise) and immunological ( such as increased level of inflammatory cytokines) causes, with central pain sensitization and amplification. Associated symptoms include fatigue and sleep problems, subjective cognitive dysfunction, muscle tenderness and stiffness, and environmental sensitivity.
No currently available treatment provides complete relief of symptoms for all patients.
Mainstays of treatment include regular physical exercise, weight loss to reach the ideal BMI; a healthy antiinflammatory diet ( avoid sugar, trans fat, MSG and Aspartame) ; mind–body, psychotherapeutic, and affective self-awareness activities; treatment of comorbid depression and sleep disorder; judicious trials of conventional pharmaceuticals, including U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved duloxetine and pregabalin; and many other complementary and alternative medicine modalities. Treatment plans are individualized, flexible, focused on maximizing symptom relief with minimal adverse effects.
There are multiple ways to help these patients and each patient should have an individualized plan depending on each individual patient’s family and personal history, physical exam and lab results.