People with fibromyalgia have long-lasting muscle and connective tissue pain. It mostly resembles rheumatism symptoms. The difficult aspect of this condition is that often no cause for the pain is found. The muscles show no abnormalities and there is usually nothing wrong with the connective tissue. It’s suspected the muscle pain is caused by increased muscle tension, or that it’s due to disturbed stimulus processing. Evidence of this has been found in a small number of patients with fibromyalgia. Most people with fibromyalgia are between the ages of 25 and 40. Fibromyalgia is not diagnosed until other diseases have been ruled out.Overzicht gezondheidsklachten
Fibromyalgia means you can suffer from the following symptoms:
- Pain in different areas of the body.
- Loss of strength.
- Stiff muscles.
- Mood swings (gloominess, depression).
- Abdominal and intestinal complaints.
- Diarrhoea or constipation.
- Neck pain.
- Sleeping problems.
- Pain throughout the whole body.
- Swollen hands.
- Swollen fingers.
- Swollen ankles and feet.
As you can see from the above, it’s incredibly difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia. Doctors use the following guidelines to determine this:
- The pain has persisted for more than three months.
- The muscle symptoms have persisted for more than three months.
- The pain and muscle symptoms are occurring in at least three areas of the body: buttocks, pelvis, legs and areas in the upper body.
- The pain is on both sides of the body.
The progression of this condition is also very variable. For example, you could be suffering a great deal for a period and then not at all during another period.Overzicht gezondheidsklachten
When you’re suffering from fibromyalgia, it’s important that you:
- Get plenty of exercise. This will help to keep your body fit. The fitter your body, the fewer symptoms you’ll have. Exercise will also have a positive effect on any possible gloomy feelings, depression and sleeping problems. You’ll be getting enough exercise if you intensively walk, cycle or swim for at least 30 minutes a day. By intensive we mean that your heart rate noticeably increases during the period of exercise. Don’t exercise too intensively, as this can result in you overloading your muscles.
- Warm up your muscles. For example, take a warm shower, lie in a warm bath or warm up your muscles by exercising.
- Make sure you realise a good balance between your work and private life. This will prevent excessive stress and ensure you adequately distribute your energy.
- Go to sleep on time. And don’t stay in bed too long the next morning.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a varied diet and drink enough. You’ll be drinking enough if you drink at least 2 litres of fluid a day.
- Watch your posture. Make sure your working conditions are healthy. This includes making sure your chair and desk are properly adjusted in line with your body. You can also contact your company doctor for this.
Talk to your GP if you suspect you have fibromyalgia. Your GP may refer you to a rheumatologist if he or she also suspects you have fibromyalgia. The rheumatologist will further investigate your symptoms and diagnose the fibromyalgia. Do you have trouble moving because of your symptoms? Then we would recommend contacting a physiotherapist or remedial therapist. These can help you to do the right exercises, making sure symptoms will improve. They can also help you to deal with the movement problems. Fibromyalgia can cause feelings of gloominess or depression. Are you affected in that way? Then don't feel embarrassed to contact your GP practice. The practice nurse will often be able to assist you and, if necessary, you can be referred to a psychologist.Overzicht gezondheidsklachten