Fibromyalgia Complications

Fibromyalgia Complications

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    Fibromyalgia is not known to cause other medical conditions. However, people who have fibromyalgia seem to be at high risk for developing other painful conditions, including osteoarthritis (the common type of arthritis caused by wear and tear on the joints) as well as other related conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis. Also, people with fibromyalgia are frequently diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, and certain other conditions.
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    Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes chronic muscle and soft tissue pain, widespread tenderness, general fatigue, and non-restful sleep. Fibromyalgia often strikes people with lupus. In fact, fibromyalgia causes most of the pain a person experiences if they have lupus. A variety of lifestyle changes can ease and manage the pain and symptoms that fibromyalgia causes.

    Here are some tips to help keep the fibromyalgia symptoms under control:

    Stay active - You may believe that limiting your daily activities helps to reduce pain and fatigue, but actually the opposite is true. You can schedule short daily rest times to help you keep up with your day, but spending too many hours resting may make your symptoms worse.
    •Manage your stress - Stress can trigger your physical symptoms such as headache, increased pain, and muscle tension, so try to keep your stress under control. Of course, there are some stressors that you can control, and some are simply out of your hands. Focus on what you can control, and direct your energy toward future growth.
    Exercise - Research has shown that light stretching activities such as Tai Chi and yoga can help relax muscles and improve some of the pain associated with fibromyalgia. Moderate or intense exercise for about 30 minutes helps your brain release endorphins-substances that make you feel good and experience a "natural high."
    Socialize and eat a healthy diet - A supportive social network and a healthy diet can also help to ease feelings of emotional and physical discomfort and promote an overall sense of well-being.

    If you feel you need more help in managing your fibromyalgia, your doctor can assist you in devising coping strategies.
  • 2 Answers
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    If you have fibromyalgia, your body is one big target. You can have symptoms from your head (persistent headaches) to your toes (restless leg syndrome is a common complication). However, one of the defining features of fibromyalgia is pain in many places on the body, including:
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    • the neck
    • the upper chest
    • the upper back and shoulders
    • the elbows
    • the knees

    To diagnose fibromyalgia, doctors ask about 19 such spots on the body in all. If you have a number of them for at least three months, your doctor may suspect that you have fibromyalgia.

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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    As if coping with pain and other common fibromyalgia symptoms weren't bad enough, people with fibromyalgia often develop complications, such as:
    • restless leg syndrome, in which you feel pain, tingling, and other unpleasant sensations in the lower limbs, which are only relieved by movement
    • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a gastrointestinal condition that causes abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits (such as alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation)
    The medications your doctor prescribes for pain and other common symptoms of fibromyalgia may not bring relief for complications such as restless leg syndrome or IBS. If you develop these or other complications, tell your doctor soon.
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    The long-term health effects of fibromyalgia vary from person to person. In many cases, fibromyalgia never goes away. Yet there is some good news about long-term health effects associated with fibromyalgia. Unlike other painful conditions such as osteoarthritis -- the most common cause of joint pain -- fibromyalgia is not a progressive disease. It doesn't cause tissues in the body to wear away. For this reason, the symptoms of fibromyalgia may not worsen over time. In fact, some people with fibromyalgia notice that their symptoms actually improve. Working closely with your doctor can help you to manage fibromyalgia over your lifetime.