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Types of Fibromyalgia

There are two parent types of Fibromyalgia found. One is Rheumatic conditions and the other is Myofascial pain syndromes:

  • Rheumatic conditions are characterized by inflammation and reduced function of connecting or supporting structures such as the joints, tendons, ligaments, bones and muscles. Symptoms usually involve stiffness, pain and swelling. Common rheumatic conditions includes osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and vasculitis.
  • Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic form of muscle pain. Myofascial pain syndrome centers around sensitive points in your muscles called trigger points. The trigger points in your muscles can be painful when touched. And the pain can spread throughout the affected muscle.

Fibromyalgia is commonly treated as one disease in which these two conditions are observed. The rheumatic condition can become quite severe and may lead to rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, lupus, HIV and even cancer. Generally, Fibromyalgia is a common type of rheumatologic disease, which is found mostly in women rather than in men. Sometimes fibromyalgia is characterized as primary and secondary:

  • Primary fibromyalgia is the most universally accepted form of fibromyalgia, and is normally diagnosed when no other underlying rheumatologic disease, such as arthritis or lupus, is present, and at least 11 of 18 designated tender points are confirmed. Other types of fibromyalgia that have been identified include concomitant fibromyalgia, which occurs with along with seemingly unrelated conditions such as osteoarthritis or scoliosis; and secondary or reactive fibromyalgia, which is thought to occur as a result of the onset of another known disease or injury.
  • Secondary fibromyalgia may be triggered by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, hypothyroidism, HIV, cancer; it may also be triggered my physical trauma, such as that suffered after a car accident or work injury. Secondary fibromyalgia is sometimes referred to as post-traumatic fibromyalgia, and some physicians think that this particular form of fibromyalgia may remain confined to the injury site. This "regional fibromyalgia" may be present in patients who experience pain at fewer than 11 of 18 positive tender points.

Causes of Fibromyalgia

The exact cause of Fibromyalgia is not known. There have been various causes from which this disease has been diagnosed. But experts have come up with the probable and general causes that trigger Fibromyalgia. Some of these probable causes of the disease are as follows -

  • Immune system problems
  • Disturbance in brain chemistry
  • Physically Unfit Muscles
  • Sleep Disturbances or Insomnia
  • Food allergy
  • Infection with Epstein Barr virus
  • Emotional stress
  • Anemia
  • Adrenal exhaustion
  • Intestinal Candida overgrowth
  • Chronic mercury poisoning from amalgam dental fillings
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypoglycemia

The exact cause of Fibromyalgia is not known, but Fibromyalgia can develop within a person following an attack of flu or other common illness. It can even attack a person if there is extreme physical and emotional stress. It has been observed in some cases that people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and various other autoimmune diseases like lupus are more likely to develop Fibromyalgia at a later stage.

Another cause for Fibromyalgia is the sleep disorder. An imbalance within the brain chemicals that helps controlling the mood may lower the tolerance for pain and may also cause a disturbed sleep cycle as well as fatigue. When this happens the patient obviously becomes less active physically and the body muscles and tissues become more sensitive and painful and thus get easily irritated.

Risk Factors of Fibromyalgia

An estimated ten million Americans have fibromyalgia. Some evidence suggests that a number of factors may make people more susceptible to fibromyalgia. These risk factors include being female, having had difficult experiences in childhood, having a psychological vulnerability to stress, and coming from a very stressful culture or environment.

The risk factors associated with Fibromyalgia include:

  • Age - Fibromyalgia is likely to develop during the early and middle age of adulthood. Nevertheless, it may also affect the children and elderly adults. Some studies ad statistics have shown that the Fibromyalgia affects in and around the age of thirty five. But there have been cases which show that the Fibromyalgia is more frequent in women of middle age.
  • Gender - Fibromyalgia takes place more often in women rather than in men. Statistics states that nine out of ten patients of Fibromyalgia are women. Women are more prone to get affected by Fibromyalgia during their menopause.
  • Genetic factors - one may be more likely to get affected by Fibromyalgia if one of a person's blood relation has also suffered the same condition. Researches have shown facts that people with family members suffering from Fibromyalgia are at a much higher risk of getting affected by the disease themselves.
  • Sleep disorders - People suffering from insomnia or other kinds of sleeping disorders like restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea are at the highest risk of getting affected by Fibromyalgia. Many patients have a long history of sleep disorders and patients diagnosed with sleep apnea are most intended to get affected by Fibromyalgia.
  • Rheumatic disease - People affected by rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and lupus tend to develop Fibromyalgia.
  • Muscle injury - Stress on your muscles can cause trigger points to form. For example, an injury in your muscle may cause trigger points. Repetitive stress also may increase your risk.
  • Inactivity - People unable to use a muscle, such as after surgery or after a stroke, may experience trigger points in your muscle as you start to move it during your recovery.
  • Stress and anxiety - People who frequently experience stress and anxiety may be more likely to develop trigger points in their muscles. One theory holds that these people may be more likely to clench their muscles, a form of repeated strain that leaves muscles susceptible to trigger points.

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