If you’re not a sufferer, you may have never heard of fibromyalgia. But the fact is, it may affect about 1 in 20 people worldwide. The condition is more likely to affect women with onset typically between the ages of 30 and 50. The cause is unknown but is thought to involve changes to the way pain messages are carried around the body.
If you have the condition you’ll be experience widespread pain throughout the body.
Depending on your treatment regime these can be managed, although symptoms generally are unlikely to disappear completely. This general pain is variously described as stabbing, throbbing, aching, shooting or burning.
What’s less appreciated by non sufferers that there are a large number of additional symptoms. However everyone is different and any one individual may not experience all of them.
Extreme fatigue often expressed as exhaustion is another common symptom. This can be flu like symptom with a general feeling of being weighted down and any activity may require a huge amount of effort.
There are other physical symptoms too some which can be more or less debilitating. Stiffness, especially first thing in the morning is widely reported, as is cramping and weakness. IBS is also associated with the condition, possibly affecting more than 50% of sufferers. Likewise, patients report tension headaches and migraines.
It’s also reported that the condition can cause itching all over the body or at specific sites – for example on the hands or back. Sufferers say it drives them mad as scratching the itch is not recommended. For sufferers who also experience difficulty sleeping, itching can compound the problem. Itching or a burning pain is likely to be derived from the damage to neurotransmitters and may occur with or without a corresponding rash. Itching is often intermittent. Individuals who have had the condition for 10+ years sometimes supplement their medication with homeopathic treatments in an effort to get rid of the itch.