What You Need To Know
WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulties. It is a complex condition that affects the central nervous system, causing amplified pain signals and an abnormal pain response. Fibromyalgia is considered a syndrome because it involves a collection of symptoms rather than a specific identifiable cause.
There is no specific test to diagnose fibromyalgia. Diagnosis is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and a physical examination ruling out other conditions that could cause similar symptoms.
FIBROMYALGIA AND AUTOIMMUNITY
Research has identified immune system dysregulation and inflammation in some individuals with fibromyalgia.
It is believed that neuroinflammation and immune system dysfunction may contribute to the development or exacerbation of symptoms in a subset of patients.
Additionally, there may be an overlap between fibromyalgia and certain autoimmune conditions, with some individuals experiencing symptoms of both.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Widespread Pain: This pain is often described as a constant dull ache or a burning sensation and can be accompanied by muscle stiffness.
Fatigue: People with fibromyalgia often experience persistent fatigue, even after getting enough sleep. This fatigue can interfere with daily activities and lead to a decreased quality of life.
Sleep Disturbances: This includes difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing non-restorative sleep. Waking up feeling tired is a common complaint.
Cognitive Issues: Often referred to as "fibro fog," this can affect their ability to focus, multitask, and remember information.
Sensitivity to Touch and Pressure: Light touch or pressure on certain areas of the body can be perceived as painful.
Other Symptoms: These include headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), jaw pain (temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJD), anxiety, depression, and sensitivity to noise, light, or certain odors.
CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH
Fibromyalgia is often associated with various other conditions, as individuals with fibromyalgia tend to have a higher likelihood of experiencing coexisting health issues. While not everyone with fibromyalgia will have these conditions, some commonly observed associations include:
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME (CFS): Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome often share similar symptoms, such as persistent fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulties. Many individuals with fibromyalgia may also meet the criteria for a diagnosis of CFS.
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS): Fibromyalgia and IBS frequently coexist. IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder characterised by abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. The overlap of symptoms suggests a potential shared underlying mechanism between the two conditions.
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): While fibromyalgia is distinct from rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, there can be overlapping symptoms and coexistence of these conditions. This can complicate diagnosis and management, requiring a careful assessment by healthcare professionals.
MIGRAINES AND HEADACHES: Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with migraines and tension-type headaches. The presence of these headaches may contribute to the overall burden of pain and symptom severity in individuals with fibromyalgia.
ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION: Mental health conditions, particularly anxiety and depression, are commonly observed in individuals with fibromyalgia. The chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms of fibromyalgia can significantly impact a person's emotional well-being.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
A Functional Medicine Approach to Fibromyalgia
Our approach to fibromyalgia focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying factors that contribute to the development and persistence of symptoms. It aims to promote overall health and well-being by addressing imbalances in various body systems.
Here are some key components of a functional medicine approach to fibromyalgia:
COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT: A thorough evaluation of medical history, lifestyle factors, environmental exposures, and potential triggers is conducted to identify underlying imbalances and potential root causes of symptoms. This may involve specialised laboratory tests to assess hormone levels, nutrient deficiencies, gut health, immune function, and chronic infections.
ADDRESSING GUT HEALTH: The gut plays a significant role in immune regulation and overall health. Strategies to support gut health, such as optimising diet, addressing gut dysbiosis (imbalanced gut flora), and healing intestinal permeability (leaky gut), may be employed to reduce systemic inflammation and improve overall well-being.
AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET: An anti-inflammatory diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods as well as identifying potential food sensitivities can help reduce inflammation and support overall health.
NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT: Individualised nutritional support may be recommended to address specific nutrient deficiencies commonly seen in individuals with fibromyalgia.
STRESS MANAGEMENT: Chronic stress can exacerbate symptoms in fibromyalgia. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, relaxation exercises, and stress reduction strategies are incorporated to support emotional well-being and improve symptom management.
IMPROVING SLEEP: Improving sleep quality and addressing sleep disturbances is crucial in fibromyalgia. Recommendations may include sleep hygiene practices, establishing a regular sleep schedule, and addressing factors that contribute to poor sleep, such as pain and stress.
To take a proactive role in managing your health, we encourage you to reach out to our team. We have extensive experience assisting individuals with complex conditions such as mould related illness and Muriel also has personal experience.
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH US TODAY.
We offer a range of appointments in-person or online.
You will receive the same service and expertise from us through our virtual, online clinic, just as you would if you visited us at our London clinic.
To discuss how we can assist you, call us on 020 3886 1339, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.