Fibromyalgi: ett förvirrande och smärtsamt tillstånd

Du har nog hört talas om fibromyalgi, men du kanske inte vet vad det är. Fibromyalgi är ett långvarigt (kroniskt) smärta som påverkar 5 miljoner eller fler amerikaner som är 18 år och äldre. Av okända orsaker är de flesta som diagnostiseras med fibromyalgi kvinnor, även om män och pojkar också kan påverkas. Personer med vissa sjukdomar, som reumatoid artrit eller lupus, kan också ha fibromyalgi, vilket kan påverka sjukdomsförloppet och behandlingen.

Fibromyalgi kan i hög grad påverka hälsa, välbefinnande och livskvalitet.

“Människor med fibromyalgi lider av allvarlig allvarlig smärta som sprider sig i hela kroppen”, säger dr. Leslie J. Crofford, forskare vid Vanderbilt University, som har NIH: s stöd. “Hans smärta är ofta åtföljd av försvagande trötthet, sömn som inte uppdaterar dem och problem med tänkande och minne.”

Komplex diagnos

Personer med fibromyalgi ser ofta många läkare innan de får en diagnos. De viktigaste symptomen, smärta och trötthet överlappar de med många andra tillstånd, vilket kan komplicera diagnosen.

“För att göra saker mer utmanande finns det inga blodprov eller röntgenstrålar som är onormala hos personer med sjukdomen”, säger Crofford. Utan ett specifikt diagnostiskt test kan vissa läkare ifrågasätta om en patients smärta är riktig. “Även vänner, familj och medarbetare kan ha svårt att förstå personens symptom.”

En läkare som är bekant med fibromyalgi kan göra en diagnos baserad på de kriterier som fastställts av American College of Rheumatology. De diagnostiska symtomen inkluderar en historia av generaliserad smärta som varar mer än 3 månader och andra symtom som trötthet. Vid diagnosen undersöker läkare antalet områden i hela kroppen där patienten haft smärta förra veckan och utesluter andra orsaker till sjukdomen.

Eftersom det inte är helt klart

Vad som orsakar fibromyalgi är inte helt förstådd. Många faktorer bidrar förmodligen.

“Vi vet att personer med fibromyalgi har förändringar i kommunikationen mellan kroppen och hjärnan”, säger Crofford. Dessa förändringar kan leda till att hjärnan tolkar vissa känslor som smärtsamma som inte kan vara irriterande för människor utan denna sjukdom.

Forskare har hittat flera gener som kan påverka en persons risk att utveckla fibromyalgi. Stressfulla livshändelser kan också spela en roll.

Fibromyalgi är inte en progressiv sjukdom, så det blir inte värre med tiden och kan till och med förbättras. Det är aldrig dödligt och kommer inte att skada lederna, muskler eller inre organ.

behandling

Medicin kan hjälpa till att lindra vissa, men inte alla, av symtomen på fibromyalgi. “Farmakologiska behandlingar i sig leder inte till remission eller botemedel mot fibromyalgi”, säger Crofford. “Vi har lärt oss att träning kan fungera lika bra eller bättre än mediciner. Dessutom kan terapier som tai chi, yoga och kognitiv beteendeterapi också bidra till att minska symtomen. “

Personer med fibromyalgi har ofta de bästa resultaten när de behandlas med flera terapier.

“Det är oerhört viktigt att vårdgivare hjälper patienterna att förstå fibromyalgi och ge realistisk information om behandlingar, med tonvikt på användning av motion och andra fysiska terapier tillsammans med mediciner.”

Crofford säger. Crofford och hans kollegor undersöker om en behandling som kallas TENS (transkutan elektrisk nervstimulering) kan hjälpa fibromyalgifibrer att träna mer bekvämt och minska smärta. Hon och andra lag som finansieras av NIH letar också efter fibromyalgi markörer i blodet som i slutändan kan leda till mer specifika och effektiva behandlingar.

Om du eller någon du känner har fibromyalgi, kolla rutan “kloka alternativ” för tips om hur du minskar din påverkan.

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