Fibromyalgia is a seriously misunderstood disease, mainly because, as you know, many sufferers may not “look sick.” This is why Fibromyalgia Awareness Month is so important: as a so-called “Invisible Disease,” not a lot of people take it seriously. Also, it can be difficult to explain how fibromyalgia affects us: the constant, chronic pain, the fatigue, the fibro fog. How flare ups are triggered and what that even means for us. Fibromyalgia Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to educate our loved ones about what fibro warriors go through every day.
Below, find a collection of some of our most popular informative articles that you can share with your family and friends during Fibromyalgia Awareness Month.
Let’s start with some basics, because a lot of people may ask, “What even is fibromyalgia?” Well, we’ve got you covered in this section, with articles explaining what the condition is, what causes it, what some of the major symptoms are, how to tell if you have it, and what to do if you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
How to know if you have fibromyalgia
“You’re going about your business in peak physical condition and life is good. Suddenly you wake up one day to tingling and numbness in your leg. You head to the ER and they send you home with no news. Your primary care physician is stumped. He sends you to physical therapy, but they boot you out the door because it might be a pinched nerve. You get an MRI, EMG, and a brain scan. They all turn up clean. You try a chiropractor and any holistic practitioner you can find. Then one day you find yourself in front of rheumatologist who is able to immediately identify and diagnose you with fibromyalgia. Finally.”
Read more about how to know if you have fibromyalgia.
“Fibromyalgia can be a hard disease to get a diagnosis for since so few people understand it. But is there an easy way to find out if you might have fibromyalgia? Well, just by answering these questions, you can find out if you might have fibromyalgia. And if you should go to a doctor to make sure.”
Read more about the fibromyalgia questionnaire.
What to expect when diagnosed with fibromyalgia
If you’ve received a fibromyalgia diagnosis then you have already been dealing with a catalog of symptoms and conditions that have made life difficult or just plain hell. The great news is that a doctor has finally affirmed what you’ve been saying for so long – something is wrong. The bad news is that the diagnosis doesn’t actually change your symptoms. Alternatively, you may be one of those people trying to figure out what on earth is going on with your body and are digging like mad because not one doctor has been able to identify the culprit. If that’s the case, then what is said going forward probably won’t shock you. Either way, even though this won’t be easy, it is doable.
Read more about what to expect when you’re diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia Symptoms in Women
“Why do fibromyalgia symptoms in women seem to be worse than they are for men? And what are some of the basic fibromyalgia symptoms that let you know when it’s time to see a doctor?”
Read more about fibromyalgia symptoms in women.
Fibromyalgia symptoms in men
“A lot of people think of fibromyalgia as a disease that affects women, but the reality is fibromyalgia symptoms in men can be just as severe. And the problem many men face is that they often have a harder time than women in getting diagnosed. That’s because the idea that fibromyalgia is a disorder that affects women is so widespread that doctors don’t always recognize fibromyalgia symptoms in men. So how do the symptoms affect men differently than women? And how do you know if you have fibromyalgia as a man?”
Read more about fibromyalgia symptoms in men.
6 Rare symptoms of fibromyalgia
“Fibromyalgia can be a weird illness. Your doctor may say that fatigue and pain are the only real symptoms of fibro, but you can’t help but wonder if your latest uncomfortable symptoms can be attributed to your illness. Here are some of the rare symptoms of fibromyalgia that you might experience.”
Read more about these rare symptoms of fibromyalgia.
6 Painless symptoms of fibromyalgia
“And because many of these symptoms aren’t things that people typically associate with fibromyalgia, they often go unnoticed, which can delay getting a diagnosis. So, here are some painless symptoms of fibromyalgia that you should watch out for.”
What causes fibromyalgia itching?
“One explanation for fibromyalgia itching is called formication which is a sensation that feels like bugs crawling on or under the skin. Formication is actually a paresthesia which is a sensation like numbness, tingling, or burning that “happens when sustained pressure is placed on a nerve. The feeling quickly goes away once the pressure is relieved. Some individuals may experience chronic paresthesia. This is usually a symptom of severe underlying conditions.””
Read more about fibromyalgia itching.
What causes the fibromyalgia burning sensation?
“It’s the fibromyalgia burning sensation: Do you ever feel like your bones are on fire? What about the top of your leg or your back, maybe even under the skin? Some fibromyalgia patients feel like lava is being pumped through their veins rather than blood. You might even have that burning sensation in your brain, which is interesting in itself since the brain has no pain receptors. Still others feel like their stomach, tendons, or ligaments are burning right inside their body. For many with fibromyalgia, the searing pain is so severe that they cry and scream in pain.”
Read more about the fibromyalgia burning sensation.
Fibromyalgia treatment can be like whack-a-mole with the symptoms, as they are varied as they are plentiful. There are medications that are commonly prescribed (with new medicines developed every day) as well as exercise, therapy, and a whole industry around natural and homeopathic treatments. Also, as we’ve listened to our audience, we’ve come to value your feedback and experience. So we’ve included articles about various treatment options, information on clinical trials, medications, and natural treatment options
Medical Marijuana and Cannabis Treatments
Our most popular posts about treatments are those featuring cannabis, whether it’s marijuana edibles or CBD oil. Please enjoy this collection of our most popular posts about Medical Marijuana.
Marijuana edibles could be the answer for fibromyalgia
Cannabis-derived products are the best available treatment for pain management in my opinion. I have worked with people and animals with chronic pain, and cannabis is the most effective treatment I have found. Nature provided us with a super drug, and it’s a shame more people can’t access it for pain relief.
Read more about Marijuana Edibles.
Marijuana for fibromyalgia
“Using marijuana for fibromyalgia is something that brings many fibromyalgia patients relief. And the benefits of medical marijuana are becoming more and more obvious to scientists and doctors all over the world. But in many places, marijuana is not approved for medical use, leaving patients without access to this treatment option.
But how effective is using marijuana for fibromyalgia, and why is it such a controversial treatment option?”
Read more about marijuana for fibromyalgia.
Best Cannabis Strains for Fibromyalgia
You’ve probably heard about people using medical marijuana to treat their fibromyalgia. According to many people who have done so, it’s actually a pretty effective treatment. Like with nearly any treatment, you’ll hear people talk about how it changed their life for the better and people who say it really wasn’t that effective. When it comes to fibromyalgia, everyone is different.
But we do know that cannabis has at least some benefit for many people with fibromyalgia. So how does cannabis deliver it’s medical benefits to those struggling with fibromyalgia? And what are some of the best cannabis strains for fibromyalgia?
Read more about the Best Cannabis Strains for Fibromyalgia.
THC vs CBD: What Works for Fibro Symptoms
Fibromyalgia is a complicated disease with many symptoms, and it affects each person differently. Cannabis is also a complicated medicine with different strains and cannabinoid compounds that act on the body in different ways. Saying that weed will help with fibro may or may not be true. If you are trying to treat chronic pain and you get a THC dominant strain, then it may not work at all. If you are trying to treat insomnia, then a THC dominant strain may have the opposite effect of making you sleep. For anyone with fibro that has tried weed one time and decided that it did not work for them, what strain did you use? Was it THC or CBD dominant? It is quite likely that the strain that you had was not optimum for the symptom you were trying to treat. So here is a Look at THC vs CBD for fibro symptoms, and a breakdown of the most common fibro symptoms with the best strains to treat them.
Read more about THC vs CBD.
Will Marijuana Help my Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
Many who suffer from fibromyalgia come from a generation or worldview that criticizes and forbids the use of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes. However, cannabis (Latin name for the marijuana) has been used as a medicine for at least 5,000 years of recorded history. Interestingly enough, among a variety of ailments and conditions, cannabis was also used to treat pain, inflammation, poor memory, migraines, fatigue, depression, and rheumatism. Sound familiar, fibro sufferers? It has been smoked, eaten, and made into teas and pastes in the medical life of India and China for thousands of years. It was introduced to the U.S. around the turn of the 20th Century by Mexican immigrants. But racism and classism led to the criminalization of marijuana.
Read more about Will Marijuana Help my Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
Can Marijuana Help Treat Fibromyalgia Itching?
Many people who have fibromyalgia also report that they feel a constant itching sensation. It doesn’t seem to be caused by any irritation of the skin but is rather just a persistent itchiness that can occur all over the body. And for many people, fibromyalgia itching is worse than the pain.
The constant itch is incredibly frustrating and close to impossible to satisfy. And that leads to many people scratching until they break the skin, which leads to infections. Unfortunately, this kind of chronic itching is not understood very well by science. And fibro itching, in particular, is not the target of much research by most medical researchers.
But with marijuana increasingly being accepted as a medication, many wonder if it can help treat fibromyalgia itching. So what exactly is fibro itching? And can marijuana help?
Read more about Can Marijuana help treat my fibromyalgia itching?
Barriers to Legalized Medical Marijuana
What is the hold up with medical marijuana research, legalization, and decriminalization around the country? Why is it okay in some places, but not others? This is actually quite sordid and complicated. We’ll only scratch the surface, but it should give you a general idea of what’s going on with legalized medical Marijuana. (Spoiler alert: mass confusion)
Best new medications for treating fibromyalgia
“Remember, doctors know that fibromyalgia patients are sensitive to medications so they generally start you out on a low dose and closely monitor you for worsening effects. Best case: the medications will work well for you and bring much needed relief so that you function more like you wish to. Worst case: the medications won’t work and may make you feel worse temporarily. But you won’t know till you try and the prospect of finding a reprieve may feel like enough of an incentive to give it a shot. So let’s take a look at some of the best medical treatments for fibromyalgia that Western medicine has to offer at this moment.”
Read more about the best new medications.
Other Treatments and Lifestyle Content
Lady Gaga’s Netflix Documentary puts Fibromyalgia Front and Center
In a lot of ways, Lady Gaga’s new Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, is your standard pop star documentary, in the vein of Madonna’s Truth or Dare or Katy Perry’s Part of Me. It follows her around as she’s writing and recording songs and music videos for her album Joanne, and preparing for concert appearances (including her performance at Super Bowl XLI). There are glimpses of her family life, and Lady Gaga, or in this case, regular old Stefani Germanotta, attends a baptism as the godmother to one of her bandmates’ babies. You meet her parents and grandparents. All standard celebrity documentary material.
What sets Gaga: Five Foot Two apart is Lady Gaga’s willingness to put her struggle with chronic pain, specifically her fibromyalgia, front and center in her story.
Read more about Gaga: Five Foot Two.
What medical research has shown about fibromyalgia
“As new scientific evidence is revealed, fibromyalgia is moving from a stigmatized and misunderstood syndrome once dismissed as purely a psychological disorder to a true disease with its own pathology. Studies linking dysfunctional brain processing to fibromyalgia will help erase the stigma from sufferers.”
Read more about medical research into fibromyalgia.
Is fibromyalgia a disability?
“For a condition to be recognized under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), it must cause an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. By that standard it would seem like fibromyalgia is a slam dunk for qualifying, right? I mean, pain so severe that you can’t get out of bed? That’s an impairment by any definition. And fibromyalgia is recognized on the list of disabilities covered by the ADA.”
Read more about fibromyalgia disability.
Fibromyalgia therapy dogs may improve daily life
“What if a cute, cuddly dog is the Rx you need to help reduce fibromyalgia pain even more than your current therapies? It could just very well be! Fibromyalgia therapy dogs are gaining in popularity as a treatment.”
Read more about fibromyalgia therapy dogs.
The benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy for fibromyalgia patients
“Outside of pharmaceuticals, two of the most studied methods of treatment for fibromyalgia patients are exercise and a very specific kind of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of talk therapy that can help you identify and cope with specific challenges, including fibromyalgia symptoms.”
Read more about cognitive behavioral therapy.
How to get a spot in clinical trials for new fibromyalgia treatments
“New clinical trials are underway all around the country and world, studying drugs/devices or other treatments for fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms. This gives men and women more options than what’s traditionally prescribed during a doctor’s visit.”
Read more about clinical trials for fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture and other treatments for fibromyalgia
“Fibromyalgia is an illness that stumps doctors while patients look for relief. The mainstream medical community has only a relatively small group of treatments for fibromyalgia, most of which provide only incomplete relief from chronic pain or have a long list of unpleasant side effects. Consider instead some of these natural alternatives that may provide some comfort without unwanted effects.”
Read more about natural treatments for fibromyalgia.
8 Amazing yoga poses for fibromyalgia relief
“If you have talked to your doctor about fibromyalgia then in all likelihood one of the first things they recommended was that you do your best to stay active and create a regular exercise routine. But as anyone with fibromyalgia knows, exercise sucks! Your muscles are sore, your joints ache, and your just too fatigued to care about anything as miserable as exercising. Well the solution to this dilemma can be fixed by a simple, four letter word: yoga.”
The National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association has a provider directory that can help you find a doctor near you who treats fibromyalgia.
The National Fibromyalgia Association spreads awareness through its education programs throughout the United States.
How do you plan to spend Fibromyalgia Awareness month? Let us know what you have planned in the comments.
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