Approximately 50% of SLE patients will have some degree of Fibromyalgia.
It is a condition characterised by flu like symptoms, pain in multiple areas, insomnia, IBS, restless legs syndrome, fatigue, jaw pain, brain fog, headaches, migraines, tinnitus, faintness, depression or anxiety, headaches and sensory overload (sensitive to noise, taste, bright lights). One of the most interesting points documented about fibromyalgia is that although a person may feel intense pain in one area of their body, when examined there is nothing ‘clinically’ wrong. It has been discovered that the problem is within the brain and how the brain processes pain. Sensory overload may play a part, if a person is more sensitive to sounds, light and smells, during this time they will also comment on experiencing more intense pain.
There are no specific blood tests used, a diagnosis is made on symptoms such as pain location and duration.
Pain must be present for at least 3 months.
The pain points for Fibromyalgia are very specific; they must be in all 4 quadrants of the body
There are 18 pain points in total and you must have pain in 11 of them for diagnosis.
Here is what we know about Fibromyalgia:
A viral infection could be the initial cause. Epstein barr virus and Herpes simplex 1 have been studied and researched quite extensively but nothing is clear at this stage
It is not life threatening but it can severely affect ones quality of life
It is not contagious
Symptoms can fluctuate throughout the day
Most people who have it will have had some major trauma in their life such as abuse, injury, near death experience or be suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome
50% of people with Fibromyalgia have depression and/or anxiety
Like Lupus it is more common in women but it can happen to men and children
It tends to run in families; therefore if someone in your immediate family has it you are more at risk
It is often misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome
Fibromyalgia can be successfully treated using natural therapies. A combination of lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, acupuncture, tai chi, meditation and supplements can all go a long way to reducing the symptoms and helping you get back to a more balanced happier life.