Fibromyalgia is hell on earth for the millions of those suffering around the world, and while there is finally new research into this insidious disease, many questions remain unanswered. For instance fibromyalgia was labeled as fibrositis, (First labeled by Gowers in 1904), and later rheumatism, etc, until the American College of Rheumatology agreed in 1990 to diagnostic criteria, (11 or more specific tender points throughout body.)
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What causes fibromyalgia? The history of fibromyalgia is truly very sad as this disease although very old has only recently received the attention needed to find the cause. Additional historical facts regarding fibromyalgia include:
1) Historically fibromyalgia has been considered either a neuropsychiatric or musculoskeletal condition.
2) Additional early names for fibromyalgia included muscular rheumatism, psychogenic rheumatism, and neurasthenia among others.
3) The term fibromyalgia came from researcher Mohammed Yunis as a synonym for fibrositis, and was first used in 1981.
4) In 1987 an article first used the term, "Fibromyalgia Syndrome", and this was the beginning of much controversy that continues to this day for some who question if fibromyalgia is a real disease.
The controversy continues with a research paper written in 1990 stating that the vast majority of physicians, sociologists, etc, were skeptical that fibromyalgia held validity as a clinical entity. Sadly there are many more additional skeptics in the medical community regarding fibromyalgia and it's validity. A recent article, (2009) in one of the largest newspapers in America interviewed the same doctor who wrote the paper in 1990 where he and others claim fibromyalgia to be clearly a psychosomatic disorder or simply a by-product of stress, depression, and or social anxiety. What is fibromyalgia?
Finding this type of thinking in the medical community at this late date is extremely sad/frustrating for so many of us, but personally I can attest to the fact that indeed stress and social anxiety disorders do play a role in fibromyalgia for many. One of many questions I would have for fibromyalgia skeptics would include how did I go from a normal man with absolutely no fear to a broken man with a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder overnight while asleep in 1978. How does the brain change this dramatically in just a few hours while asleep? Would this doctor suggest that these very real changes were psychosomatic? In addition why after 8 years of suffering from all of these mental issues did I then develop completely new and very real physical pain in mid-back, legs, and bottom of both feet in one afternoon while playing golf with friends after one bad golf swing? Note I was later diagnosed with two benign tumors at T-7 and T-9 along with the fibromyalgia.
What causes fibromyalgia? Statements like those made in the 2009 article and others do nothing but set back progress by those who are truly searching for a cure, and the true cause behind fibromyalgia. Thankfully the numbers are finally on our side when it comes to medical professionals who see fibromyalgia as a very real disease with highly abnormal mental/physical symptoms that often do not show up on many tests.
New research, and new tests/clinical trials are finally showing many links between fibromyalgia and the nervous system, the brain, and how other areas of the body are affected when abnormalities in these areas of the body are askew. In fact through research done on autopsies of those who have passed with severe fibromyalgia researchers have now proven that indeed the brains of those with fibromyalgia show dramatic differences from a normal brain. One frightening find through this research has shown that long- term suffering by those with fibromyalgia have a dramatic loss of grey matter in the brain. Many suggest this is the cause for fibro-fog, (short and long-term memory loss.) Additional research though nowhere near completion is also pointing to an increase in dementia for fibromyalgia patients, and possible links to Alzheimer's disease.
Fibromyalgia pain especially for those who are suffering from severe fibromyalgia must be addressed and treated aggressively. One need look no further than one of the many national academy of pain specialists to find daily moderate to severe intractable pain left untreated does cause substantial loss of grey matter over time. This has become a huge issue due to the DEA, and recent decisions by many states to highly regulate doctors and their ability to prescribe opiates for treating severe pain. Due to the street market demands and many unfortunate premature accidental overdoses this has brought about a nightmare for those who are truly in severe pain and their ability to find a doctor with the knowledge and courage to help these individuals. Many fibromyalgia patients are in this type of situation, and some have made the decision to end their life rather than find the strength, finances, and support they so desperately need.
Fibromyalgia is a disease in which an individual has body wide pain in the muscles, fascia, and other soft tissues. Additional symptoms can include temporal mandibular disorder, irritable bowel disorder, sleep disorders, headaches, and depression/anxiety, etc.
What causes fibromyalgia? Possible causes include physical or emotional trauma, infection/virus, co-morbid conditions that eventually trigger fibromyalgia, cervical stenosis, abnormal pain response, genetic predisposition, etc. The need for much more research involving what is fibromyalgia is overwhelming, but must be accomplished over time. Why are women attacked by this disease at levels approaching 9/1 compared to men? Why are some children attacked by fibromyalgia? What role if any does our childhood play in later development of fibromyalgia? These and so many more questions are yet to be answered by our government, and the medical community. Still even after suffering for 35 years plus with fibromyalgia, and as one of the lonely males with this disease I continue to have hope.
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My hope comes from a deep and abiding faith in a higher power along with the fact that just in the past ten years I have witnessed more progress than in the previous twenty-five years combined. I for one refuse to give up, and I pray that anyone reading this will take this approach, and moreover make the decision to get involved. If your family has not been touched by this disease, or one of the many that are similar I hope you will count your blessings, and please the next time you see someone who has a fibromyalgia diagnosis be kind to them, and I promise you will make their day.
This newbie blogger will be fulfilling a dream I've had for many years as someone who suffers from severe fibromyalgia. Male fibromyalgia has always been hidden away from the public to some degree, and through this new blog I will tell my story in detail while praying I can help even one person who is facing a fibromyalgia diagnosis. Please visit [http://www.malefibromyalgia.com]
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