It’s finally official…you’ve been able to find a healthcare provider who was able to take your symptoms seriously and diagnosed you with having the unpleasantly painful disease known as fibromyalgia.
The question now is…what do you do next?
Anyone who has spent any time researching the symptoms of fibromyalgia and working hard toward getting a diagnosis knows that there is no cure for this disease that causes chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and plenty of other symptoms that can fill an entire doctor’s chart.
With more than five million people in the United States suffering from musculoskeletal and skin diseases that are considered fibromyalgia, one would think that there would be more work being done to find a cure.
The problem, though, is that the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be so complex, and so varied from one person to another, that it is hard for researchers and scientists to be able to pinpoint the root cause of fibromyalgia symptoms.
It’s also difficult for them to then determine the best medical treatment for this disease.
And, until there is a cure for fibromyalgia, finding the best treatment options is going to continue to be vital for patients suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms.
Even Diagnosing Fibromyalgia Can Be Challenging
Not only is a cure still unavailable, but even getting a basic diagnosis can be a challenge for many who suffer from the often-debilitating chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia.
Getting your fibromyalgia diagnosed is daunting, especially when many of the most common symptoms can present in ways that make health care providers think that your pain, emotional stress, or digestive problems are actually because of something else.
Are There Blood Tests Available for Fibromyalgia?
Nor any one fibromyalgia test to a healthcare provider enough information to provide you with the appropriate professional medical advice you need to begin to find a way to cope with your chronic pain and begin to find a path forward…a path that will help you live your life with a disease that can be as debilitating as fibromyalgia is for so many.
Let’s Talk About Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia
So… now that we know that there is no cure for fibromyalgia and that it can oftentimes be difficult to get the proper medical treatment necessary for your fibromyalgia symptoms, let’s look at things you can do to help alleviate (or at least decrease) some of your symptoms and allow you to live the life you want, even if it means living with fibromyalgia.
What Should I Expect from My Health Care Providers When It Comes to Treatment Options?
When you can find a healthcare provider who is willing to listen to your concerns and discuss your symptoms of fibromyalgia, your first treatment option should involve medical treatment that is given to you under the orders of a physician or other medical professional.
How Will My Healthcare Provider Know How to Treat My Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Whether your fibromyalgia presents itself through irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, abdominal pain, extreme body fatigue, or sleep problems, there are a variety of options to choose from when deciding what type of medication will be best for you and your symptoms.
What Should I Ask for During My Physical Examination?
Make sure that during your physical examination, you make it very clear what your fibromyalgia symptoms are, how long you have had them, and what level of severity they typically tend to be.
The more information you can give during that physical exam, the better your health care providers are going to be at diagnosing your fibromyalgia, and getting your fibromyalgia treated once and for all.
The More Specific Your Symptoms, the Better It is for Your Healthcare Provider…And You!
For example, if you experience jaw pain in the morning, but you never experience it later in the day, then it’s important you tell them that.
If you are having joint pain or abdominal pain, but it’s limited to one area, make sure they have that information as well.
What If I am Experiencing Other Symptoms?
Consequently, if you often have widespread pain and it’s hard for you to pinpoint exactly where it is, that is important information that you need to provide your medical professionals with as well.
You Can’t Reduce Pain Without Help
The bottom line is this – your doctor or other health care professional will not be able to properly diagnose your fibromyalgia, nor be able to treat it, if you don’t give them specifics on what it is you are wrestling with and how much pain your fibromyalgia is actually causing you.
What Are the Most Common Treatments for Fibromyalgia?
Assuming your health care provider is fully aware of your symptoms and your overall discomfort, they will suggest a course of treatment they think will work best for your situation.
It will also be important that they know what type of pain management you’ve attempted in the past and what treatment options have or haven’t worked for you.
Your physician or healthcare provider is going to suggest a variety of options. Let’s look at some of the most common ones.
Over the Counter Medicines
Many people with fibromyalgia symptoms will have already tried this one on their own, but that doesn’t mean your health care providers aren’t going to want you to at least start with some over the counter medicines to see if those will manage your pain.
Most of the medications your health care provider is going to suggest you try are analgesics, like products that contain Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.
Pain is Pain. And It’s Never Fun.
You should always start with meds that have low risk factors first, then move up from there.
Another treatment option for sufferers of fibromyalgia is the possibility of antidepressants in order to help them navigate the mood issues and lifestyle changes that are associated with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is associated with things like musculoskeletal and skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, brain and spinal cord discomfort, widespread pain, and even possibly disorders of the central nervous system.
But rarely do fibromyalgia patients and health care professionals realize it can also be associated with mental health issues as well.
People with fibromyalgia know that it’s common to experience body fatigue, digestive problems, sleep disorders, and plenty of other types of pain.
But realizing that fibromyalgia can also take a mental toll is important, too.
Emotional Stress Can be as Harmful as Physical Stress for People with Fibromyalgia
An important thing to remember when you are dealing with fibromyalgia symptoms is that numerous factors can lead to these issues other than just physical ones.
Don’t Rule Out Mental Health Medications as Possible Solutions to Some of Your Pain
Medications for mental health have gone through some great advancements in recent years.
We no longer treat mental health as less important than physical health.
Finding the right medications to help with depression or similar symptoms is going to go a long way in treating your fibromyalgia.
What Are the Best Antidepressant Medications for My Mood Issues?
Many health care providers now realize that if a patient starts on an antidepressant drug, there is a good chance that some of their fibromyalgia issues will start to lessen.
Antidepressants can be a terrific tool to help treat fibromyalgia patients and may even reduce symptoms associated with everything from their sleep problems to weight gain.
But until then, knowing that there are medications that can help to relieve your body of some of the pain caused by fibromyalgia will go a long way in giving you the peace of mind and physical comfort you deserve.
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