Living with Fibromyalgia

HEALTHCARE 20/05/2021

12th May was Fibromyalgia awareness day and what a perfect opportunity to highlight the condition to raise even more awareness. 

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia or Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a muscle skeletal disorder characterised by chronic widespread pain and fatigue. The condition may cause other symptoms which can impact day-to-day life. The main symptoms of Fibromyalgia are:

  • Widespread pain
  • a heightened pain response to pressure
  • sleep disturbance and non-restorative sleep
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • cognitive impairment
  • digestive symptoms/irritable bowel syndrome
  • environmental sensitivities (noise, light or temperature)

 

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition, and because it involves the nervous system, it can have an impact on virtually every part of the body. Experts believe that pain signals are exaggerated by the brain and nerves, amplifying the sensation of pain you experience. This disordered signal processing leads to several abnormal types of pain. An increase in the degree of pain is known as a fibromyalgia flare up.

 

Who can get Fibromyalgia?

Anyone can get fibromyalgia, but women are nine times more likely to get fibromyalgia than men.

What causes fibromyalgia?

No one really knows what causes Fibromyalgia. However, in certain instances, it is thought that there may be an environmental trigger for the illness. This trigger may be emotional or physical event such as a car accident or a traumas. 

Does Fibromyalgia have a cure?

Fibromyalgia symptoms can be treated and managed but there is no, known cure for the condition. Exercise and diet may also help manage the symptoms.

Why should we be aware of fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia involves the entire body and throws all kinds of things out of control. It can take someone who is educated, ambitious, hardworking person and rob them of their ability to work, exercise or even think clearly. Fibromyalgia is NOT laziness, ‘psychological burnout’, pretentious, whining or malingering. It IS the result of widespread dysfunction in the body and the brain, hard to understand, difficult to treat and without a cure.

The hardest thing for people with fibromyalgia is having to live with it and how the society interprets their symptoms.

Having the support and understanding of people in their life can make it a lot easier for them.

By Karambu Muthaura

Head of Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS) - KRA