Many people suffer it. Despite visits to the doctor, the general condition does not seem to improve. Patients feel the same: a condition of chronic muscle pain that extends to more or less all parts of the body and manifested by asthenia and permanent fatigue with major disturbances of sleep. Is it fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia, also known as diffuse idiopathic polyalgia syndrome or SPID, is a psychosomatic disease that causes widespread pain in patients: they have pain everywhere. This disease, which occurs in people between the ages of 30 and 60 years, but especially around 45 years old, affects 2 to 6% of the population in industrialized countries with a clear predominance of women (80% of women). .
Several causes … involved
The genetic factors can be mentioned: people who suffer from fibromyalgia often have someone in their family who has suffered the same problems. An abnormality of the central nervous system can also be suspected with a decrease in the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin in patients with the disease. There is also the possibility of a metabolic disorder of substance P, which causes the transmission of nociceptive nerve impulses, which increases sensitivity to pain. Infectious factors such as hepatitis B or C virus can be the cause of this syndrome. On the other hand, psychological problems, particularly pathological stress, anxiety and depression are also involved. Finally,
Pain, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue
Fibromyalgia could be considered a disturbance in the perception of pain, with a reduction in the threshold of pain and a lack of ability to cope with pain. It manifests clinically as a predominantly muscular diffuse pain associated with chronic fatigue and sleep disturbances. Diffuse muscular pains affect certain areas of the body that are very painful and are accompanied by muscle contraction, starting with the neck, shoulders and then down to touch the back, chest, arms and finally reach the legs.
The patient often feels that the painful areas are swollen. Severe headaches and migraines are sometimes associated with SPID, as well as with functional colopathy (constipation, abdominal pain, swelling …). Concentration difficulties are also found in these patients and often a depressive or anxious state in a third of patients.
In terms of medical diagnosis, it is performed according to well-established criteria, by the American College of Rheumatology, developed in 1990. To preserve the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, it is necessary to compile a clinical history of diffuse muscular pain of more than 3 months of age as well as the clinical examination of the patient revealed 11 painful points in the 18 characteristic points of the disease.
Warning: aggravating factors!
Trauma, stress, emotional shock, other somatic diseases (diabetes, infection …), noise, promiscuity, significant physical effort, cold, humidity, heat, some stressful conversations, lack of sleep … All this can lead to a crisis of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is not a life-threatening condition, it does not cause major health problems, but it is chronic and often resistant to medical treatment. It can have family consequences at the level of the couple and the family in the form of family tensions. It can also affect work activity with a high rate of absenteeism and difficulty concentrating, which is likely to reduce performance.
Regarding prevention, it is based fundamentally on the screening of anxiety, chronic or depressive states, in patients with diffuse chronic muscle pain. The treatment is necessary to avoid chronic pain and avoid the installation of the vicious circle.
Treatment, a true puzzle
“The treatment is very difficult and is badly codified,” says the specialist. Antalgic treatments (with all 3 WHO levels) and anti-inflammatory drugs used alone are often ineffective alone. In contrast, antidepressants or antiepileptics can be used for their analgesic effects in the central nervous system. And as an antidepressant, those in the tricyclic family that are very effective against lack of sleep can reduce pain and improve quality of life. Other antidepressants are also effective, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (which we remember are involved in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia).
“Authors of the etymology, the term fibromyalgia comes from the Latin” fiber “(fiber), the ancient Greek” myos “or muscle and the Greek” algos “which is pain.
Anxiolytics can also be used for sleep efficiency. In particular, benzodiazepines may be prescribed, but this can lead to addiction and dependence. Other treatments include muscle relaxants such as tiocholchicoside that acts on muscle contracture. Finally, hypnotics can be used for their restorative effect in sleep disorders. Especially important for psychological support in these patients by a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Some doctors propose a balanced diet, the eviction of stimulants such as tobacco and alcohol and the use of homeopathy. Balneotherapy exercises, as well as physiotherapy programs that include aerobic exercises,