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Understanding Fibromyalgia

The alarm goes off! You feel that bolt of dread and fear in your heart. Will you make it through the day? Will you hold on by your fingernails and just barely make it to the end of the day? Will your cognitive problems cause you more humiliation? Will you be able to keep your job? If you have Fibromyalgia Syndrome, you think about how you’ll deal with the pain. Thoughts go through your head that you don’t really want to consider. Would it be better to just give up completely, lose everything, just to stop this daily torture? If you’re still capable of working, you make the painful tremendous effort to get up and try to survive this day. If you’ve got Fibromyalgia, you already know that’s how each day can be. Some people describe it this way, “Fibromyalgia is chronic fatigue syndrome with pain.”

In your mind, you have to believe that someway, somehow, someday you can beat this hideous disease, and live like the normal people you see and envy every day. You can wake up and enjoy your family and friends, who may not really understand why you lay on the couch in pain or exhausted before noon. You have tried many different treatments, and some of them may have helped, but you are still not well. As you read these words, deep inside you think, “Is there hope for me here? Is there any hope at all?”

According to the American College of Rheumatology, Fibromyalgia affects 3 to 6 million Americans. Other sources say the total number affected could be 8 million people. It primarily occurs in women of childbearing age, but children, the elderly, and men can also be affected. Approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of people affected by Fibromyalgia syndrome are women. Because the symptoms can often be difficult to diagnose, many people will often fail to seek treatment because they don’t want to admit that the symptoms they are experiencing are in fact the signs that something is not working the way it should inside the body.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by fatigue and widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons. At first, it was not considered an illness at all. Doctors could not find any thing wrong with patients so they believed it to be psychosomatic. Slowly that dismissive view is changing. Published research at Johns Hopkins, The University of Pennsylvania and other top research facilities, points to immune dysfunction and cardiac abnormalities in these illnesses. It is difficult to believe that some doctors still regard people with Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome as nothing more than “extremely worried well people.”

The primary Fibromyalgia symptom is widespread, diffuse pain, often including heightened sensitivity of the skin, aching around the joints, and nerve pain. Other symptoms often attributed to Fibromyalgia include physical fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, dermatological disorders, headaches, and symptomatic hypoglycemia. Although it is common in people with Fibromyalgia for pain to be widespread, it may also be localized in areas such as the shoulders, neck, back, hips, or other areas. Not all people have all symptoms.

The cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown, but researchers have several hypotheses about what triggers the illness. Some scientists believe that the syndrome may be caused by an injury or trauma. This injury may affect the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia may be associated with changes in muscle metabolism, such as decreased blood flow, causing fatigue and decreased strength. Others believe an infectious agent such as a virus in susceptible people may trigger the syndrome, but no such agent has been identified. Psychological stress and hormonal changes also may be possible causes of Fibromyalgia.

While there is no medical cure for Fibromyalgia, many people have experienced improvement in symptoms and quality of life through nutritional improvements including supplementations of micronutrients including glyconutrients. I have personally worked with people, including the spouses of doctors, who have noticed incredible changes in quality of life when introducing the appropriate levels of high-quality nutrients to their diets.

Dave Saunders is a professional lecturer, and certified nutritional educator. He enjoys creating interconnections through his writings and lectures to help others create context and see new discoveries and technologies in more a practical light. You can find out more about new discoveries in health and nutrition at