Fibromyalgia is a condition that is estimated to affect over 4 million adults in the United States alone. The disease is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain – often occurring throughout the body and for months or years at a time – and can result in sleep problems, chronic fatigue, and even emotional or mental distress among patients.
For people who suffer from the condition, fibromyalgia can have a drastically negative impact on their overall quality of life, limiting their ability to exercise, perform job responsibilities, or simply go about their daily lives. Although there’s no permanent cure for the disease, identifying the symptoms of fibromyalgia early and putting a treatment plan in place can go a long way towards helping patients manage their condition.
Early Signs Of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a particularly difficult condition to diagnose because both symptom onset and symptom diversity can vary so much from patient to patient. While symptoms for one patient may begin after a specific event or “trigger” (such as a physical trauma, surgery, infection, or significant psychological stress), others may find that their symptoms gradually accumulate over time on their own with no trigger.
Additionally, the types of symptoms a patient experiences can vary significantly based on the severity of the condition and whether or not that patient suffers from any other conditions as well. It’s not uncommon for fibromyalgia to co-exist with conditions like IBS, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, interstitial cystitis, or even anxiety and depression, so it’s important for patients to document all of their symptoms and share that information with their doctor before determining a treatment plan.
In general, the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia and the earliest tell-tale indicators that a patient may be suffering from the condition are:
- Chronic fatigue
- Widespread pain and/or stiffness (often experienced as a dull, aching pain that lasts for months or years with no relief)
- Sleep problems
- Cognitive difficulties or “fibro fog” (issues with thinking, memory, or concentration)
How To Treat Fibromyalgia
While currently there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, many patients are able to effectively manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Taking time to incorporate exercise, relaxation, and appropriate stress-reduction techniques into their daily routine can help improve patients’ overall quality of life and go a long way towards preventing symptom exacerbation, while medication can mitigate or eliminate some of the more painful side effects of the condition.
At Olympian Clinical Research we understand just how seriously the symptoms of fibromyalgia can impact every aspect of patients’ lives, and our team is committed to helping fibromyalgia patients find ways to effectively manage their condition long term and improve their quality of life.
Over the next few months we’ll be enrolling for a clinical trial designed specifically for fibromyalgia patients. If you or a loved one have been struggling from the condition, contact our Tampa office to learn more about whether you qualify to participate!