Do mornings bring body ache? It could be fibromyalgia
Bengaluru: Do you wake up feeling exhausted, with a dull and continuous ache and stiffness in various body parts on a continuous basis, don’t dismiss it as a consequence of over-exertion. It could be a case of fibromyalgia.
This rare and unheard of disease, which is caused due to stress and other factors, affects nearly 1.4 crore people in the country and nearly 80 per cent are women, reveals a study. City doctors claim that two in ten people suffer from fibromyalgia.
Those affected need to be on guard before the problem deteriorates. Every day we have at least two in every ten people coming with a complaint of fibromyalgia, said Dr Jagadeesh P.C., Consultant, Orthopaedics, Bone & Joint Surgery, Fortis Hospital.
Gayathri, a fibromyalgia survivor said, “I was diagnosed with the disease nearly four years back. I was suffering severe body aches, frequent headaches that lasted for months and fatigue. I would even wake up after eight hours of sleep feeling completely exhausted.”
She also pointed that for almost a year, she was in and out of hospitals, consulting various doctors, few of whom dismissed it as nothing and many others gave her vague diagnoses.
Difficult to spot
Dr Madhusudhan B.K., Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals, said, “There is no diagnostic test available, hence we rely on these group of symptoms to determine whether the patient suffers from this condition. It's not easy to spot fibromyalgia. This is one disease that doesn't have many visible signs.”
Tell tale symptoms
“If you have fibromyalgia, one of the main symptoms is likely to be chronic widespread pain. This may be felt throughout your body, but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck. It can make you feel stiff. The stiffness may be severe when you've been in the same position over a long period of time,” said Dr Madhusudhan.
“Some patients suffer from underlying undiagnosed depression or anxiety and sleeplessness as well. Consultation with a psychiatrist to rule out these problems is important,” said Dr Ramesh Jois a rheumatologists at Fortis Hospitals.
Consultation with a rheumatologist is required since the symptoms of fibromyalgia are similar to those of various types of arthritis. It is important to rule out underlying undiagnosed arthritis.
Gayathri also pointed out that Fibromyalgia impacted her life on a daily basis. “Now, I try to educate myself the best I can. It’s very important for the person with fibromyalgia and their family to really understand this condition. With no known cure, I feel treatment plans cannot be a one size fits all. I found that the medication available for pain management had far too many side effects. So after a couple of months, I decided to treat this through exercise, diet and no medication,” she added.
Dr Manohar K.N. Consultant Internal Medicines, Manipal Hospitals, said, “Women are more prone to fibromyalgia than men and it mainly affects middle age people.”
Dr Jagadeesh said, “Like most other diseases these days, it comes down to the lifestyle. Engage yourself in physical activities, it will help your muscles build stronger and improve your joint pain and stiffness. Early morning walk can make you feel fresh and also improve your mental health and sleep better to feel better.”