Frequently Asked Questions About Fibromyalgia And Chronic Fatigue
Fibromyalgia causes pain, tenderness, and fatigue. This chronic pain condition can affect your ability to work or perform daily tasks, as well as interfere with your enjoyment of your favorite leisure and family activities. At Mitchell Medical Group, our goal is to help you achieve and sustain fibromyalgia pain relief in NYC and Long Island. Our holistic approach to fibromyalgia treatment focuses on treating your body and mind as a whole, rather than focusing in on a specific area of your health at the expense of others. Through our unique and effective three-step approach to treating fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions, we can help you regain your quality of life.
What is Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue?
After osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia is the most common musculoskeletal condition. It is characterized by widespread muscle and joint pain, fatigue, anxiety or depression, and a variety of other symptoms. Many signs of fibromyalgia are similar to other joint, muscular, or immune disorders, so getting an accurate diagnosis from the experts at Mitchell Medical Group is key. Women are 10 times more likely than men to develop the condition. The primary cause of fibromyalgia is unknown and there is no known cure, but treatment programs that include a combination of medications, exercises, and behavioral techniques can help alleviate the symptoms
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not alleviated by bed rest. Physical or mental activity can worsen the symptoms, which include weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory, and insomnia. Like fibromyalgia, the cause of CFS has not yet been identified, and there is no known cure. Diagnosing CFS is difficult because there is no lab test that definitively indicates the disease. CFS is only diagnosed after ruling out all other possibilities.
How Common is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is the second most commonly occurring musculoskeletal condition. It affects two to four percent of the population of the United States. Of the five million Americans over 18 who suffer from fibromyalgia, as many as 90% are female. Furthermore, women often experience greater fibromyalgia pain and tenderness than men. Researchers believe the condition may be both more common and more intense in women because of differences in hormone and endorphin levels between the sexes.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Unfortunately, doctors do not know what causes fibromyalgia, but it is most likely a combination of factors working together. These factors may include genetic mutations, infections, and physical or emotional trauma. Many doctors believe that repeated nerve stimulation increases certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain. The brain’s receptors can develop a memory of the pain, which makes them sensitive and more likely to overreact to pain signals.
There are many factors that can trigger fibromyalgia including:
- Viral, parasitic, or antibiotic-sensitive infections
- Pregnancy (usually beginning soon after the baby is born)
- Toxic Exposures
- Yeast (candida) overgrowth
- Hormonal deficiencies
- Chronic stress
- Autoimmune disorders
- Anything that disrupts sleep such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or a spouse who snores
What are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Muscle aches
- Tender points on the body
- Joint stiffness and pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Memory or concentration problems
- Numbness in the fingers or feet
- Dryness in the mouth, nose, and eyes
- Hypersensitivity to heat or cold
Causes and symptoms of chronic fatigue
Though doctors have not yet determined a definitive cause for chronic fatigue, there are several theories. Many people with chronic fatigue start experiencing symptoms after a viral illness or following a major physical or emotional trauma. Exposure to toxins, immune dysfunctions, nutritional deficiencies, genetics, abnormally low blood pressure, and gland or hormone conditions may also be contributing factors.
Chronic fatigue has a broad range of symptoms, which include:
- Extreme physical and/or mental fatigue
- Feeling unwell after being active
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Memory or concentration problems
- Sensitivity to light, noise, or emotions
- Confusion or disorientation
- Muscle weakness or muscle coordination problems
How to know if you have fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue
Since there are no blood tests or lab tests that definitively indicate fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, these conditions are tricky to diagnose. If you are experiencing any of the common symptoms, visit the professional medical team at Mitchell Medical Group in New York. One of our doctors will complete a thorough exam and run a series of tests to rule out other conditions. These may include routine lab tests like a chemistry panel, blood tests, urinalysis, and thyroid-stimulating tests. Other tests will check for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, Lyme disease, tuberculosis, Hepatitis A, B, or C, or other conditions. If all of these tests come back negative, then you may be formally diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue.
Is Fibromyalgia Real?
The actual causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, and individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia often appear physically healthy on a variety of medical tests. However, fibromyalgia is a real condition that causes real pain and has a real impact on your life. If you think you may be suffering from this condition, seeking the help of a qualified fibromyalgia doctor is the best way to achieve the health and wellness you deserve.
Is Fibromyalgia Curable?
As of yet, there is no single cure for fibromyalgia. However, this does not mean that individuals suffering from fibromyalgia pain and fatigue have no options. The treatment options available at our fibromyalgia treatment center include vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, hormone replacement, physical therapy and exercise, and even dietary and behavioral changes to help your body heal itself and eliminate fibromyalgia pain.
Can I Live a Normal Life with Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition; although it often improves with time, it is generally a lifelong health consideration. However, individuals with fibromyalgia can absolutely live normal, healthy, and happy lives. Fibromyalgia does not cause physical damage to the muscles, organs, or joints, and it is not a fatal condition. Successfully treating fibromyalgia means taking a comprehensive and holistic approach to your physical and mental health. Because each person is unique, a combination of treatment options is often used to achieve fibromyalgia pain relief and boost mood and energy levels.
Get Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Dr. Dean Mitchell and Dr. Ricki Mitchell at Mitchell Medical Group are proud to offer effective, holistic fibromyalgia treatment in NYC and Long Island. You can reach our fibromyalgia treatment center today by calling (212) 397-0157. We have offices in midtown Manhattan and Rockville Centre, Long Island.
For more information on fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, call our New York team at 212-397-0157 today!
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