Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is closely linked with Chronic Fatigue Symptom. There is tremendous overlap between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Approximately seventy percent of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia meet all the diagnostic criteria for CFS. The only difference in diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia and CFS is the requirement of musculoskeletal pain in fibromyalgia and fatigue in CFS. We recommend taking a good look at the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome section to determine whether the recommendations given there are appropriate to your case.
There is no treatment, per se, for fibromyalgia in allopathy. Some people with fibromyalgia, without any kind of treatment, get better on their own. Reassurance from a medical professional may help. Psychotherapy, counseling and support groups are the normal course of action followed. Anxiety and stress are believed to play a part in this condition, and are known to exacerbate symptoms. For these situations, antidepressants are generally prescribed. Some doctors prescribe very low doses of an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil) or nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor) for people with fibromyalgia. The lower the dose used, the better, as these drugs can cause side effects including dry mouth, confusion, high or low blood pressure, heart palpitations, rashes, numbness, tingling, tremors, blood abnormalities, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and liver damage.
Over-the-counter pain medications are not helpful in the majority of cases, but some people find they give relief, so they may be worth trying. Gentle massage, heat therapy, moderate exercise, and additional sleep may also be helpful.
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