In my quest for gathering information to share with my fellow “Fibromytes” I’ve found it hard to find a starting point. There are so many aspects of Fibromyalgia and the plethora of medical conditions that accompany it, it makes it hard to trudge through all the important facts because, to me, and I assume to you, all of it is important. Every ache and pain we feel changes the way we live and in most instances, is connected to another ache or pain.

So, I will start with the basics and in future articles, will cover every last detail that might make a difference to someone in how they manage their pain, find an appropriate doctor, understand the symptoms and causes, and delve into all the treatment options that are out there today.

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FM) is a common, chronic pain condition of the soft tissue. It shows persistent, widespread pain and tenderness to tender points located in the soft tissue of the musculoskeletal framework. Symptoms can include insomnia, cognitive dysfunction, depression, anxiety, recurrent headaches (migraine or tensions), dizziness, fatigue, morning stiffness, numbness & tingling in extremities, irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, myofascial pain (I will explain in depth in my next article), irritable bladder syndrome & more.

There are a few experts that I follow closely and I consider them my “fibro heroes”. Mainly, because they are at the top in the field, but also because they were the first that helped me understand my pain and gave me validation - my pain is real.

One of those experts is I. Jon Russell at the University of Texas Health and Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. He has studied the abnormalities of particular key neurochemicals in the brain and the central nervous system. One specific neurochemical called Substance P, a neurochemical in the brain, sends signals to the brain to register pain. He discovered that this agent is found in Fibromyalgia patients at a level three times higher than in the average person. He also found that the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which decreases the intensity of pain signals sent to the brain, is apparently lacking in FM patients. This is important research and is ongoing, but many researchers agree that this could be key to how Fibromyalgia is treated and many drugs that are prescribed today work to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. - New Developments in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome 2003

Serotonin levels are of utmost importance. If you have too little, you hurt more and it can cause depression & anxiety. If you have too much, you can get Serotonin Syndrome, which can be deadly. I dedicated a page on my website to Serotonin alone.

There are many treatments out there for FM and each person can respond differently to any given treatment. So, it is important for you and your doctor to find the treatment that really works for you and reevaluate your treatment every 6 months to a year. Some medications or treatments may become ineffective over time and changes might need to be made. If you feel something isn’t working for you or may be causing side effects or interactions, talk to your doctor immediately. Life is too short to take chances with your health! I have had to change medications and supplements many times in my life with FM. It’s just a part of it.

Start managing your Fibromyalgia instead of letting it manage you!

Author's Bio: 

Erica Thompson is a 40-year-old, Stay-at-Home mom with 3 children and a husband in the military. She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1995, but suffered from it many years prior to diagnosis and later, diagnosed with Chronic Myofascial Pain, IBS, RLS, migraine & more. She has done extensive research and is an expert based on her own experience, her mother's and her grandmother's. Her goal is to help chronic pain sufferers.