Is Fibromyalgia a Neurological Disorder

Author: Sally Aponte
Published: 2010/11/03 - Updated: 2013/06/16
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by the presence of its primary symptom which is widespread muscle and joint pain throughout the body.


What is Fibromyalgia? That's a good question and since no one knows exactly what causes this disease there is no definitive test for it.

Main Digest

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by the presence of its primary symptom which is widespread muscle and joint pain throughout the body. The diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is given to a person when they have this unexplainable pain in various parts of their body. It should be noted that the pain can be very severe and as such drastically interfere with the way people live their lives. Often times, this pain is accompanied by depression and, again, whether the depression is a result of chronic pain or is caused by a different mechanism altogether is up for debate.

So, what are the symptoms of fibromyalgia

I've already outlined a few, and the most common symptom in the above paragraph, but some other symptoms include mental fog, trouble sleeping, fatigue, widespread pain, odd reactions to sensory input, upset stomach and joint pain. This is not an all-encompassing list but a few of the symptoms commonly experienced by those diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, labels given to people suffering from a collection of symptoms are often umbrella terms meaning that they refer more to the manifestation of the symptoms themselves than of the disease. The one piece of good news is despite all the pain associated with this condition those who are affected by it don't develop any deformities. That is, there is no real changing of the tissues except maybe the myofascia which are thought to undergo a change (more on that later in the article) but there is nothing like a bone deformity that occurs.

How is fibromyalgia treated

In western medicine the course of action for dealing with this condition involves both drug therapy and lifestyle changes. At this time there is no cure and it is best to look at the medications prescribed as tools to help manage the challenges of the disease chronic pain and/or joint pain and/or muscle pain. For example, lifestyle changes include getting plenty of rest, exercising, getting into a routine, eating healthy and avoiding smoking and stimulants. This is what I call "the usual". In other words, things that everyone could benefit from. Of course, if you're suffering from something as potentially debilitating as fibromyalgia it makes sense that you'd want to give yourself all the health advantages you can. My personal advice here is to be sensible. You may have good intentions and want to cut everything bad out of your diet and exercise everyday but make sure you leave time to live your life. It is the rare individual that can stick to a schedule everyday for the rest of his or her life never mind one bereft of fattening foods and leisure time. Lifestyle changes don't mean giving up your life; they simply mean making accommodations that allow you to be healthier than you otherwise would be. Don't forget your old life, just change it a little!

The second course of action in fighting this condition comes in the form of drugs. Usually, the drugs prescribed are antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants (TAC's) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) and they are believed to work by changing or balancing the level of serotonin in the body. This leads us to the great debate in the classification of this disease: is Fibromyalgia a neurological condition? TAC's tend to help with pain relief, depression and sleep patterns I'm inclined to say that it is, indeed, a neurological condition if you're thinking within the bounds of Western medicine.

Are there any Fibromyalgia medication side-effects

You bet there are! Anytime you take a TAC or SSRI there will be side effects. The complete list of side effects is long and distressing, to say the least. Here is a short list of some SSRI side effects: drowsiness, erectile dysfunction, suicidal thoughts, tremors, "pins and needles" feelings, changes in weight, changes in appetite and withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, another downside of this class of drugs is physical dependence. Withdrawal symptoms are quite real and should be considered when going "off" any sort of antidepressant.

Sally Aponte -

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Cite This Page (APA): Sally Aponte. (2010, November 3). Is Fibromyalgia a Neurological Disorder. Disabled World. Retrieved May 25, 2024 from

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