Lazy Diagnostics Volume 2- Fibromyalgia
I’m certain most of you reading this blog will have heard the term Fibromyalgia before. It’s becoming an increasingly popular diagnosis for an increasing number of symptoms that unfortunately, no one knows how to correctly treat. It’s also something we hear as clinicians on a weekly basis as a justification for said symptoms instead of doing something about them.
First off, let’s look at diagnostic criteria.
The majority of Fibromyalgia diagnoses require three fields to be met.
Pain in 3-6 (mild) or 7+ (severe) areas of the body
Said pain must have been somewhat consistent for 3+ months
No other diagnoses have been found
To put this into context, most people we see in a clinic have had pain in 3+ areas for over 3 months that the NHS hasn’t been able to provide an answer for, so they must all have Fibromyalgia, right? No.
Pair this with the NHS’s lack of routine testing for a full range of hormones, toxins, pathogens and chemicals in the blood and you end up with a wide range of possibilities all thrown under the Fibromyalgia blanket.
Now let’s look at triggers.
Triggers include surgery, injury, giving birth, viral infection, loss of loved one, end of relationship, abusive relationships. All these triggers are vastly different in their own respects, but all resemble some form of physical, chemical or emotional trauma that will have a profound effect on the nervous system.
If we pair this with some of the more widespread symptoms such as joint stiffness, aching, increased sensitivity, heightened stress, poor sleep we start to see the importance of looking at overall neurological health when trying to tackle this beast.
This has been acknowledged more recently with theories suggesting a nervous system dysfunction when sending and processing pain signals.
So, we’re here to tell you YOU HAVE A CHOICE! You can accept the label and live with health based on genes, germs and bad luck. Or, you can step outside of the sickcare models and chat with someone such as a functional medicine practitioner about all the other options still yet to investigate!