Does Fibromyalgia Get Worse and How to Manage Them
Fibromyalgia is a disease that can manifest itself in different ways for different people.
From the signs of it to the severity, the disease is multifaceted. Even so, there are some symptoms that many experiences that are more debilitating than others.
Below we’ll explore some of the worst symptoms of fibromyalgia in addition to the various ways people try to manage them.
All About Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that impacts the way your brain processes pain signals. This factor can cause widespread musculoskeletal pain in addition to other symptoms.
One of the best cases of fibromyalgia is that there has been no evidence that the disease can kill you.
Unfortunately, it can still have a negative impact on your quality of life. Many sufferers have been fully disabled because of the disease and subsequently loss their jobs.
Although we have a grasp on how fibromyalgia can feel, there is still plenty we do not quite understand about the disease.
There is no known cause for fibromyalgia, but researchers are attempting to connect a number of factors.
For example, people in the same family tend to contract the illness, but an exact genetic connection has yet to be found.
In some cases, trauma or triggered the development. In other cases, signs of the disease build up over time with a seemingly little warning. No firm cause has been discovered though.
Additionally, as a cause has not been found, a cure has not been made either.
There are several means of treatment, however, which is something we will discuss later in the article. A good deal of research does exist on the prevalence of fibromyalgia though.
According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, roughly 3-6% of the world’s population is affected by fibromyalgia.
Women appear to have the disease more often than men. In fact, over 70% of the cases are women.
Even still, fibromyalgia can occur to almost anyone; adults and children alike can have the illness, and it is seen in all ethnicities.
Those with the disease report a common sign: chronic pain. There are, of course, many more, and there are certain symptoms that are more uncompromising than others.
Severe Fibromyalgia Symptoms – The Worst of the Bunch
Though there millions of people who have the disease, we mentioned that not everyone shares the same experiences.
Nevertheless, some symptoms stand out as being the worst to handle. In many cases, these signs are connected to one another.
Let’s take a look at what many fibro patients deem as the more relentless signs:
For those with fibromyalgia, mood disorders are common. It is almost too easy to fall into something like chronic depression considering just how drastic the disease alters your entire life.
Many have to give up on things they once enjoyed whether that is physical and social activities or certain foods if your fibromyalgia caused another illness such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Not to mention the pain, lack of energy, and more that can bring your mood down. Many have even lost jobs over this.
Although there are a number of treatments for the disease, not everyone sees relief.
Several fibro sufferers go down countless of routes such as medicines and other forms of treatment. A lack of results can worsen depression in many people.
There are plenty of reports of patients feeling worn down for seemingly no reason at all.
You can wake up simply exhausted even if you hardly did anything the day before. As the day goes on, the fatigue can settle in like a bag of rocks.
Performing simple tasks becomes a challenge. Many speak of needing an energy boost to accomplish something.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why so many go through this fatigue. Like other symptoms though it can interfere with your day-to-day life. This can lead to other issues like depression.
Other than leading to further complications, fatigue can actually be caused by another fibromyalgia issue. We’ll tackle that in the next section.
Likewise, with how feeling drained can cause some mood disorders, fatigue can be brought about by sleep complications.
There are several reported cases of trouble sleeping amongst fibromyalgia patients.
A lot of the time, this is connected to other symptoms such as restless legs and general pain.
The ties are clear: feeling too much pain or not being able to get comfortable can hurt your sleeping habits. Stress is another common cause for having difficulties resting at night.
Often time though, people do not complain of struggling to fall asleep. Even still, they can wake up exhausted as though they never slept at all.
Sleep deprivation can eventually turn into an unfortunate cycle, leading many to seek medical treatment to try to fall and stay asleep at night.
Feeling stiffness in your muscles and joints is typically a normal occurrence if you have performed some strenuous tasks such as exercising.
In the case of many fibro patients, however, this stiffness can appear with no warning and after doing nothing demanding.
For those that experience this, many mention that it occurs more frequently in the morning or when they have been lying or sitting still for an extended period.
The stiffness is versatile too; it can be all over the body or specific areas can be targeted.
This can give you the sensation of needing to move around a bit in order to loosen up.
Regrettably, movement can actually make things worse. The tension can build and eventually turn painful.
Those who deal with fibromyalgia may have heard of the term “fibro fog”. In other words, it is a cognitive condition that many patients experience.
When patients speak of this fog, they are generally talking about a mental cloudiness that takes some time going away.
You may begin having memory problems, trouble concentrating, or both. Concerning the memory, this fog touches short-term memory more than anything.
It can make it difficult to retain new information such as remembering the name of someone you just met or what you were supposed to buy at the store.
Concentration can become difficult as well. You may seem to take more time finishing something you normally do like a puzzle.
When it comes to cognitive impairments, it is important to seek additional medical help if it gets worse as it may be a sign of something beyond fibromyalgia.
Widespread pain is a definitive trait seen in all fibromyalgia patients. Even still, it can become the worst symptom for many.
While some experience a dull sensation that comes and goes, others can go through incessant, stabbing pain.
It can be localized or it can spread. In the more severe cases, the pain is all over the body. This can make a person sensitive to touch as it can only aggravate the situation.
Many view pain as one of the hardest symptoms as it isn’t always easy to manage.
Some people see relief from medications or other lifestyle changes, but others struggle to find a way to rid themselves of the pain.
It becomes normal to wait for the pain to fade away on its own.
Severe pain can cause a number of other symptoms fibro patients deal with.
For instance, it can ruin your sleep patterns, sap away your energy, and it can lead to depression if you do not find a way to successfully manage it all.
Out of all the symptoms of fibromyalgia, the flare-ups are frequently mentioned as being hard to deal with.
A flare-up can happen at any time. It is when your symptoms are either intensified or you suddenly begin to experience more symptoms than usual.
The best case scenario when this happens is that it can last for a day or two. With the worst case scenario, it can last for several weeks.
Pain and stiffness are common signs that are intensified with a fibro flare-up.
Long flare-ups can feel as if they will never end. A person can easily feel distressed over this, especially if they do not know exactly how to manage new symptoms or the worsening of other symptoms.
How Bad Can Fibromyalgia Get?
As there is still study after study conducted in order to learn more about fibromyalgia, it is not exactly clear-cut on just how bad it can get. One fact that is known is that, in spite of the pain, fibromyalgia is not a disorder that can kill you in of itself.
Now, with that said, you can reach a point where it seems as if your symptoms have never been more distressful.
As mentioned previously, there are some signs of fibromyalgia that stand out as being more painful and harder to manage than others. The worst the disorder can get is experiencing an overlap.
What exactly does this pertain? Well, it means that you not only have overlapping symptoms, but you are juggling the worst of the day in and day out.
According to Arthritis Foundation, Many of those with fibromyalgia undergo flare-ups, the details of that discussed earlier.
Symptoms, as well as the intensity of them, come and go. So, when it comes to the question of how bad fibromyalgia can get, it would be seeing none of the usual relief and experiencing the symptoms 24/7 for months or longer.
Does Fibromyalgia Get Worse with Age?
This is a question that will never really have one answer as it is ultimately based on personal experiences. Fibromyalgia and its symptoms have a way of cropping up on you at any time and also going away, even the more terrible signs. Does it truly worsen with age?
according to The National Fibromyalgia Association, Some older individuals may indeed say they felt better years before, but there is something important to remember: many are suffering from juvenile fibromyalgia.
Because of this, it seems that anyone who has the disorder can experience the same symptoms, the same amount of pain and tiredness at any age.
To those who may be feeling that things deteriorate more so with age, much of that can be contributed to outside factors.
Other medical conditions can affect fibromyalgia and vice versa, causing it to seem like the disorder is getting worse as you age.
Can the Worst Case of Fibromyalgia Affect Your Relationships?
It is easy enough to worry about yourself—as you should be—if your fibromyalgia worsens. However, those around you can feel the effects of the disorder whether you want them to or not.
According to The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, There can be a number of reasons as to why one going through fibromyalgia, especially the worst of it, can have an impact on relationships. There has been some research conducted, and the results seemed to be on either side of the board.
Some reported a negative relationship with their children based on them believing the pain to be exaggerated. Others spoke about having children who fully understood the disorder. There were patients speaking about losing friendships due to turning down invitations.
Using research such as that can indicate that the worst case of fibromyalgia can affect your relationship. Whether it is positive or negative is based more on each individual experience though. The reason for this can boil down to the worsening of symptoms.
If you are experiencing the debilitating pain that seems unending, or you cannot seem to pull yourself out of bed due to fatigue, it seems apparent why you would not participate much in activities involving those around you.
According to Scientific American, Another worst case when it comes to fibromyalgia is the depression and anxiety. Those disorders on their own, especially depression, are well-known to impact relationships, and piling them on with everything else you are going through can affect you and those around you negatively.
A key takeaway here is that although you may be undergoing perhaps the most difficult moment since your diagnosis, it is important to maintain healthy relationships with those around you.
If your outside life begins to crumble, then it has the ability to make your symptoms all the more painful and tough to manage.
Is Fibromyalgia Progressive?
According to MedicineNet, When it comes to determining whether or not a particular disorder is “progressive”, most just go by the textbook definition: a condition that increases in severity or a condition that continues worsening going forward.
With what was touched upon earlier in this article, it would seem that fibromyalgia may classify in the category of a progressive disease. However, according to many researchers, the chronic disorder is not looked at as progressive in nature.
Fibromyalgia remains an interesting, unique, and hard-to-pin-down disorder since just about everyone with it experiences something different.
Symptoms can appear worse at some points, but those with the disorder will attest to having moments of so-called “remission” where they are not going through such rough bouts.
To become characterized as a progressive disease, the disorder in question should eventually lead to loss of function and more than likely die. For now, this is not the case with fibromyalgia.
There is no denying that many patients are going through a worsening of symptoms or experiencing new ones. However, by using the standard definition and until more research is uncovered, this usually is not classified as progressive.
Can Fibromyalgia Make You Disabled?
When you are trying to push through the more terrible side of fibromyalgia, your day-to-day activities can be affected. More so, your work can be impacted. A lot of this has to do with the chronic pain and fatigue that make performing a task difficult.
There are ways to cope and work with this disorder, even if you have the most unfavorable symptoms. At the same time, there are those who simply cannot cope and are unable to keep their jobs. In this case, yes, fibromyalgia can make you disabled.
Certain symptoms from the disorder can cause severe impairments to your life. This can range from forcing you to stop working, to limiting what you can do on your own like shopping, driving a car, etc.
Because of this, it is vital that you do not take any of those harsher symptoms for granted and keep up with your treatments and coping plans.
The Worst Signs – How to Manage Them
Treatments do not always work for everyone, but there are some ways you can try to manage the worst symptoms of fibromyalgia.
A few of the common treatments are listed below:
There are countless of medications your physician can prescribe to try to treat some of the more serious cases.
The FDA has approved of certain drugs such as Cymbalta and Lyrica to manage symptoms.
Some people have noticed relief in symptoms through exercise. Research showed that strength training has a chance of reducing pain and tender points.
A number of fibro patients reported that they found relief in stiffness, pain, and overall well-being through acupuncture.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome are numerous. While everyone has different experiences, many find themselves going through the worst of it.
There are many ways you can try to reduce the severity of these symptoms.
Fibromyalgia may not be curable, but it can be treated.