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Fibromyalgia Today Essay

759 words - 4 pages

Fibromyalgia is a common and potentially disabling condition predominantly affectinhg young to middle-aged women.1 Fibromyalgia has a varied and fluctuating clinical spectrum. The symptoms of Fibromyalgia are musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, sleep issues and significant levels of fatigue. The other key symptoms include cognitive disturbances, particularly problems with concentration, memory, and high distress levels.2 Fibromyalgia can be considered part of a group of clinical syndromes, including chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities and irritable bowel syndrome, whose clinical features reflect similar pathophysiological processes – termed by some as ‘central ...view middle of the document...

In an internet survey of 2 596 fibromyalgia patients in North America, 79% described potential triggering events at the onset of the their fibromyalgia,10 while 88.7% of patients seen in an Australian public hospital fibromyalgia clinic reported recognisable triggers.11 A physical or psychological stressor in a susceptible individual can result in a chronic, maladaptive stress response, which, in turn, mediates the central changes.12
Fibromyalgia is diagnosed according to criteria published by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). The initial classification criteria were published in 1990 and included widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness measured by the ‘tender point count’ on physical examination.13 These criteria was useful in defining a standard group for research purposes, however it did not and does not recognize the broader spectrum or fluctuating nature of fibromyalgia symptoms.
In 2010 the ACR published diagnostic criteria, taking these aspects into consideration.14 This criteria now accounts for chronic musculoskeletal pain, as well as fatigue, sleep problems, cognitive disturbance and other symptoms. In publishing this criteria, the authors recognised that fibromyalgia symptoms fluctuate significantly over time and they aimed to be able to recognise a spectrum of severity in patients with central sensitisation symptoms – rather than just those with the most severe illness who satisfied the traditional definition of fibromyalgia. The severity scale captured by the new criteria has been termed by some as a degree of ‘fibromyalgianess’...

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