Can You Die from Fibromyalgia?

Like most things in many health conditions, there are also some complications that may occur if you have fibromyalgia. It can be painful – even the major symptom of the disease is the widespread pain on sites of the body called tender points. But can you die from it?

The bad news, there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia!

Many people are more likely to see many doctors before eventually they are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This is reasonable since this disease is not fully understood yet.

image_illustration188Even there is no specific test to diagnose it. This often leads to misdiagnosis. Sometime doctor may conclude the pain that you feel is not real.

Another reason is the symptoms of the disease can overlap with other health conditions. Therefore, many times doctors use several tests to rule out other possible conditions before making a diagnosis.

And so far, nobody knows what causes this disease! Some experts have several theories, but no one has been confirmed scientifically.

In general, experts believe that it occurs due to numerous of different factors that may include genetic tendency, psychological & physiological problems, illness, repetitive injuries, surgery, infection, or something else.

All of these things (particularly for the unclearly explanation about the cause of the disease) are the challenging factors that should be solved clearly to find the cure for fibromyalgia and the appropriate steps to prevent it.

It can be chronic that come and go. There is a time for off- period (when the symptoms improve) and on-period (when the symptoms return or even get worse and may continue for months or years).

Though it is a lifelong condition and there is still no cure, but there are plenty of options (from a variety of medications to home remedies or other alternative treatments) you can do to help cope with it.

Can you die from this musculoskeletal condition?

As mentioned before, many patients often see many different doctors (specialists) and have undergone many examinations /tests before eventually they are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This uncertainty condition causes fear and frustration, which may then lead to increased pain.

Before the diagnosis, many patients may find their tests are normal and don’t show a real disorder, and they look well. This may also make their family or even physicians doubt their complaints about fatigue and pain.

Overall, it’s important to understand that fibromyalgia is a chronic /lifelong condition which typically characterized by chronic fatigue and pain – therefore, it must be dealt as with any lifelong illness.

The good news; though it can be chronic, it is commonly not considered as a life-threatening condition and doesn’t shorten your life. Even it usually will not cause deformity such as damage to muscles, internal organs, or joints.

But the prognosis and outlook can vary. Fortunately, in general it rarely worsens over time. Instead, it improves over time (in many cases) – though again it can be chronic!

However, there are also some complications you need to concern if you have this musculoskeletal condition. For instance, there is a chance for it to cause depression, lack of sleep, or even social isolation.

Again, there are always essential steps you can do to cope with the disease. Even self-care treatments can be so essential to control it and prevent it from worsening.

For instance, just knowing and understanding well about fibromyalgia can help people around you understand your disorder. If they get adequate information about your disease, they tend to give more support emotionally. Emotional support is essential since it can help reduce your risk of depression.

Knowing the disease that it is not a progressive crippling condition can put you at lower risk of taking additional expensive testing. This also can be essential to help you have more positive attitude toward your problem.

In general, what is the goal of the treatment?

The treatment is currently not to cure the disease. It is primarily purposed to help control and improve the symptoms.

There are some treatment options. But generally, the treatment plan can consists of medication, lifestyle approaches (such as exercise, getting adequate rest, and diet changes), educating yourself about the disease, and sometime followed with some alternative therapies.

What is the best way to prevent fibromyalgia from returning?

Since it is chronic condition, there is chance for it to return – though typically it will improve over time, as noted before. Like the issue of the cure for fibromyalgia, there is currently also no guideline on how to prevent it from recurring.

However in general, experts agree that staying as healthy as possible with good lifestyle approaches (such as with good stress management, getting enough rest, regular exercise, and good diet) may be the best answer to live with this disease.

Citations /references:

  1. http://www.orthop.washington.edu/?q=patient-care/articles/arthritis/fibromyalgia.html
  2. http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/aha/umfibromyalgia.htm
  3. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/

Last accessed on September 2014

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