Fibromyalgia is often considered a controversial diagnosis, one steeped in ambiguity and often tagged as a ‘diagnosis of default’. People suffering from this condition are all too familiar with the bewilderment it incites, yet the label of ‘fibromyalgia’ grants them an avenue of communication and an identification of their suffering.
Historically, fibromyalgia was diagnosed using a tool where pressure was applied to 18 points on the body, with 16 tender points confirming the condition. However, those with fibromyalgia know that tender points often exceed this number. Fibromyalgia translates to pain in the muscle fibers, but its scope extends far beyond mere muscle pain. This multi-symptomatic condition is a constellation of various system dysfunctions, not just the muscular or neurological fibers.
Those diagnosed with fibromyalgia usually report pain throughout their bodies, which often fluctuates and relocates. Accompanying this pervasive pain are other likely symptoms, including stress, digestive issues, and autoimmunity. All these issues interconnect, contributing to the complex condition of fibromyalgia. For example, stress hormones, imbalanced blood sugar, and a disrupted gut microbiome can all trigger inflammation, leading to joint problems and further muscular pain.
Every individual with fibromyalgia is unique; the symptom picture is never identical. One patient might struggle with autoimmunity, while another might not. The same dichotomy applies to issues like leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth, or viral infections. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of fibromyalgia requires identifying the specific array of triggers, whether inflammatory, immune, or neurological, in each patient.
In a nutshell, the label of ‘fibromyalgia’ is less a definitive diagnosis and more a multifaceted, symptom-based condition. Unraveling this complex issue involves a methodical approach to identifying and treating the various underlying causes specific to each patient. While the term ‘fibromyalgia’ might not represent a ‘real diagnosis’ in the traditional sense, its ubiquity helps in connecting with patients and legitimizing their experiences.
Note: The above article was auto generated off the transcript of the above video. Because of this there may be some errors that do not coincide with the video.