Fibromyalgia and Stress

If you have read anything about Fibromyalgia, then you will be aware that it is a disorder that affects the muscles and joints in the body. It causes pain, fatigue, and a whole host of other symptoms including sleep disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and depression.

Some studies show that Fibromyalgia is caused by a bacterial process, but this is not yet proved conclusive. Since the real cause is not yet properly known, doctors primarily treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia, as a cure is not yet known.

One of the main things that exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms is stress. Many people know that stress is a killer in that it raises blood pressure and can be linked to heart attacks. Stress is also responsible for the worsening of many conditions, including fibromyalgia.

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Stress causes muscles to tense up. When we are stressed we may clench our teeth together, bunch up the muscles in our foreheads, but much of the stress we suffer is gathered in our shoulders. Unfortunately most fibromyalgia patients have many tender spots in their shoulder region and this is made worse by stress.

Interestingly, stress can be sectioned into positive stress and negative stress. Positive stress can be linked to something a person is excited about, like a wedding, or a holiday. Even if a person is looking forward to an event which they will enjoy, this is likely to cause positive stress. And even positive stress can have an impact on fibromyalgia.

When a patient has started to manage their fibromyalgia then these celebrations or positive stress high points in life can be planned and carefully managed. Reducing all other stress is a good way to make sure that a patients stress levels do not reach too high. Getting help to make sure all tasks are done is another way to make sure stress is not too high a level, because it is very easy to be stressed when one feels there are many things to get done. Relatives and friends of fibromyalgia sufferers can be a great help when it comes to the big occasions. Although we all like to feel independant of others, letting people help us can make them feel good too. So give out some chores or jobs to people who would like to help. That way both the helper and the fibromyalgia sufferer can feel positive.

If positive stress can be managed, this is an excellent outcome. It will not only help the patient to be more confident in their management of the disorder, but will also boost the patients self-esteem. The long lasting effects of high self-esteem are well documented but include a boost to the mental health of the patient which again will have a positive affect on fibromyalgia.


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