We all get tired. Most of us have experienced sadness or mild depression at times. And who doesn’t feel achy and stiff every now and then, especially after a weekend of sports or yard work? But for those with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), these debilitating symptoms occur daily for months to years on end, and are relentless, causing poor quality of life.
What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a complex rheumatic-type disorder characterized by widespread pain, decreased pain threshold, and incapacitating fatigue. These symptoms affect millions of Americans, mostly women ages 25 to 60. In fact, women are 10 times more likely to get this disease than men. While there is no specific laboratory test or abnormal X-ray finding to diagnose fibromyalgia, the symptoms of the disease can be successfully treated once a proper diagnosis is made by a physician.
Years ago it became apparent to doctors that patients (usually women) who told of having muscle pain, achiness, fatigue, disordered sleep, anxiety, and depression were harboring a distinct syndrome, or collection of symptoms, that make a disease. Yet in test after test the results were always normal. Even in recent years doctors simply sent these patients home.
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