The Sequelae of Fibromyalgia: Depression and Other Conditions

November 26, 2018

There can be several complications that arise from fibromyalgia. Sequelae is a term used to describe secondary results or the aftereffect of a disease. Here we will be looking at the sequelae of fibromyalgia, including depression and other conditions. First, let’s look at what is fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that involves widespread muscle pain and tenderness. Unfortunately, this condition does not have a cure. However, it can be treated. Doctors are still unsure what exactly causes fibromyalgia. In addition to widespread pain, there are other symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty paying attention, difficulty sleeping, migraines, “fibro fog,” irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.

Fibromyalgia can lead to a secondary condition: depression. People with fibromyalgia may also have depression. In fact, around 90% of people who have fibromyalgia also have symptoms of depression. When doctors attempt to add medications on top of medications it can become a bit overwhelming for fibromyalgia patients. Instead of solving the problem, the condition may get worse. Sometimes the pain can be overwhelming that it leads to depression.
What can help?

Ask a doctor you trust about possible solutions. One possible solution is therapy. Therapy may be a great option for fibromyalgia patients with depression. There are one-on-one sessions or support groups. You are not alone. There are treatment options.

Another option is cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy is a kind of psychotherapy. It involves challenging negative thought patterns to treat certain mood disorders or behavior patterns.
Lack of Productivity

As previously mentioned, fibromyalgia can impact not only the physical aspect of the body but also the internal. The widespread pain patients feel from fibromyalgia can negatively impact their mental health. People can experience “fibro fog,” which involves low amounts of pain for a long period. Patients can also experience joint pain, which can impact mobility and productivity. Lifestyles can be disrupted because patients with fibromyalgia may not be able to work or may need to receive disability benefits. The lack of productivity and negative impact fibromyalgia can have on patients’ lifestyles can lead to seclusion and isolation, which can then lead to depression. Patients may withdraw from activities and social activities.
What can help?

Fibromyalgia flare-ups can occur. These pain flare-ups can be caused by stress or depression. But they can also lead to stress or depression as well. This cycle of pain and negative impact on mental health can continue. Possible solutions include pain medication or alternative medicines. If medications are not working, ask your doctor about natural remedies to help treat your symptoms.

Another option available is physical therapy. Physical therapy can help treat symptoms by using physical methods to help ease the pain.
Other Conditions

Although it is not known whether or not fibromyalgia causes other conditions, we will be looking at possible related diseases. For example, fibromyalgia may not cause depression. However, it can be related to the chronic disease. This is why it is important to be aware of what symptoms you may be experiencing to more accurately identify your condition.
Related Conditions

Patients who have fibromyalgia are more likely to have other related conditions including:

Autoimmune Diseases: Specifically, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus are serious autoimmune diseases that may accompany fibromyalgia. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system attacks the healthy cells.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): This disease is often characterized by extreme exhaustion and fatigue, sleep problems, and pain.
Endometriosis: A female reproductive disorder that involves tissue growing outside of the uterus when it usually lines the uterus.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A large amount of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome is a digestive disorder that can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and/or cramping.
Migraines: People who have fibromyalgia may also suffer from migraines. Additionally, migraines can even trigger fibromyalgia symptoms. Migraines are different from headaches. People can get mild headaches from time to time. However, migraines are a form of a severe headache that can cause nausea, vomiting, and make you sensitive to lights and loud noises. However, patients with fibromyalgia may still experience tension headaches.
Osteoarthritis: This condition is usually characterized by joint pain in which tissue found at the end of bones is worn down.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): A condition that occurs when there is an irresistible urge to move the legs.

You are not alone. It can be difficult, but there are resources online. There are additional resources that can be provided by your medical healthcare professional. Reach out to others who may have similar experiences and talk to your doctor if you have any questions.


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