MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: Fibromyalgia is a chronic or long-lasting condition. It causes muscle and joint pain all over your body. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it may be a problem with how your nerves and brain sense pain signals. People with fibromyalgia are much more sensitive to sensory experiences, such as pressure, heat or cold, bright lights, and noise, compared to people without fibromyalgia. Things that may increase your risk for it are a family history of fibromyalgia, physical or emotional trauma and stress, having certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, having anxiety and depression, being female, and being middle-aged or older. Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include body pain and tenderness, feeling very tired, problems sleeping, thinking and memory problems known as “fibro fog”, and headaches. Other symptoms may include tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, and digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Since there is no cure for fibromyalgia, treatment for it focuses on relieving your symptoms. Treatments may include medications, lifestyle changes, and psychotherapy or talk therapy. Medications your healthcare provider may prescribe to help reduce pain and improve sleep include antidepressants and anti-seizure medicines. You may also be advised to take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers. But fibromyalgia doesn’t cause inflammation, so they often aren’t helpful for fibromyalgia pain. Certain lifestyle changes can help you manage fibromyalgia symptoms. These include getting enough sleep, regular exercise and staying active, and eating a healthy diet. The goal of “talk” therapy is to help you change the way you think or act. It can help you learn ways to cope with your symptoms and provide you with support. To find out more about fibromyalgia, talk to your healthcare provider.
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