What is Fibromyalgia and the Migraine Syndrome?


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Fibromyalgia is the great impostor! It can present as depression, neck or low back aches, chest pain, headaches, panic attacks, insomnia, memory problems, tennis elbow, ear pain, plus many others. I have seen patients with so many different complaints that turn out to have this frustrating disorder. I am hesitant to give a possible presentation scenario for fibromyalgia.

In short, fibromyalgia is the migraine syndrome (explained below) gone haywire. Treatment has to be directed toward controlling the migraine syndrome which can lead to a cure for fibromyalgia! That's right; I said a cure for fibromyalgia is possible!

I have had so many patients have their fibromyalgia resolve that I am optimistic that I can really make a difference in the quality of life. At a minimum, marked improvement should be expected. There are always exceptions in medicine, but they are rare.

Let me explain what I mean by the http://www.migrainesyndrome.net>migraine syndrome. It is the outward expression of the body's sensitivity to light, sound, smell, food, and/or stress. Some people are more sensitive than others; therefore, their reactions to different stimuli are greater.

This sensitivity can be manifested in the body as migraines, sinus headaches, neck aches, palpitations, irritable bowel syndrome, motion sickness or vertigo, reactive hypoglycemia, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), panic attacks, and/or fibromyalgia. Now that's a mouthful! Understanding what is going on with you is very important in the healing process.

Fibromyalgia is traditionally defined as a syndrome which may feature constant pain, fatigue, sleep loss, headache, TMJ, restless legs, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, irritable bowel, bladder symptoms, memory impairment among other complaints.

Physical exam reveals tender points or what we call "trigger points." There are 18 specific trigger points to be examined. 11 out of 18 tender trigger points are required for diagnosis; however, usually I find 16-18 out of 18 tender trigger points on most of my patients.

Fibromyalgia should be treated by a headache specialist that understands that fibromyalgia comes from the migraine syndrome. An enlightened primary care physician could be your answer.

About the author:

J. Wes Tanner, MD, is a family practice and headache specialist who has been treating people for about 30 years. He has extensive experience in treating migraines and fibromyalgia with excellent success.

In Doctor, Why Do I Feel This Way?, Dr. Tanner exposes the secrets and myths about fibromyalgia and the migraine syndrome. To find out more, go to http://www.migrainesyndrome.net

What is a Migraine?
It is estimated that up to 26 million Americans suffer from Migraine headaches and it is considered one of the top reasons for missed work and loss of production. Among these, 8 million suffer from debilitating pain every year. These attacks render them incapacitated to the point that they can no longer perform their daily activities.

In fact, about 60 million work days are collectively lost every year, costing the United States some 17 billion dollars because of the lost time and medical expenses. More women than men suffer from migraine.

A debilitating Migraine headache can last from 4 to 72 hours and can be accompanied by intense pain, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, vertigo, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. After affects of a migraine can leave the sufferer drained and without energy accompanied by a low grade headache with oversensitivity to light and sound and can last for another 24 hours.

Most Migraine headaches sufferers cannot identify what triggers the headaches and a long and varied list exists that differs with each individual. The same factors do not necessarily trigger a Migraine on a consistent basis either. Statistically, women are more prone to Migraines than men with claims that the decline in estrogen during menstruation is the trigger and the onset can begin immediately to a few days delay.

Though all migraines are headaches, all headaches are not migraines. There can be many causes like high blood pressure, cervical spondylosis and poor eyesight being a few. So every one with headaches should not think he is suffering from migraine.

The broad criterion of diagnosis is if you have two or more of the following symptoms during a attack it is probable you are suffering from migraine
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