Nearly 8 million patients in India alone may be suffering from fibromyalgia and eight out of nine are women. You may wonder: Does personality play a role in who might be prone to the disease? Perhaps statistics seem to indicate these women are perfectionists who are especially sensitive.
These patients are more often living in total pain, are extremely fatigued and suffer from lack of sleep. They wake up stiff, experience mental confusion and many have irritable bowel and TMJ syndrome (Temporo Mandibular Joint Disorder), which is when an individual develops a very painful jaw with headaches.
Most fibromyalgia patients come to my clinic toting a stack of medical records from several different doctors, because a diagnosis of fibromyalgia usually takes an average of 7 to 8 years to get! Talk about frustration! They have been tested from top to bottom with absolutely no abnormal findings. The only way to truly discern whether a patient has fibromyalgia is to do specific tender point testing of eighteen predetermined areas. If eleven or more of these areas are significantly tender when only mild pressure is applied, the patient is diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
A majority develop fibromyalgia following a serious illness, a major injury (especially of the neck), or a substantially stressful time in their lives, as mentioned earlier, all of these situations greatly increase the amount of free radicals our body produce. Once this disease starts, there seems to be no letting up. One may have an occasional good day but have little or no reserve. And after doing too much in any given day, including exercising, one may become too stressed or ill and severe fatigue will set in for the next 2-3 weeks.