Lady Gaga and Fibromyalgia
Last updated date: 13-Dec-2021
3 mins read
According to Global News Canada, pop music star Lady Gaga (real name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) is tired of people thinking the chronic pain she experiences is not real. The pop star opened up about her struggle with fibromyalgia, a condition that affects the nervous system and causes pain throughout the body. “I get so irritated with people who don’t believe fibromyalgia is real,” the singer said. “For me, and I think for many others, it’s really a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and panic disorder, all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive, and then you have nerve pain as a result. People need to be more compassionate. Chronic pain is no joke. And it’s every day waking up not knowing how you’re going to feel.”
The Mayo Clinic describes fibromyalgia as a is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. It is believed that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection, or significant psychological stress. In some other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single isolated triggering event. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, painful menstrual periods, anxiety, and depression.
While there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms such as pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs. Therapies such as exercise, relaxation, and stress-reduction measures may also be helpful in the control of the symptoms.
In general, treatments for fibromyalgia include both medication and self-care. The emphasis is on minimizing symptoms and improving general health. No one treatment works for all symptoms. Medications can help reduce the pain of fibromyalgia and help achieve normal sleep, which typically include:
Pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) may be helpful. Your doctor might suggest a prescription pain reliever such as tramadol (Ultram). Narcotics are not advised due to potential dependence developing leading to more pain.
Antidepressants. Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella) may help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Muscle relaxants such as amitriptyline or cyclobenzaprine may be prescribed to help promote normal sleep.
Anti-seizure drugs. Medications designed to treat epilepsy are often useful in reducing certain types of pain. Gabapentin (Neurontin) is sometimes helpful in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms, while pregabalin (Lyrica) was the first drug approved by the US FDA to treat fibromyalgia.
Doctors do not exactly know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors combined, which may include:
Genetics. Because fibromyalgia tends to run in families, there may be certain genetic mutations that may make you more susceptible to developing the disorder.
Infections. Some illnesses appear to trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
Physical or emotional trauma. Fibromyalgia can sometimes be triggered by a physical trauma, such as a car accident. Psychological stress may also trigger the condition.
Also, the pain and lack of sleep associated with fibromyalgia can diminish one’s ability to function normally. The frustration of dealing with an often-misunderstood condition also can result in depression and health-related anxiety. If you suspect the presence of fibromyalgia, please have it diagnosed and follow the treatment directions.
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