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Understanding Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition of widespread pain and profound fatigue. 

Understanding Fibromyalgia: FAQ

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition of widespread pain and profound fatigue. Pain tends to be felt as diffused aching or burning, often described from head to toe. It may be worse at some times than others. It may change location, usually becoming more severe in parts of the body that are used most.

The fatigue can range from feeling tired to the point of exhaustion. It may come and go and people can suddenly be drained of all energy - as if someone has 'pulled the plug'.

What are the causes of Fibromyalgia?

The exact cause of Fibromyalgia has not been confirmed, although there is a lot of speculation about the cause. It may be an accident, viral infection, childbirth, some sort of emotional event or an operation. Fibromyalgia may begin without any specific trigger.

What are the common symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is generally characterised by extreme fatigue and aches and/or pain throughout the body.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Headaches.

  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and temperature.

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

  • Difficulty sleeping.

  • Difficulties with memory and cognitive functions (sometimes called “fibro fog”).

  • Stiffness in the morning.

  • Painful menstrual periods.

  • Restless leg syndrome.

How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia cannot be determined by a specific test, so a person may find themselves going to several different doctors before a diagnosis is made. This is normally after a 3 month period when other conditions have been ruled out, either through blood tests, x-rays, scans etc. This is largely because pain and fatigue, the main symptoms of Fibromyalgia, are also symptoms of many other conditions.

What are the treatment options for Fibromyalgia?

Treating fibromyalgia can be tricky since the cause is unknown. You may find that your GP or a healthcare team will provide the best treatment.  Just as importantly, you will need to take an active role in finding what treatment method works best for you.

It can be a combination of various medications, this may take some time to find the right balance for you. Remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another.

Gentle exercise like Tai Chi, Pilates, swimming may also help keep you active 

Does Fibromyalgia get better with time?

Since fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, that means it will last for a long time, often for your lifetime. Everyone is different, however, and some people do improve over time.
People with fibromyalgia can have good days and bad days. On good days it is important to pace yourself; over doing it may make matters worse. Listen to your body when it tells you to slow down. Rest is important.

Some quotes from our members upon joining the support group

'Like I wasn't alone anymore'
'People know what I am talking about'
'There are others that feel like I do'
'I have made some very special and true friends'
'I now have a good support network'
'Supported. I didn't think there would be this many people with Fibromyalgia'
'I am so happy I came along and I am no longer fighting this on my own'
'It's reassuring to know that I am not alone or 'imagining' everything I feel on a daily basis. Lovely friendly group'
'We are all the same but very different', very welcoming group'
'I felt I was with other people who understood'
'A bit worried about fitting in but everyone was lovely and made me feel so welcomed'
'Nervous, but very welcomed and accepted'
'Feeling of total isolation was lifted'
'I felt that I was not the only one and could express my worries. Got a lot of information which will help me cope with the pain and confusion'
'Surprised so many people. Not alone. People were cheerful although they must be in pain/discomfort'
'Very welcome, felt comfortable, full of information and help'
'Scared at first but then cried when I came out, was relieved  I wasn't on my own anymore'

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Meet the committee

Claire - Chair 
Karen - Vice chair
Sarah - sadly Sarah passed away in November 2022 after a short battle with bladder cancer

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