Today is the beginning of Invisible Illness Week although I have been writing about it all month so far. Because today is the first official day I thought I would write about the invisible illness that I battle the most – Fibromyalgia. It’s hard for me to believe there are still people today who do not know what it is. But then that is the purpose of this upcoming week – to bring awareness to illnesses just like Fibro. Today’s entry will be mostly an introductory post to it. If you have found your way to this blog today get ready to learn a few things. On with today’s lesson!
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is pain disorder caused by repeated nerve stimulization causing abnormal chemicals in the brain that trigger pain. This leads to a lower threshold for pain receptors. Basically meaning they overreact to pain. (Source) It is also classified as a disruption of normal dopamine-related neurotransmissions. Ok – in laymens terms – your brain is outta whack.
It’s important to notice that Fibromyalgia is not considered a disease, although I admit I do often refer to it as such because my body FEELS diseased. However, it is actually a syndrome which simply means it is a group of symptoms without a known cause while a disease is a group of symptoms with a known cause. I still find that hard to believe this far into the game. But researchers are getting closer each day to finding a cause. A traumatic physcial or emotional event seems to trigger the syndrome to “awaken” in the brain. The key is finding out how and why that is the case. It is believed to be genetic as well. Therein holds another piece to the puzzle. Fibromyalgia seems to be a large collection of puzzle pieces that scientists are working at fitting together. Our financial support and weeks like Invisible Illness Awareness Week can help. By bringing awareness to Fibromyalgia we can bring about the funds needed to provide researches the ability to research and learn more about how Fibromyalgia works.
This would explain why even the simplest activity can put us in bed for days. Where, for example, a “normal” person could shop all day and lunch with friends today and then even repeat the same activities tomorrow. For me, for example, one trip to Target and going through the drive thru at McDonald’s can put me in the bed for the rest of the day. My body reacts as if I have climbed Mount Everest in one afternoon.
Next entry will be about the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. There are many and vary from person to person which makes it difficult to diagnose. Once again spreading the word though can only help!
If you are interested in learning more about Fibro I have a number of links listed on my page at the top of my blog titled Helpful Places To Visit.