What is fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia can seriously affect the daily life of your senior loved one. It is a condition that is the onset of widespread muscle spasms, chronic pain, and fatigue. Which significantly interferes with their daily living. It becomes more of a complex problem for parents aged 65 years and above. As they already suffer from other existing physical ailments. It is imperative to understand this disease. In order to give proper care to our senior parent affected by the disease. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
It is a condition, where there is stiffness along with tenderness in the joints, bones, and muscles. The condition can affect both young adults and senior patients. However, the senior group is the most compromised ones. Women are more affected by the condition, in comparison to men. The chronic pain and sleeplessness that goes with the condition make life very difficult for our senior parents. The pain that lingers on throughout the day, affects the quality of life. And makes it difficult for our loved ones to carry out their daily tasks. What causes the disease, still remains a mystery. However, there are several factors that play a role in the sudden onset of tenderness and inflammation in the bones and joints.
Are we all at risk?
Individuals with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain. This happens because the brain perceives signals related to pain in a different way. As a result, the brain signals the feeling of pain even in conditions of non-painful stimuli.
Women are at an increased risk of developing it. Therefore, the female hormones are to play foul in the cause of the disease. So, patients suffering from the disease have abnormal levels of certain brain chemicals. Such as serotonin, nerve growth factor, and substance P. Fibromyalgia. This may run in the family. And so, there might be a genetic predisposition in the development of this condition. All these factors put together are to play a vital role in the onset of fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia
To plan better caregiving strategies for senior parents with fibromyalgia. It becomes necessary to understand and recognize the symptoms of the disease. Fibromyalgia shares common symptoms with other diseases. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are not restricted to joint pain and muscle aches. But it also affects the mental as well as the gut health of the individuals. So, it becomes necessary to check for the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia. In order rule out the possibility of other disease conditions.
A checklist of symptoms
Chronic pain in muscles, bones, and joints, which may worsen during the night.
The onset of tension headaches or migraines.
Tingling sensation along with numbness in the hands and feet.
Deep sleep is not possible for your loved ones with fibromyalgia. Patients may wake up tired even after sleeping for long hours, as they seldom slip into the deep sleep mode.
An onset of anxiety as well as depression.
Individuals are also affected by irritable bowel syndrome. A syndrome characterized by the onset of abdominal pain. Also, alternate bouts of diarrhea and constipation, and also bloating.
- Cognitive problems. This impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
So far there are no clinical tests available for diagnosing fibromyalgia. A confirmed analysis can be on the basis of duration of pain. When there is widespread chronic pain present for at least 3 months. And when other disease conditions are not present. Only then can the diagnosis of the disease be confirmed.
Tips for caring for senior loved ones
Caregivers have an important role to play in the lives of their loved ones with fibromyalgia. Taking care of senior parents with it is a bit difficult task. As the chronic pain and fatigue make them depressed and anxious. There is no cure for the disease. This is a fact that everyone should acknowledge by their loved ones and the caregivers. However, with medications and certain lifestyle changes. The pain can be lessened to a great extent and it can help our senior parents live a comfortable life. Following are some of the tips for taking care of your senior loved ones.
Encourage your senior parents to exercise regularly. This will help the muscles to relax and ease the pain.
Limit alcohol and caffeine intake as much as possible. In addition, avoid taking alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks during evening hours. In order to get a proper night’s sleep.
You can also give a mild massage to your senior parents to relieve the pain.
Practicing stress relieving exercises along with meditation is very essential.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also very effective in reducing psychological stress.
Medications are usually the last resort. And given when lifestyle changes are not effective enough to ease the pain and stress. Take all medications at the same time.
Exercise is the best medicine. You need to still encourage your parents to continue exercising. This will help relieve the muscles from stress. And allow the medications to show the desired effect.
- Acupuncture. A Chinese medical system based on restoring the normal balance of life forces. This works by inserting very fine needles through the skin to various depths. According to Western theories of acupuncture, the needles cause changes in blood flow and levels of neurotransmitters in the brain and spinal cord. Some studies indicate that acupuncture helps relieve fibromyalgia symptoms, while others show no benefit.
Your loved ones with fibromyalgia will often find difficulty falling asleep. Following a set bedtime routine can help them sleep properly.
As already stated, the symptoms of fibromyalgia and other diseases are common. This makes the diagnosis a tricky affair. Therefore, in order to ensure correct diagnosis. Caregivers are to keep a close watch on the type and nature of symptoms their loved one is experiencing. Timely diagnosis of the condition can arrest the disease progression. And allow the proper initiation of treatment. Follow the above-mentioned tips. This will help the caregivers take proper care of their loved ones with fibromyalgia. For more information, check out this site. Also here are some products I recommend for releif. NURSAL Rechargeable Tens Unit with 16 Modes and 8 Pads Pulse Impulse Pain Relief Massager