Depression and Fibromyalgia (video)

The relationship between fibromyalgia and depression runs deep.  Fibromyalgia patients are thought to have low levels of the mood and pain moderating brain chemicals such as Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Dopamine and chronic surges in Cortisol, the stress hormone. These low levels of brain chemicals are triggers for increased sensitivity to chronic pain, and they are also risk factors for depression.

People with fibromyalgia are more apt to experience clinical depression and anxiety than people who do not suffer with the condition.  Depression does not cause fibromyalgia.  Chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia triggers depression and anxiety and worsens the symptoms.

If you have fibromyalgia and are experiencing depression, see your doctor to discuss your treatment options.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

What is the Connection Between Sleep Problems and Pain? (video)

In order to get a restful night’s sleep, we must experience cycles of light sleep, deep sleep and RIM (rapid eye movement).  Chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia interferes with the needed cycles of sleep causing the body to remain in the light sleep stage.  If deep sleep is never reached, we wake up tired and feeling as if we never slept at all.  These feelings are intensified in people with fibromyalgia by increasing their pain and other symptoms.

Studies have also shown that severe sleep problems create a greater risk of developing fibromyalgia, especially in middle-aged and older women.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat.  Please see your physician for a proper diagnosis.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

What are the Most Common Tender Spots Associated with Fibromyalgia? (video)

Fibromyalgia triggers pain radiating throughout the body from the neck to the toes.  Muscles feel stiff and achy.  These pains leave you feeling overly sensitive to the slightest touch.

How do you know if your pain is from fibromyalgia? 

It is found with fibromyalgia that there are tender spots where pain is substantially stronger, especially when touched.  These tender spots are found primarily around the joints, but not within the joints.

How are you diagnosed with fibromyalgia?

To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you must have pain in at least 11 of the 18 tender spots.  The spots are on both sides of the body in the following locations:

  • Front of the Neck
  • Chest
  • Back of Neck
  • Back Shoulder Area
  • Shoulder Blade Area
  • Outer Elbows
  • Inner Knees
  • Sides of the Hips
  • Buttocks

The reason for the tender spots is not clear.  They are usually superficial and located under the surface of the skin.  Inflammation is not found in the surrounding muscles or joints.

If you feel you have pain in these areas and suspect you might be suffering from fibromyalgia, make an appointment to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Can Psychotherapy Reduce Chronic Pain? (video)

How does Psychotherapy treat chronic pain? 

There is a link between pain and the brain.  Our thoughts, moods and behavior respond to chronic pain.  A person suffering from chronic pain is three times more likely to develop mood or anxiety disorders than someone who doesn’t suffer from chronic pain.  Also, a depressed person is three times as likely to develop chronic pain than someone not depressed.  Treatment for fibromyalgia should include treating the psychological effects of pain.

It’s been said when depression is treated, pain might fade.  When pain fades, depression is likely to go away.  Psychotherapy teaches how to lessen and control psychological distress associated with chronic pain, helps ease depression or anxiety and teaches stress management skills. Following psychotherapy treatment allows people with fibromyalgia more control over their lives and improves pain and mood.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

What are the Most Common Side Effects of Fibromyalgia Drugs? (video)

The FDA has approved three medications to treat and manage fibromyalgia.  Those medications are Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella.  Each of these medications work for some people and can cause side effects.

Common side effects of each medication are:

Lyrica

  • Mild to moderate dizziness;
  • Sleepiness;
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth; and
  • Swelling of the hands and feet

In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction can cause hives, swelling of the face and trouble breathing.  Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Lyrica.

Cymbalta

  • Constipation;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Nausea;
  • Dizziness upon standing may occur when first starting Cymbalta due to a drop in blood pressure.  Have your doctor check your blood pressure from time to time while using Cymblata;
  • Decreased appetite;
  • Decreased sex drive;
  • Drowsiness; and
  • Increased sweating.

Savella

  • Nausea;
  • Constipation;
  • Dizziness;
  • Sweating;
  • Insomnia;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Increased heart rate; and
  • Excessive sweating.

Before taking any medication for fibromyalgia, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.  In rare cases in teens and young adults, a fibromyalgia medication may cause suicidal thoughts and actions.  Be particularly alert to any behavior indicating this kind of mood change.

Always check with your doctor before taking this or any medication.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Can Fibromyalgia be Cured? (video)

While some patients go into remission with the help of lifestyle changes and medical treatments, there is no known cure for fibromyalgia.  There are many different ways to manage and control the pain, but fibromyalgia is considered a chronic condition.  An occupational therapist and a physical therapist provide different ways of coping and managing the pain for many patients.  Along with the three prescription medications available today, alternative treatments have also been known to provide relief and improve symptoms related to fibromyalgia.

See your doctor for more information on managing the chronic pain of fibromyalgia.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Who Gets Fibromyalgia? (video)

Characteristics of Fibromyalgia

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown and is difficult to treat.  It is characterized by chronic pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Of those people with fibromyalgia, most are women.  Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, but women are seven times more likely than men to suffer from the syndrome.

Fibromyalgia generally occurs between the ages of 20 to 50 and the risk increases with age.  People who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or autoimmune diseases, like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or anklyosing spondylitis have a greater risk of developing fibromyalgia.

Other Risk Factors 

Insomnia and sleep problems are a risk factor for fibromyalgia.  People who consistently get a good night’s sleep are less likely to develop fibromyalgia than someone with chronic insomnia.  People with fibromyalgia have fluctuating levels of Serotonin, which helps regulate sleep and mood.  Low levels of this brain chemical can make you overly sensitive to pain.

Although we do not know what causes fibromyalgia or how to prevent it, we do know those living with it share these traits or risk factors.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.