What is Fibromyalgia Swelling and What Causes it?

Fibromyalgia is still a widely misunderstood condition, one that the medical community is still exploring and learning about.  Fibromyalgia presents itself in several forms, which contributes to its notorious mystique.  One less well-known condition caused by fibromyalgia is edema (or fibromyalgia swelling).  Is edema plaguing you?

Fibromyalgia Complications: What is Edema?

Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body’s tissues.  Edema can affect any part of the body, though is most commonly noticed in the hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs (1).

Edema, like other pain conditions, can cause a high level of frustration and baffle those afflicted.  Identifying the symptoms properly can provide answers and indicate if you are an edema sufferer.  Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can aid in controlling or reducing the symptoms of edema.

If you are presenting with the following symptoms you may be suffering from edema.

Recognizing Edema Symptoms

Edema symptoms include swelling or puffiness which is most common in the legs or arms.  Stretched or shiny skin which may be prone to ripping or tearing.  Dimpled skin; this is evident in skin that retains an impression after being pressed for several seconds.  Additional edema symptoms include increased abdominal size, shortness of breath and heavy arms or legs.

Common Triggers of Edema

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If you experience edema as a complication of fibromyalgia, it’s useful to know about other common causes. Doing your best to avoid these triggers can help prevent your edema from getting worse as you use natural remedies to manage it.

  1. Sitting or standing for extended periods (1).
  2. Certain medications: high blood pressure medication, steroids, estrogens, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and certain diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (1).
  3.  Kidney Disease may contribute to extra sodium and fluid in your circulation.  Usually occurs in legs and around your eyes (2).
  4. Cirrhosis Fluid may accumulate in your abdomen and your legs from liver damage (1).
  5. Heart Failure If the heart is weak and unable to pump blood efficiently, blood will pool in certain areas of the body.  This can cause fluid to leak from the blood vessels into the surrounding area (2).
  6. Venous Insufficiency: A deficiency of blood flow.  When your veins have trouble sending blood from your limbs back to the heart.  Often caused by varicose veins (3).
  7. Severe Protein Deficiency: Protein helps to hold salt and water inside the blood vessels.  When albumin, a blood protein becomes too low, excessive fluid is retained and can leak out into the tissues (1)

6 Natural Edema Remedies

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Interesting New Study Finds Possible Cause of Fibromyalgia

We’ve all heard many, many claims of a possible cause of Fibromyalgia before. This one is different, and plausible sounding. Even better, it could lead to real treatments that work. Note I’m still a bit skeptical on an actual cure, but read on.

A New York based research company called Intidyn (Integrated Tissue Dynamics), discovered an unknown nervous tissue function among blood cells three years ago. As published in the medical journal PAIN.

As Dr. Rice explained, “we analyzed the skin of a particularly interesting patient who lacked all the numerous varieties of sensory nerve endings in the skin that supposedly accounted for our highly sensitive and richly nuanced sense of touch. Interestingly however, this patient had surprisingly normal function in day to day tasks. But, the only sensory endings we detected in his skin were those around the blood vessels”. Dr. Rice continued, “We previously thought that these nerve endings were only involved in regulating blood flow at a subconscious level, yet here we had evidence that the blood vessel endings could also contribute to our conscious sense of touch… and also pain.”

What followed was a study made by renowned Albany Medical Center neurologist and pain specialist Dr. Charles E. Argoff and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Quanzhi Hou of a small skin biopsy in the hands of Fibromyalgia patients. They discovered that these Fibromyalgia patients had “an enormous increase in sensory nerve fibers at specific sites within the blood vessels of the skin. These critical sites are tiny muscular valves, called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts, which form a direct connection between arterioles and venules (see diagram).”

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I’m a Doctor. Here Are 5 Lessons I Only Learned About Fibromyalgia Once I Developed It Myself.

By: Ginevra Liptan
The Mighty

The mysterious fatigue and muscle pain started during my second year of medical school. Finally it was diagnosed as fibromyalgia, which started me on a crash course towards learning what it was like to have an invisible illness, one that remains poorly misunderstood and marred by stigma.

My first lesson came one day during teaching rounds, when my senior physician authoritatively announced, “Fibromyalgia does not exist.” I quickly learned that many doctors, even my closest friends in medical school, didn’t believe the illness was real and dismissed sufferers as hypochondriacs or “hysterical women.”

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5 best bra brand recommend for fibromyalgia woman

When you’re dealing with the skin sensitivities and widespread pain of fibromyalgia, the last thing you probably want to do is put on a bra. If you’re at home, wearing several layers or have a small chest, you may feel totally comfortable skipping a bra entirely-and that’s great! But for many women, there are occasions when a bra feels necessary. Perhaps you feel physically uncomfortable and unsupported without one, or you need to go run errands and feel self-conscious skipping it.

On these occasions, you’ll want a bra that’s soft, isn’t too tight and doesn’t add to the pain you’re already feeling. As any person with fibromyalgia who’s gone bra shopping knows, many bra styles and brands just won’t work. 

True & Co.

true and co true body scoop neck bra

“True & Co. True Body Collection. So comfy! Feels like wearing nothing!” said Jess Pflieger.

2. Glamorise

glamorise sports bra

“Glamorise sports bra! It is all I can wear. I am a 44G and it is the only type that holds them up without underwire and doesn’t make my neck and back hurt,” Adrienne Heeren said. “Anytime I try to wear a different bra within a couple of hours the pain becomes unbearable.”

3. Maidenform

maidenform bra

“Maidenform has been my life saver!” said Kelsi Jones. “It actually has great support, looks cute and the straps are soft and wide enough that they don’t dig in.”

4. Miss Mary of Sweden

miss mary of sweden bra

“Miss Mary of Sweden make a really good front fastening posture bra. When my arms are tired or painful I can’t handle a back fastening bra, even fastening it at the front and twisting it around isn’t an option,” Sophie Robinson explained. “When I’m tired I know I slouch, being rather top heavy this means going bra-free causes even more posture problems. It doesn’t completely solve the problem but it definitely helps. Definitely not a thing of beauty but I really don’t care!”

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Fibromyalgia Pain: is Your Bras Causing it More ?

Fibromyalgia Pain: is Your Bras Causing it More ?

Fibromyalgia has its regular side effects, but in addition to this numerous fibro patients in addition to these side effects also have another condition called Costochondritis. This causes them anguish in the bosom and ribcage locales which is so painful and frustrating that they can’t even wear a bra. Meanwhile that you practice the ill effects of Costochondritis, wearing the right bra can lessen the pain in total.

What is Costochondritis?

In definition, costochondritis is the annoyance of the ligament that connections the ribs to the breastbone. A little bit of fibromyalgia tortured starts with this agony. It occurs suddenly and causes horrible mid-section suffering. Dependent upon the measure of annoyance a patient suffers, the torture can be somewhat resistance or greatly unbearable. Normally, individuals portray what they practice as burning, hurtful or aching torture. Some even narrate the agony to a heart stabbing.

Side effects of Costochondritis

Fibromyalgia patients frequently demonstrate side effects of costochondritis which include:

Doing some sort of action or physical work reduces the pain in the ribcage and mid-section. while breathing the pain is intense, sniffling and hacking due to extension of the kindled ligament. Pain originate from the mid-section to the arms and bears and, in this way, copies a heart stabbing. Regular pain is normally joined by irritation or redness, a condition known as Tietze’s Syndrome.

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Fibromyalgia is Linked to Childhood Stress and Unprocessed Negative Emotions

People who suffer with fibromyalgia can all agree that they have never been told that any one thing caused the onset of their symptoms, and medical professionals will all agree that there does not seem to be one specific cause of fibromyalgia. However, more recently doctors and researchers have been looking into trauma as being a major factor related to the onset of fibromyalgia in some people.

Whether it’s physical trauma, PTSD, emotional trauma or childhood trauma, there seems to be a link with the onset of fibromyalgia. One thing is clear however, for those who suffer from fibromyalgia, the areas in the brain that are responsible for reaction to pain is very different than for those who do not have fibromyalgia. In those patients who suffer from fibromyalgia there appears to be a decrease in the opioid receptors in the brain that can affect the emotional aspect of pain.

Fibromyalgia essentially may be a change in the central nervous system that causes a heightened response to pain, or essentially, pain reception or response in the brain gets thrown out of balance which may be attributed now to trauma or injury.

Fibromyalgia is linked to chronic childhood stress and conflict with parents

Traumatic experiences

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Diabetes and Fibromyalgia: Is there a link between the two?

FMS (Fibromyalgia syndrome) literally means pain in the fibrous tissues, the most common symptoms being widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. The disorder has only gained increasing recognition in the past twenty years but unfortunately, the causes of Fibromyalgia remain unknown.

Diabetes and Fibromyalgia syndrome are linked conditions. There have been studies that have evaluated concomitant conditions occurring with fibromyalgia. One aspect is to look for the association of fibromyalgia with diabetes mellitus. One such study looked at the prevalence of diabetes type 1 and type 2 among patients with fibromyalgia.

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How to Tell the Difference Between Fibro Pain and a Heart Attack

While fibromyalgia it can’t kill you in a few seconds, a heart attack can. Symptoms that are very similar to a heart attack can be caused by fibromyalgia. So this is the reason why fibromyalgia sufferers need to know when their symptoms are a heart attack or fibro pain. Here’s how to tell the difference. By touching your chest where you feel pain you can tell effortlessly if your chest pain is a heart attack or fibro pain.

Costochondritis causes swelling of tissue around your ribs, so they will be painful to the touch. Heart attack is the pain in the arteries of your heart, it is not a physical pain in your tissue and your chest will not hurt more when you touch it. Symptoms that are similar to costochondritis are also caused by heart attack. A general pain in the chest that comes in waves is the main symptom. In costochondritis this is also a symptom which can make victims think they are having a heart attack. The pain of Costochondritis also lasts far longer than a heart attack.

Costochondritis is a chronic condition that can last for weeks whereas heart attack is an acute condition. But there are also symptoms that a heart attack causes that costochondritis do not. A heart attack causes radiating waves of pain that are localized in your left arm. And in addition, someone having a heart attack will often feel nauseous and break out in a cold sweat. Shortness of breath will also be experienced by someone having a heart attack. Check the symptoms in your head; this is the best way to tell if you’re having a heart attack or fibro pain. If you have at least three of the symptoms of a heart attack, that’s probably what it is.

Pain locations and diagnosis

There are 18 different fibromyalgia pressure points. Doctors put pressure on these points situated throughout your body to see if it causes pain to appropriately diagnose this condition. The pressure points extend from the back of your head to the internal parts of your knees and they are grouped in pairs. These pressure points touch the upper chest bone on the chest. However, you may experience pain on the left or right sides of the chest.

The cartilage that connects your ribs to your breastbone is inflamed in costochondritis. Costochondritis mostly causes pain in the rib cage and upper breast bone. Shoulders and arms can also b painful and tender. If recognized properly these pressure points are very helpful as a diagnostic tool, when evaluated in combination with other functional disorders such as sleep disorders, exhaustion, and cognitive symptoms.

What should you do if you think you are having a heart attack?

If you begin to feel like you are having these symptoms, immediately call an ambulance. When heart attack is encountered even minutes are very important and make the difference between life and death, so take action rapidly and err on the side of caution. Try to call someone you know to watch you until the ambulance arrive and it is best to have someone nearby to look after you and talk to the paramedics when they arrive because a heart attack can easily make you pass out.

The most important thing to do is to take a possible heart attack seriously, always remember that. If you’re having a heart attack or fibro pain, pay close attention to your symptoms to come to a decision. And treat it like one if you think your fibromyalgia pain may essentially be a heart attack. That can make the difference between life and death.

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20 Products People With Fibromyalgia Swear By

When you struggle daily with the pain, fatigue and brain fog of fibromyalgia, it can quickly become frustrating and exhausting – especially since there’s no cure or one-size-fits-all treatment. Finding a product or technique to help ease your symptoms is often an ongoing process of trial and error that usually involves a combination of treatments rather than one single “fix.”

Although there is likely no single item that will totally alleviate your fibro symptoms, many of those in the chronic illness community have found some products (or a combination of products) that help them push through even their toughest flare days.

To help you find some relief from your symptoms, we asked our community to share products they swear by that help manage their fibromyalgia. Here are their recommendations.

Just so you know, we’ve selected these links to make shopping easier for you. We do not receive any funds from purchases you make.

Pain Gone Pain Relief Pen

paingone pain relief pen

If you need pain relief on the go, this portable pen may be useful.

“Paingone – it’s a pen-shaped device that delivers little shocks like a TENS machine. It really helps to soothe my muscles when I’m out and about,” Laura C. Wild told us.

Deep Heat Gel

deep heat rub

The Deep Heat rub delivers both heat and pain relief when applied. Available in the UK, this helps soothe muscle aches and ease stiffness.

“Deep Heat gel! It burns like hell but it works wonders after the initial burning sensation dies down. It’s mainly my legs that get flare-ups, so I’m forever rubbing Deep Heat on my legs!” Alice Elizabeth Scott wrote.

Chillow Pillow

The Chillow Pillow is a cooling gel pad you can use to ease hot flashes or aches and pains due to fibro. You can place it under your back, wrap it around an arm or leg or even put it under your pillow to keep you cool while you sleep.

Donna Lear Lambro said, “I put my Chillow Pillow used for hot flashes under my back. The fold numbs the pain so I can fall asleep.”

Heated Blanket

red heated blanket

Not only can a heated throw blanket help keep you warm, but the heat may also be beneficial in soothing some of your aches and pains.

Samantha Louise Quy told us her heated throw is a lifesaver.

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As a doctor, what is the best lie a patient has ever told you?

A very polite and courteous 30 something year-old woman in a wheelchair would come see me once a month for a refill of her pain medications. (lets call her MJ). I inherited MJ from another doctor on the staff so I never really had a detailed history of her pain and overall situation. She was relatively pleasant towards me and would usually spend a few minutes talking about her two sons, aged 6 and 8. She had a diagnosis of chronic back pain and anxiety and would usually receive Percocet and Xanax each month. ( I never asked her medical history which is my fault. I just continued prescribing in the same pattern her other doctor prescribed.)

One Monday morning a member of our staff called me aside, pulled out her iPhone and showed me multiple pictures of MJ at a dance club (without a wheelchair) having a great old time with her girlfriends, dressed up in heels, dancing all over the place, drinking and such!

I felt like a fool and also had to laugh. I enjoyed our monthly visits and did not look forward to confronting her.

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