Fibromyalgia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Possibilities

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease giving painful points in muscles and joint areas, stiffness and problems of neurological art like fatigue, poor sleep quality and depressive feelings. The disease develops gradually and can affect great parts of the body. It is chronic, but may give better and worse periods. The disease can make a person nearly disabled, but can also be mild or almost disappear over time.

THE SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA

By fibromyalgia there are tender points in muscles, tendons and ligaments around the body. The points are especially common around the joints. Tender areas in the mid parts of the muscles are fewer and with lighter pain. The points give a constant aching and a sharper pain by pressure. However, muscular work and exercise do not necessarily increase the pain. When the muscles are warmed up and exercised, the pain may disappear or decrease for some time.

The neck, shoulder area, hips, knee surroundings, jaw joint areas, head, face, and eye surroundings are especially often affected. When the neck and head area is affected, the pain often takes the form of a common headache.

Other symptoms of fibromyalgia are:

– Muscular stiffness, especially in the morning.
– Mental and physical fatigue.
– Poor quality of sleep. The deep part of the sleep is especially affected.
– Muscular tension.
– Dizziness.
– Anxious feelings.
– Depressive feelings.
– Disturbances in bowel function like diarrhoea, constipation, pain and bloating.
– Bladder irritability.
– Increased sensitivity to and irritability from sensorial stimuli, like light, sounds and touch.
– Dry mouth, eyes and skin.
– Pain during menstruation

The disease does not give any anatomical and tissue changes in the first place, but inactivity, tension and poor circulation may in the long run affect the body shape and give inflammatory reactions.

THE CAUSES AND MECHANISMS OF FIBROMYALGIA

The exact causes of fibromyalgia are not yet fully understood. An injury to the upper spinal region may trigger the disease. Bacterial and viral infections may also be an initial cause of the disease. Fibromyalgia sufferers often have a magnesium deficiency.

The initial causes seem to alter the production and secretion of transmitter substances in the brain and nervous system, especially serotonin, melatonin and substance P. Neurotransmitters carries signals from one nerve cell to another. Some signals from the central nervous system to the body may therefore be increased, and other decreased, producing the symptoms of the disease. The disturbed nerve signals then produce the following functional changes that give the symptoms of the disease:

– An increased activity in brain parts, giving anxiety and disturbing the deep sleep.
– A decreased activity in other brain parts, producing depressive symptoms.
– An increased muscular tension during sleep.
– An increased constriction in the blood vessels in the muscular and joint structures.
– Decreasing blood flow in the muscles and joint areas due to increased muscular tension and blood vessel constrictions.
– A decreased activity of glands producing saliva, sebum and tears.

LIFESTYLE MEASURES AND EXERCISE TO TREAT FIBROMYALGIA

It is difficult to find a treatment that completely cures the disease, but a skillful combination of lifestyle measures and sometimes also medical treatment can take away most symptoms.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia can make it difficult to attain an active lifestyle. Yet, to do work, sport activities and hobby activities will decrease the symptoms and the consequences of the disease.

Regular training will greatly decrease the symptoms of the disease. The training should engage all the muscles of the body and also include exercises that improve the condition.

A combination of muscle strength training as for example weight-lifting and condition training as jogging will be especially useful. Swimming exercises both the muscular strength and the condition at the same time, but the water should not be cold.

In the beginning, the training sessions should be short and easy, but they should be made longer and heavier as one gets used to training activities.

Relaxation techniques like autogenous training and meditation can help to normalize the function of the nervous system and increase the blood flow to the muscles.

Physical yoga can help to reduce stiffness, increase the blood flow and reduce anatomical defects in the joints and muscles.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia will often cause sufferers to believe that they manage less than they actually do. It may be useful for the sufferer from fibromyalgia to seek counselling to help him normalize his activity levels, or adopt a higher activity level compatible with his disease.

A healthy diet is important. The food should be as natural as possible, and include food sources like: Vegetables, fruit, full corn bread or cereals, nuts, almonds, fish, seafood, fouls and mushrooms.

You should avoid great amounts of fat meat, fat cheese or saturated fat from milk and red meat. You should also avoid great amounts of soy oil or corn oil. You should not use margarine and avoid food containing chemically altered fat. Great amounts of all the mentioned fat types tend to deteriorate the blood circulation and increase inflammatory reactions.

You should consume fish oil, olive oil, rape oil, canola oil, nut oil and sunflower oil, or food containing these type of fat like olives, nuts, sunflower seeds and fat fish, because the fat you then consume will decrease inflammatory reactions in the muscles and joint areas.

MEDICAL TREATMENT OF FIBROMYALGIA

Certain types of medication can be used to relieve the symptoms for a time, but should generally not be used permanently:

– Analgesics can reduce the pain in the tender points.
– Antidepressant can help to take away depressive feelings and improve the sleep.
– Muscle relaxant at bedtime can help to relax during sleep.

On the market you will also find alternative drugs to treat fibromyalgia, based on herbs, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. These drugs contain ingredients to give several useful effects:

– To repair nutritional deficiencies found by fibromyalgia
– To normalize the production of neurotransmitters and thereby improve the local blood circulation in muscles and joint surroundings.
– To improve sleep and relaxation in the muscles during sleep.
– To help for tiredness.
– To reduce pain by an analgesic effect.

Examples of ingredients found in such medicines are:

– Magnesium – To cure deficiency in the body’s magnesium level.
– 5-HTP – A serotonin precursor to help against serotonin deficiency and thereby improve local blood circulation.
– Melatonin – To improve sleep and relaxation during sleep.
– Rhodiola Rosea extract – To help against fatigue.
– Ginger Root – To treat pain and inflammation in muscles and joints.

Classical massage or other types of physical therapi, for example a couple of times each week, can also help to increase blood flow, reduce tension, reduce stiffness and thereby take away pain.

Hemorrhoids – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

By hemorrhoids the veins in or around the anus, or in the lower rectum are swollen and often also inflamed. Hemorrhoids inside the rectum are called internal hemorrhoids, and those in the anal area external ones. Studies have shown that 1 out of 3 persons below the age of 50 will suffer from hemorrhoids. 1 out of 2 persons over the age of 50 is affected by this condition.

THE SYMPTOMS OF HEMORRHOIDS

Hemorrhoids give these symptoms:
-Swollen veins in the anal area or inside the rectum.
-Itching.
-Tears in the swollen veins and bleeding from the tears.
-Coagulated blood in the veins making hard lumps.
-The hemorrhoids may lead to permanent lumps, scars or thickened area after the initial healing.

THE PROCESS THAT LEADS TO HEMORRHOIDS

Before hemorrhoids form, there is usually an increased pressure in the veins of the anal area, for example due to over-filled intestines, due to constipation and thereby straining to get hard stool out during toilet visits, or due to frequent diarrhoea.

The veins have valves preventing the blood from flowing backwards. The increased pressure makes the segment of a vain right after a valve to swell up like a balloon.

The blood in the swollen vein segment then coagulates, making a hard lump that clogs the vein, and the clogged vein segment then gets infected and inflamed.

The inflamed hemorrhoids may then tear, so that the content empties and the vein bleeds. After emptying its content, the vein heals, but may develop a residing scar.

Other times the content of the hemorrhoids is dissolved and the vein heals without rupturing, but also now a permanent thickened or hardened vein segment may form.

CAUSES OF HEMORRHOIDS

Since hemorrhoids are caused by conditions making increased pressure in the anal veins, like lazy colon, constipation or diarrhoea, the ultimate cause of hemorrhoids are factors causing these conditions. Such factors are:

-Lack of fibre in the daily diet
-Drinking too less water.
-Consuming too less fat, or the opposite too much fat.
-Lack of daily physical exercise.

Cramping or prolonged tension in the anal sphincter and the muscles around the rectal opening seems to restrict the blood stream from the anal area back towards the heart, and thus also contribute to hemorrhoids. Nervous or psychological processes may cause tension in these muscles.

Hemorrhoids are a very common complication by pregnancy. The hormonal stimulation during pregnancy causes the vessels in the anal area to dilate. The weight of the foetus and the straining during childbirth will further cause a marked pressure increase in the already dilated vessels, with hemorrhoids as a consequence.

Heavy muscular work or heavy lifting can increase the pressure in the anal vessels and contribute to hemorrhoids. Conditions that weaken the tissue in the anal area may also contribute to development of hemorrhoids, for example inflammations, allergies or high age.

HOW CAN YOU CURE HEMORRHOIDS

Sometimes hemorrhoids require surgical or other medical intervention. However, in many cases you can do much yourself to prevent, alleviate or cure the condition. Since cancer or other serious conditions sometimes resemble hemorrhoids or cause hemorrhoids, newly detected hemorrhoids should always be medically investigated.

1. Lifestyle adjustments

Lifestyle measures to prevent or cure an inactive colon, an overfilled colon and constipation, will also help to prevent or cure hemorrhoids. Such measures are:

* A diet with enough fibre, containing whole corn cereals, whole corn bread, vegetables and fruit.
* Using natural oils in the food that gives the intestinal content a soft consistency, like olive oil, sunflower oil, rape oil and soy oil.
* Some daily exercise.
* Drinking enough water.

2. Agents to regulate the digestive function

You can use certain natural products to regulate your digestive functions and this will also help against hemorrhoids:

* Bran added to your diet has high fibre content, and will stimulate the intestines to contract better and pass its content more rapidly.
* Linen seeds will make the stool softer so that it is passed better through the intestines.

3. Topical balms or ointments

You can find topical balms on the market to apply onto the affected area. The balms contain ingredients that penetrate through the skin into the swollen blood vessels and anal muscles, or are transported through the tissue fluids upwards in the intestinal wall. Other ingredients remain on the affected area as a protecting and lubricating sheet. The effects of these ingredients are.

* Alleviating inflammation and itching.
* Stimulating tissue healing.
* Alleviating cramping in the rectal sphincter.
* Dissolving coagulated blood.
* Killing bacteria that cause infection in the affected area.
* Lubricating the rectal opening or the end part of the rectum to make the stool pass more easily.

4. Oral products to treat hemorrhoids

You can also find oral pills or capsules to help against hemorrhoids with the following effects:

* Giving the stool a greater volume so that the intestines manage better to get hold of it and work it through.
* Giving the stool a smoother consistency so that it passes more easily through the intestinal system and rectal opening.
* Alleviating cramping and irregular contractions in intestinal system.
* Stimulating the regular and effective contraction of the intestines.
* Alleviating inflammation and itching.
* Stimulating tissue healing.

5. Enemas

If there is a hard constipation aggravating the hemorrhoids, a small enema can help to empty the colon and the rectum, and also help to cure the hemorrhoids. However, big enemas can increase the intestinal pressure and aggravate the condition.

Rosacea – Symptoms and Treatment Options

Rosacea gives dilated blood vessels and inflammation in the skin. The skin is often also infected by bacteria. Most often the face is attacked and especially the convex surfaces of the face. Sometimes also the eyes or other body parts are affected. Rosacea may begin early, but distinct and serious symptoms usually develop as an individual gets older.

WHAT SYMPTOMS ARE SEEN BY ROSACEA

The primary symptoms of rosacea are the following. All the symptoms may not be present always.

– Permanent redness in the skin. This redness can get better or worse periodically.
– Flushing or redness that comes and disappears periodically.
– Telangiectasia – This is a distinct widening of small blood vessels in an area.
– Papules – Small dome-shape spots filled with fluid, often group wise.
– Skin areas with rosasea symptoms often get infected, and the infection worsens the symptoms.
– Pustules or pimples – Sometimes infection makes the papules develop into real pimples. However, if the pimples appear in a hair follicle stuffed with sebum (comedones), they are a symptom of acne, and not rosacea. Pimples from acne and rosacea may exist together.

Rosacea also implies secondary symptoms that are caused by the primary symptoms, or appear later than the primary ones.

– Burning or stinging
– Placks – elevated red areas
– Scaling, often associated with burning or stinging
– Dry skin, often occurring before scaling
– Edema coming in areas that already has been red for some time
– Symptoms from the eyes like: Redness, itching, burning, corneal damage
– Thickening of the skin, or lumps in the skin
– Distended hair follicles
– Rosacea in other places than the face

WHAT CAUSES ROSACEA

The exact causes are not known, but some people seem to inherit the tendency of developing rosacea. People that blush very often seem to develop rosacea more easily. Therefore rosacea may be caused by blood vessels that dilate too easily upon stimulation, and eventually become permanently dilated.

The following types of stimulation may cause worsening of the rosacea symptoms: heat, hot baths, strenuous exercise, sunlight, wind, very cold temperatures, hot or spicy foods and drinks, alcohol consumption, menopause, emotional stress, prolonged use of topical steroids on the skin.

HOW IS ROSACEA TREATED

Traditional medicine does not have any treatment for the basic processes of rosacea, such as redness and the blood vessel extention.

Laser treatment may be used to take away dilated blood vessels or skin irregularities by rosacea. The laser light heats and destroys the dilated blood vessels.

When infection is a part of the disease, and papules or pustules occur, rosacea is treated with antibiotics, usually applied directly on the skin, for example metronidazole. Oral treatment may also be used by severe rosacea, for example with: Tetracycline, minocycline, erythromycin, and doxycycline.

By pimple formation, you can also use rinsing skin cleansers in the same way as by acne.

On the market you can find several alternative medicines, mostly topical creams, to treat rosacea. These often contain natural oils, herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that alleviate inflammation and stimulate skin healing. They may also contain mild antiseptic agents to treat bacterial infection.