Fitness Tip of the Day

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What Are Your Health Issues?

I think it’s fair to say that everyone deals with some kind of health issue. It may be allergies or it could be cancer. Health issues can certainly change our lives no matter how big or small. The one thing I have found in dealing with my health issues is that talking about it helps me make a little more sense out of it. What health issues are you facing and how to do you deal with it? It doesn’t matter what it is. Someone else may be going through the same exact thing and your story could help them in some way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Labrador Lung

Labrador lung is a chronic lung disease that is caused by breathing in dust that has a mixture of iron, silica and a type of asbestos called anthophylite. Labrador lung, which is a form of pneumoconiosis, received its name because it was found in miners in Labrador, Canada.

Symptoms of Labrador lung are lung opacities, pleural thickening, impaired lung function, lung fibrosis, breathing problems, cough, tight chest and wheezing. There may be no symptoms during the early stages of the disease. Read More...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Klein-Levin Syndrome

Klein-Levin Syndrome is a rare sleep disorder that manifests in adolescence. The syndrome is characterized by episodes of excessive sleep and altered behavior. The symptoms are a lack of concentration, mood changes, anxiety, excessive food intake, disorientation, lack of energy and hypersensitivity to noise. Some people may also experience hallucinations and an abnormally uninhibited sex drive. Read More...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Signs and Symptoms of Paine Syndrome

Paine syndrome is a rare genetic condition that is present at birth. A baby with Paine syndrome is born with a smaller than average head. There are also several abnormalities in the brain that cause severe mental and physical retardation, movement disorders and vision problems. Babies with this syndrome rarely live past a year.

Signs and symptoms of Paine syndrome are poor swallowing, physical and mental retardation, myoclonic jerks, opisthotonic fits, seizures, disinterest in environment, small head, low birth weight, low birth height, spastic limbs, increased reflex response, optic atrophy, underdeveloped cerebellum and mild aminoaciduria. Read More...

Symptoms of Progeria: The Rapid Aging Syndrome

Progeria is a rare and fatal disease that affects approximately 1 in 8 million children. The name is derived from the Greek and means “prematurely old”. Progeria is also known as Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. It was named after the doctors who first described it. Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson described it in 1886 and Dr. Hastings Gilford described it in 1887.

Progeria usually begins to show around 6-12 months. The first noticeable symptoms are a failure to gain weight and skin changes. Other symptoms of Progeria are failure to grow during the first year, narrow, shrunken or wrinkled face, baldness, loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, short stature, large head for size of face, delayed, absent or abnormal teeth formation, open soft spot, small lower jaw, dry, scaly and thin skin, limited range of motion, prominent scalp veins, high pitched voice, prominent eyes, hip dislocation and loss of body fat and muscle. The symptoms of Progeria strongly resemble normal human aging. Signs of Progeria include the presence of insulin-resistant diabetes and early atherosclerosis of blood vessels that causes abnormal stress tests of the heart. Read More...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Symptoms of Orthostatic Intolerance Syndrome

Have you ever stood up and felt extremely dizzy? This is caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure and something those suffering with Orthostatic Intolerance Syndrome deal with on a regular basis along with a multitude of other symptoms. Those who suffer from Orthostatic Intolerance Syndrome may also have difficulty taking showers, brushing their teeth or doing the dishes.

Approximately 5,000 Americans suffer from an Autonomic disorder that is not understood. Orthostatic Intolerance Syndrome or Dysautonia is caused by a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which controls the involuntary bodily function. Orthostatic Intolerance Syndrome causes an excessive increase in heart rate when standing up. This causes the cardiovascular system to work harder in order to control blood pressure and blood flow to the brain.

Orthostatic Intolerance Syndrome affects people under the age of 35 and it affects women more than men. The onset is usually sudden and can majorly affect lifestyle and the ability to work. There are three categories that are used to describe Orthostatic Intolerance Syndrome; Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, Mitral Valve Prolapse Dysautonomia and Idiopathic Hypovolemia. Read More...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Symptoms and Treatment of Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by the bacteria of the genus Leptospira. Leptospirosis is often referred to as Swineherd’s disease, swamp fever, cane-cutter fever, mud fever, canicola fever, hemorrhagic jaundice, icterohemorrhagic fever, rice-field fever, Stuttgart disease and Weil’s disease. Outbreaks are usually caused by exposure to water that is contaminated with the urine of an infected animal. The organism enters the body when the mucous membranes or abraded skin comes in contact with the contaminated environmental source. The infection causes a systemic illness that often leads to renal and hepatic dysfunction.

Leptospirosis was first recognized as an occupational disease of sewer workers in 1883. Occupational exposure accounts for approximately 30-50% of human cases. Occupational groups that are at risk include farm workers, veterinarians, pet shop owners, field agricultural workers, abattoir workers, plumbers, meat handlers and slaughterhouse workers, coal miners, workers in the fishing industry, military troops, milkers and sewer workers.

In 1970 Leptospirosis was also recognized as a recreational disease. Recreational activities that put you at risk include traveling to tropical areas, canoeing, hiking, kayaking, fishing, windsurfing, swimming, waterskiing, wading, riding trail-bikes through puddles, whit-water rafting and other outdoor sports that are played in contaminated water. Camping near and traveling to endemic areas also add to the risk of exposure to Leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis can cause a wide array of symptoms in humans, but some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches and vomiting. Other more severe symptoms include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea and rash.

Clinical signs that have been reported in dogs include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, refusal to eat, severe weakness, depression, stiffness, sever muscle pain and inability to have puppies. Sometimes pets do not have any symptoms. Younger animals are more seriously affected than older animals.

If no treatment is received kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure and respiratory distress could develop. Meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal chord. Leptospirosis usually begins abruptly with high fever.

Diagnosis is made by reviewing the history of exposure and clinical suspicion. Blood tests rarely confirm illness in time to affectively treat it, but they can be used to confirm presence of the disease later on. Diagnosis can be confirmed early by identifying Leptospira in cultures of blood, urine or cerebrospinal fluid samples. Diagnosis is also made by detecting antibodies against the bacteria in the blood.

Infected people who don’t develop jaundice usually recover. Jaundice indicates liver damage. This increases the death rate to ten percent. The death rate increases more in people over Sixty years of age. Doxycycline, an antibiotic, can prevent the disease. It is given to people that are exposed to the same source as an infected person. Penicillin, ampicillin and similar antibiotics are given to treat the disease. The more severe infections are treated intravenously with antibiotics.

There are one to two hundred cases of Leptospirosis reported every year in the United States. Fifty percent of these cases occur in Hawaii.

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation is the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia, which includes the clitoris labia, mons pubis (the fatty tissue over the pubic bone), and the urethral and vaginal openings. Female Genital Mutilation is often called Female Circumcision. This implies that it is similar to male circumcision, but the degree of cutting is much more extensive and it often impairs a woman's sexual and reproductive functions.

Most girls undergo Female Genital Mutilation between the ages of 7 and 10. Female Genital Mutilation seems to be occurring at earlier ages in several countries because parents want to reduce the trauma to the children. Parents also want to avoid government interface and/or resistance of the children as they get older and form their own opinions. Some women undergo Female Genital Mutilation during early adulthood when they marry into a community that practices Female Genital Mutilation or just before or after the birth of their first child. This is common in Mali and Nigeria.

Female Genital Mutilation is practiced in at least 26 of the 43 African countries. Female Genital Mutilation is also found among ethnic groups in Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It is also found in parts of India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Female Genital Mutilation has become an important issue in Australia, Canada, England, France and the United States due to continuation of the practice by immigrants from countries where Female Genital Mutilation is common.

THE FOUR TYPES OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
TYPE I This is the most common form of Female Genital Mutilation. The clitoris is held between the thumb and index finger and then pulled out and amputated with one stroke of a sharp object. The bleeding is stopped by packing the wound with gauze. A pressure bandage is then applied. Modern trained practitioners may insert one or two stitches around the clitoral artery to stop bleeding.

TYPE II The degree of severity varies a lot in this type. The clitoris is amputated as in Type I. The Labia Minora are partially or totally removed, often with the same stroke. The bleeding is stopped with packing and bandages or by circular stitches that may or may not cover the urethra and part of the vaginal opening. Types I and II account for 85% of all Female Genital Mutilation.

TYPE III An extensive amount of tissue is removed. This is the most extreme form. It involves a complete removal of the clitoris and labia minor along with the inner surface of the labia majora. The raw edges of the labia majora are brought together to fuse. Thorns, poultices or stitching are used to hold them together for two to six weeks. The healed scar creates a hood of skin that covers the urethra and part or most of the vagina. This acts as a physical barrier to intercourse. A small opening is left at the back to allow the flow of urine and menstrual blood. The opening is surrounded by skin and scar tissue. It is usually 2 to 3cm in diameter and may be as small as the head of a matchstick.

TYPE IV This type is unclassified and deals with a variety of procedures. (1) Pricking, piercing, stretching or an incision of the clitoris and/or the labia. (2) Cauterization by burning the clitoris and surrounding tissues. (3) An incision is made to the vaginal wall. (4) Scraping or cutting of the the vagina. (5) An introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina. Some of these procedures often result in vesicovaginal fistulae and damage to the anal sphincter.

THE HARMFUL PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

Female Genital Mutilation does irreparable harm. It can result in death through severe bleeding leading to hemorrhagic shock, neurogenic shock as a result of pain and trauma and severe, overwhelming infection and septicemia. Female Genital Mutilation is routinely traumatic. Many girls enter a state of shock that is induced by severe pain, psychological trauma and exhaustion from screaming.

Other harmful physical effects include failure to heal, abscess formation, cysts, excessive growth of scar tissue, urinary tract infection, painful sexual intercourse, increased susceptibility to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases, reproductive tract infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, painful menstruation, chronic urinary tract obstruction, bladder stones, urinary incontinence, obstructed labor, increased risk of bleeding and infection during child birth.

THE REASONING BEHIND FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

Female Genital Mutilation is practiced for several reasons. (1) To control or reduce female sexuality. (2) An initiation for girls into woman-hood, social integration and for the maintenance of social cohesion. (3) Hygiene and aesthetic reasons because it is believed that the female genitalia is dirty and unsightly. (4) It is believed that it enhances fertility and child survival. (5) It is believed that Female Genital Mutilation is a religious requirement.

Since 1998, 16 states have instituted criminal sanctions against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation in the United States. The states include California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

A federal law criminalizing the practice was passed in 1996 and became effective in April, 1997. Female Genital Mutilation that is performed on a person under the age of 18 is a federal crime, unless the procedure is necessary to protect the health of a young person or for medical purposes that are connected with labor or birth. The penalty is a fine or imprisonment for up to five years or both. The law specifically exempts cultural beliefs or practices as a defense for conducting Female Genital Mutilation.

It is estimated that 130 million girls and women have undergone Female Genital Mutilation. Approximately 2 million are subjected to this practice worldwide each year worldwide. Female Genital Mutilation is a violation of the rights of girls. It is discrimination and it violates the rights to equal opportunities, health, freedom from violence, abuse, torture, cruel or inhuman and degrading treatment, protection from harmful traditional practices and to make decisions concerning reproduction. These are all rights that are protected in international law.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ten Most Popular Aromatherapy Oils

The term aromatherapy simply means treatment using scents. Aromatherapy is the holistic treatment of caring for the body with pleasant smelling botanical oils. It is the art and science of utilizing the natural extracts of aromatic essences from plants in order to balance and promote the health of the body, mind and spirit. The best thing about aromatherapy is that it is a natural, non-invasive treatment that is designed to affect the whole person not just a symptom or a particular disease.

Aromatherapy has been used for more than 6000 years. The Greek, Romans and Egyptians all used aromatherapy oils. The modern era of aromatherapy began in 1930. This is when the term ‘aromatherapy’ was coined by the French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse.

The ten most popular aromatherapy oils are Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Clary Sage, Tea Tree, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary and Peppermint.

Eucalyptus is helpful in the treatment of respiratory problems such as cough, colds and asthma. It also helps to boost the immune system and to relieve muscle tension.

Ylang Ylang is used for relaxation. It also reduces muscle tension and can be used as an antidepressant.

Geranium is good for relaxation and it is also uplifting. It balances hormones in women. It is also good for balancing the skin and as an antidepressant.

Lavender is used for relaxation. It is also useful in treating wounds, burns and other skin care.

Lemon is uplifting and relaxing. It is helpful in treating wounds and infections. It can also be used for house cleaning and deodorizing.

Clary Sage is a natural pain killer and is helpful in treating muscular aches and pains. It is also relaxing and can help with insomnia. It is also helpful in balancing hormones.

Tea Tree is a natural anti-fungal oil. It is good for treating fungal infections such as vaginal yeast infections, jock itch, athlete’s foot and ringworm. It also boosts the immune system.

Roman Chamomile is relaxing and helps with sleeplessness and anxiety. It is also good for muscle aches and tension and treating wounds and infections.

Rosemary is stimulating and uplifting. It helps mental stimulation and also stimulates the immune system and the digestive system. It is also good for muscle aches and tension.

Peppermint is useful in treating headaches, muscle aches and digestive disorders such as slow digestion, indigestion and flatulence.

Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in alternative medicine. Scientific research continues to be done that verifies the emotional and physical benefits of aromatherapy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease where the blood glucose levels are abnormal. Diabetes restricts the body’s ability to convert food to energy. There are three types of Diabetes; Type I, Type II and Gestational Diabetes.

TYPE I DIABETES

Type I diabetes use to be called Juvenile Diabetes and Insulin-Dependent Diabetes. This type of Diabetes develops because the beta cells of the pancreas are no longer able to make insulin because the immune system has attacked and destroyed them.

The symptoms of Type I Diabetes are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss despite increased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue and the absence of the menstrual cycle.

TYPE II DIABETES

Type II Diabetes is the most common type of Diabetes. It used to be called Adult-Onset or Non Insulin-Dependent Diabetes. Type II Diabetes is develops when the cells in the muscles, liver and fat do not use insulin properly. This type of Diabetes is a chronic condition, but it is preventable in most cases. Read More...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

I was unaware of how different the heart attack symptoms are for men and women. The symptoms in women can easily be mistaken for many other illnesses. The symptoms for women include indigestion or gas-like pain, dizziness, nausea or vomitting, unexplained weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, discomfort/pain between the shoulder blades, recurring chest discomfort and anxiety in which you have a sense of impending doom. I recently had a scare, which prompted me to look up all of this. I developed a metal like taste in my mouth and my lips started to burn. My blood pressure went up very high, I had a pain in the center of my chest and I just didn't feel right. Prior to this I had what I thought was heart burn, but I couldn't figure out what could have caused it and I couldn't get rid of it. I kept myself calm because I knew that if I freaked out it would only make it worse. Eventually my blood pressure went down and I felt some better so I decided to stick out and go to the doctor the next morning. My doctor who just happens to be a heart specialist among other things (lucky me)put me on a blood pressure medicine and it's helping a great deal. It scares me to think that I could have had a heart attack and not even realized what was going on. Heart attacks can be a silent killer. It is so important for women to be aware of the symptoms, because we don't always experience the classic symptoms. Heart attacks claim the lives of more women than men each year and are a greater threat to women than all forms of cancer combined.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sexsomnia: The Causes of Sleep Sex

Sexsomnia or Sleep Sex is sexual behavior that occurs during sleep. It appears to occur predominantly among males, but there are reported cases of women who initiate the sexual behavior while sleeping. The condition can range in severity from disruptive moaning to unwanted, sometimes violent sexual advances. Those who experience sleep sex usually do not remember what happened. Sexual behaviors that can occur during sleep include sexual vocalizations, masturbation, fondling another person, intercourse and even sexual assault.

The exact cause of Sexsomnia is unknown, but is possibly caused by abnormalities in the brain’s arousal mechanisms and is believed to be a variant of sleepwalking. Sexsomnia could also be caused by other sleep disorders that are combined with emotional problems. Those who suffer from Sexsomnia may also suffer from other sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, REM behavior disorders, apnea, bed wetting, seizure disorders and night terrors. Some may also have substance abuse problems and other psychological issues such as undefined emotional problems.

There are at least 11 different sex-related sleep disorders and they are easily treated with medication. If Sexsomnia is not treated there can be very negative consequences such as the person suffering from the disorder may actually rape their spouse or someone else.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Health Risks of Pica, A Behavorial Eating Disorder

Pica is a serious behavioral problem that is characterized by a persistent craving and a compulsive urge to eat items that are not food. It is classified as a feeding and eating disorder of childhood. The disorder affects children, pregnant women, certain cultures and the mentally disabled. Substances that may be ingested include, but are not limited to, chalk, hair, glue, paper, toothpaste, soap, baking soda, cigarette butts, vinyl gloves, light bulbs, needles, string, wire, matches, erasers, fingernails, coal, plastic, feces, pebbles, stones, clay, paint, wool, ashes, dirt, ice and laundry detergent.

RISK FACTORS AND HEALTH RISKS

Risk factors for developing Pica include developmental disabilities, mental retardation, children between ages of 2 and 3, nutritional deficiencies and cultural factors. It has also been associated with Sickle Cell disease. Pica is more common in tropical countries because of cultural practices and diets. It is actually a culturally sanctioned practice in some societies. It is also more common in deprived and neglected children. Symptoms in children are poor weight gain or weight loss, constipation, excessive crying, irritability and apathy.

There are many health risks associated with Pica including poisoning that results in death, abdominal problems, teeth damage and parasitic infections. Pica can also result in lead poisoning and Anemia.

SUBGROUPS OF PICA

There are several subgroups of Pica that define what is ingested: Acuphagia (sharp objects), Amylophagia (starches), Cautopyreiophagia (burnt matches), Geophagia (sand, dirt and clay), Lithophagia (stones), Pagophagia (ice), Trichophagia (hair), Xylophagia (wood), Urophagia (urine), Hyalophagia (glass), Hematophagy (blood), Plumbophagia (lead), Mucophagy(mucous), Emetophagia (dust) and Bibliophagia (pages of a book).

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

A person must ingest non-food for at least a month before a diagnosis of Pica can be made. There is no single test that can confirm Pica, but blood tests can be done to see if nutrient levels are abnormal and if Anemia is present. Both of these are associated with Pica. Medications may help reduce abnormal eating and other therapies such as Aversion Therapy may also be used to treat Pica. The symptoms of pregnant women with Pica usually go away after the child is born.

CAUSES

The exact cause of Pica is unknown. Possible causes include vitamin, mineral, iron or other dietary deficiency, underlying physical or mental illness or stress.

PROGNOSIS AND PREVENTION

Prognosis depend on the substances ingested and if treatment works. Severe cases of pica can result in death due to complications such as bowel perforation or infection. There is no way to prevent Pica.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor


Have you been diagnosed with Irritable bowel Syndrome? Are you still experiencing your symptoms even with treatment? It may not be Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but a tumor in the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal Stromal tumors are tumors of the

gastrointestinal tract. They are the most common mesenchymal tumors. The gastrointestinal tract consists of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and the colon.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors begin in special cells that are called interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC’s). They are found in the intestinal tract and are part of the autonomic nervous system, which sends signals to the intestinal tract. Not all of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors are cancerous. They stay in one place when they first develop and are referred to as localized tumors. Advanced Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors can spread to other parts of the body and are then referred to as metastatic tumors. The size of the tumors can range from a few millimeters to over thirty centimeters.

The symptoms of a Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor may mimic those of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but the symptoms do not respond to the IBS treatment. There is also a possibility of there being no symptoms at all. Symptoms include vague abdominal pain, early feeling of fullness, vomiting, abdominal bleeding (blood in stool or vomit), fatigue due to anemia, anorexia, nausea, weight loss, fever, bloating, flatulence and constipation. The bleeding occurs because of an ulcer that forms in the gastric mucosa that is above the tumor. A palpable abdominal mass in the abdomen may be found during an examination if the patient has an exogastric tumor. The symptoms usually depend on the size and location of the tumor.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors are hard to diagnose and treat because the tumor is often hidden in the abdomen and it may not cause any physical symptoms. They often become very large before they are diagnosed and there becomes a risk of them spreading to other organs such as the liver. The tumors are resistant to chemoradiation so surgical removal of the tumor is the only effective treatment.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors where considered to be a rare occurrence at one time, but now there are 4,500 to 6,000 new cases each year in the United States. The tumors most often occur between the ages of 40 and 80, but they can occur at any age. Fifty percent of the tumors occur in the stomach, twenty-five percent occur in the small intestine, ten percent in the colon and fifteen percent occur in other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

There are no known risk factors for developing a Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor, but there may be a slight risk if there is a family history of the tumor. With no known risk factors, there is no way to prevent the tumor from occurring.

Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome

Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS) is an uncommon disorder described as sudden and progressive sensorineural hearing loss. The vestibular aqueduct is a narrow, bony canal that connects the inner ear and the cranial cavity. It is related to the bony labyrinth of the inner ear. LVAS is also known as Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct syndrome (EVAS) and Vestibular Aqueduct syndrome (VAS). LVAS received its name in 1978 simply because the large vestibular aqueduct was the only part of the disorder visible on a CT scan.

LVAS develops when the vestibular aqueduct becomes larger than it is suppose to be. It should not be larger than 1.5 millimeters. This is the result of an abnormal or delayed development of the inner ear. LVAS usually begins in infancy, but it also can occur in childhood and more rarely adolescence. In a patient with LVAS progressive hearing loss may be triggered by head trauma or anything else that may cause a sudden fluctuation in the cerebrospinal fluid.

CT Scans are the test of choice to provide the evidence needed to make a diagnosis of LVAS. Other tests that may be used to confirm diagnosis include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and a Axial CT Scan.

LVAS can be associated with Pendreds syndrome and Mondini’s syndrome, but it can occur by itself. Characteristics of LVAS include large vestibular aqueduct on a CT scan, hearing loss, sudden hearing loss after minor head trauma and vertigo or dizziness.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

As many as 12 million Americans suffer from a pain no one else can see. They are called lazy and sometimes crazy because no one understands what they are going through. It’s overwhelming and very lonely. It’s Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic arthritis-related syndrome and while it affects a lot more, only 3.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with the condition. Unlike arthritis, Fibromyalgia affects the muscles and ligaments, not the joints. Fibromyalgia has also been referred to as fibrositis, chronic muscle pain syndrome, psychogenic rheumatism, tension myalgias, fibromyositis and myofacial pain syndrome.

The symptoms of Fibromyalgia are multiple tender points on the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hips, shins, elbows and knees, fatigue, sleep disturbances, body aches, reduced exercise tolerance, chronic facial muscle pain or aching. Other symptoms may include headaches, irritable bowel or bladder, temporomandibular joint disorder, pelvic pain, noise sensitivity, temperature sensitivity, restless leg syndrome, depression, anxiety, numbness or tingling sensations in hands and feet, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, chest pain, dry eyes, skin and mouth, painful menstrual periods, dizziness and anxiety.

It can take up to five years for a Fibromyalgia diagnosis to be made because it is so misunderstood and there are no tests that can diagnose it. There are 18 tender point sites on the body and a diagnosis is based on having at least 11 of these tender points. The tender points are located in the neck, shoulders, chest, rib cage, lower back, thighs, knees, arms/elbows and buttocks. Tests are done to rule out similar conditions such as Ankylosing spondylitis, Lupus, Carpal tunnel Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Polymyalgia rheumatica and Restless Legs syndrome.

Fibromyalgia affects more women than men and usually develops during early to middle adulthood. If you have a family history of Fibromyalgia or if you have a rheumatic disease such as Lupus or Rheumatoid arthritis then there is a higher risk for developing Fibromyalgia. Other possible causes include sleep disturbances, injury, infection, abnormalities of the autonomic nervous system and changes in muscle metabolism. Ninety percent of Fibromyalgia patients have severe fatigue and sleep disorders.