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How much similar do Arthritis and Fibromyalgia are?

Arthritis is considered one of the most common diseases related to bones. The statistic shows that more than 50 million Americans in the US suffer from some form of arthritis. Yet, this disease is somehow, still a mystery.

Like arthritis, fibromyalgia is not so common but around 5 million Americans are suffering from it. But fibromyalgia is so much similar to arthritis that it gets difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia and arthritis both are mysterious and can affect one’s life so much that the person feels hard to do daily activities.

Arthritis and its treatment

Arthritis is a disease in which joints get inflamed and painful. It is believed that 100 forms of arthritis are present and osteoarthritis is considered to be the common one. More quite common forms are rheumatoid arthritis and also gout, psoriatic arthritis, and septic arthritis.

People show joint pain as a symptom of it which becomes so persistent and confined. The developing of stiffness and swelling of joints occur too. Moreover, some other symptoms like poor sleeping, tenderness, muscle aches, malaise, unable to use hands or feet properly, and much more appear too.

Different things cause different forms of arthritis. For instance, the natural wear and tear of joints cause osteoarthritis which is the reason for appearing later on in life. Infection in the joint causes septic arthritis. However, it is difficult to explain rheumatoid arthritis in the real sense of the word.

As rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease so it develops without any actual reason. When there is a virus in the body or an infection that needs to be eliminated, the body’s immune cells are created. However, the body’s immune cells start to attack healthy tissues in case of an autoimmune disease. These immune cells start to attack the joints in various body parts without having any reason, in the case of rheumatoid arthritis.

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There is no cure for arthritis but yes it can have treatments. Paracetamol is prescribed in osteoarthritis and ibuprofen in rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors start prescribing other medications as well when these less harmful drugs cannot perform their job anymore.

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Moreover, physical therapy is good for patients with arthritis, as it helps to lessen the pain and stiffness. Some other therapies which are believed to perform well are also used in arthritis-like Tai Chi, Yoga, acupuncture, and other eastern practices.

Weigh loss and constant exercise can lead you towards a healthy lifestyle. It can turn one’s life from pain to a normal life. There are a lot of patients who are managing their life successfully with arthritis.

Why is fibromyalgia so complicated?

If things are clear for arthritis (except for rheumatoid arthritis), fibromyalgia makes everything complicated. Fibromyalgia is considered to be a syndrome and not a disease, so there are a lot of symptoms of fibromyalgia, some of which become the worst types. Chronic widespread pain is the major symptom that fibromyalgia patients show. You should keep in mind that like arthritis, fibromyalgia is not localized.

Fibromyalgia brings a lot of symptoms other than pain that includes sleeping issues, anxiety, depression, headaches, stiffness, bowels problems, swelling, joint pain (and even arthritis as a co-morbid condition), bladder problems, cognitive issues (fibro fog), and many more symptoms that can be unbearable for pain.

It is so much difficult to put the right diagnosis as there are a lot of symptoms. While it is easy to diagnose arthritis with some tests, fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed by identifying a series of 18 tender points, examining the symptoms, and ruling out the other medical conditions as well. Fibromyalgia can be spotted out by only one kind of test but this test is out of range for many people due to its cost and many insurance companies haven’t covered it yet.

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Moreover, it is so much difficult to explain or find fibromyalgia causes. A lot of researchers have put theories about the causes of fibromyalgia but these theories seem like putting forth the risk factors instead of causes that lead towards fibromyalgia.

There are a lot of things that seem to play a role in developing fibromyalgia-like poor sleeping patterns, chemical imbalances, depression, genetics, and lack of proper functioning of pain neurotransmitters. But, there is no one who can tell for sure which one of these actually causes fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia and arthritis have some similarities but their nature is totally different. Both of them run in family and are enigmatic to some extent. Both of them do not have any cure but they do have treatments with medications and therapies etc. however, you should need to know that fibromyalgia treatment frequently goes beyond pain medications and that FDA-approved drugs are prescribed to patients for the treatment which are alike to anti-depressants.

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It is important to differentiate between fibromyalgia and arthritis. Both of these conditions could get better from exercises, therapies, home remedies, and alternative practices. Fibromyalgia may need different drugs than arthritis if we talk about medications. Make sure which condition you are having and take adequate treatment for that. It can help you in living a happier and normal life.

References:

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