Skip to main content

PMF - FAQ

1. Why is this disease so painful?
Our sensory system or informative system has a determined "threshold" or level through which one can distinguish if the stimuli we receive (of pressure, of straightening, of temperature, etc.) are potentially harmful for our body and, if it is so, the pain will be produced to notify us. In the course of Fibromyalgia, it is produced a fisico-chemical alteration that decreases significantly the above said "threshold", in such a way that a great part of the information received by our sensory system is transformed into pain. 
 
2. Does Fibromyalgia cause permanent disorder? 
Fibromyalgia does not produce alterations of the muscles, tendons, or articulations, and, in this way, will not cause deformation or significant long-term alterations of our locomotive apparatus. 
 
We do not know yet long-term changes on our sensory system and the residual deficits that can occur in some patients, but there are no significant deficits of locomotive or sensory types.
 
3. Why do women predominantly suffer from this disease?
Some facts show that the sensory system of a woman is different, being a lot better prepared for information processing. Therefore, the woman is capable of discriminating two stimuli at the same time with less distance between them. Also, it is known that the pain threshold is lower in women and has greater ability to detect potentially harmful stimuli. And finally, in stress situations, in which an analgesic respond or a certain protection against pain is produced, it has been observed a lower respond in male than female animals. 
 
We could summarize that the differences in women or female animals are directed to develop a better and more discriminative sensory system. Perhaps, in their strength there is their fragility. 
 
4What is the disease evolution within the years? 
It varies. Some people have light symptoms, of short term and intermittent character, while the others suffer a significant and persistent pain. 
 
A great percentage of patients, after getting known their diagnosis and having taken an adequate treatment, improve symptoms significantly for a long time. 
 
Some studies suggest that the effects of Fibromyalgia diminish within the years. 
 
5. Is there a cure?
 Currently, we have no medicine or technique to eliminate this alteration in a short time. But if we define healing as obtaining an acceptable degree of health or physical and psychosocial welfare despite of the existence of the alteration, many people can achieve a level of remission or control of the symptoms and a quality of life close to the normality, although there may be a risk of spontaneous relapses if the measures of maintenance and relief control are not applied.
 
6. Can I stay pregnant and how will it influence my disease? 
There are no counter-indications for pregnancy. In fact, although there are no comprehensive studies in this regard, individual observations emphasize the improvement in symptoms that occurs during pregnancy in many patients, it should be given a special attention to the months after the post-leave, when risk of relapses can exist because of uncontrolled factors such as alterations of the emotional state or mental and physical overload related to parenting. In the patients who take medication, pregnancy should be discussed and planned with the doctor, to make a break from the medication, especially in the first months of pregnancy. 
 
7. Do certain food and diets benefit or aggravate the disease? 
Many people with Fibromyalgia tend to gain weight with different reasons (neuroendocrin axis alteration, eating habits disorder connected with the feeling of anxiety, physical activity decrease, medications, etc.). It is highly recommended to control the excessive weight by means of a correct diet to avoid overweight related to the same reason that can aggravate pain and fatigue. As for specific diets, there is a lack of controlled studies demonstrating real possibilities of diets. Some open observational studies emphasize the benefits of vegetarian diets and fresh food. 
 
It is advisable to eliminate an excess intake of stimulants (caffeine, etc.) frequently used to fight the fatigue, which may have undesirable effects. 
 
8. The exercises are said to be beneficial, I have tried it, but I have felt worse. What should I do? 
The physical exercise is an important component of Fibromyalgia treatment, it is no only contributes to improving strength and flexibility, physical state and weight control, but also improves self-efficacy and independence in the chronic pain control and therefore improves the welfare and self-esteem. 
 
The symptoms themselves (pain and fatigue) associated with the disease may be aggravated with exercises of high intensity. That is why it is advisable to start slowly, with exercises of aerobic character (without resistance or jumping), in or out of water, with efforts that do no exceed 70% of the individual tolerance against an effort, which can cause symptoms, and to go progressing with the time. In the individuals with more severe form of the disease, monitoring and setting standards on a weekly basis, performing in a group with other people with Fibromyalgia, promotes compliance and obtaining benefits. 
 
9. What kind of job or work aggravates the symptoms of Fibromyalgia? 
Fibromyalgia patients express that they tolerate less long-time tasks; that is why it is recommended tasks that do not exceed two hours without rest and/or change of activity. As to the long-term tasks, the least tolerated among them are those with a high degree of repetition of the activities, maintaining the same position for long periods of time and high stress jobs. Under such circumstances, there is a need in individual solutions, both on training the person with the disease and improving the capacity of companies to allow these people to do such occupational activities; this is a fundamental fact in health maintenance.
 
10. My memory fails. Is it normal? Does it produceother deficits? 
Fibromyalgia patients often have short-term memory disorder; it is correlated with the pain level, not with the mood state. Also, it has been observed deficit of vocabulary at the moment of recognizing or finding an adequate word. There were no overall deficits, with the speed of information processing being intact.
 
11. Could my children have the disease? 

Fibromyalgia is not a hereditary disease; predisposition is recognized as in most diseases; it has been identified that it is more common to have Fibromyalgia for the first-degree relatives of FM patients than for the general population.