World Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day seeks to end the world’s disbelief towards these diseases that do not show a specific symptomatic pattern. Learn more!
The celebration of World Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day is set for May 12 of each year. The origin of the date has to do with the birth of Florence Nightingale, an Italian-British nurse known as the forerunner and pioneer of modern professional nursing.
Both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome affect an amount close to 3% of the world population, with a higher number of cases among women. Symptoms are usually denoted between 20 and 40 years of age. Also, the difference between the two conditions lies in pain and fatigue, something that we will delve into later.
From now on we will know the characteristics of both diseases along with their symptoms, available treatments, details of the commemoration and the best ways to contribute. We continue!
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease characterized by pain in the muscles in different areas of the body. This condition is marked by an abnormal perception of that pain. On the other hand, the causes that originate it are unknown.
However, some situations are risk factors:
Experience of traumatic situations.
Being in families with cases of fibromyalgia, even though it is not transmitted from parents to children.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia are so diverse that their diagnosis is complicated. Thus, among the many signs of this disease we can find the following:
Aches in the muscles
Constipation and exacerbated production of flatulence.
Permanent general tiredness.
Painful menstrual cycle
Stiffness in the joints.
Diagnosis and treatment
The way to detect fibromyalgia is through a differential diagnosis, which consists of ruling out other complications until the disease is found. This method is used because the main symptoms are common in many other conditions.
In turn, the treatment used has 4 fundamental pillars: drugs (analgesics and antidepressants), modifications in lifestyle (regularization of sleep, healthy diet, exercise and stress management), conversation therapy and complementary therapies (massages, chiropractic and acupuncture).
What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease in which patients suffer from extreme fatigue. It usually lasts 6 months, approximately. Management is complex, since it worsens with physical and mental effort, but does not show a favorable evolution with rest.
The causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are not known, although people are more likely to suffer from this condition when they are exposed to the following:
Emotional or physical trauma.
Imbalanced hormonal levels of substances produced in the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands.
Just as the symptoms change depending on each person, the severity tends to change as the days go by. Hence the complications are unpredictable.
In short, the most well-known symptoms are the following:
Extreme fatigue for more than 6 months.
Lack of concentration and memory problems.
Anxiety attacks and depressive disorders.
Diagnosis and treatment
In order to find the disease, the differential diagnosis and specific criteria are used to distance it from fibromyalgia, since they have great similarities. The process can be slow due to the need for evaluations by different specialists.
Entering the field of available treatment, one opts for pharmacology and therapies. In principle, the most widely used are antidepressants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Counseling therapies, dietary changes, and moderate physical activity practices are also applied.
Celebration of World Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day
The celebration of World Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day has been promoted by patient associations around the world since 1993. As we mentioned, the election of May 12 is due to Florence Nightingale, a nurse born in 1820 who shaped it to the first conceptual model of nursing and that she suffered from a similar illness.
For its part, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially recognized fibromyalgia in 1992, which was a very important credibility boost.
The objectives of World Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day are to inform, raise awareness, make visible and support. In this way, the disbelief of the population about this delicate condition is sought to be discarded.
How can I contribute to World Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day?
The most important step is deciding to offer help to those affected. After making the decision, everything is simplified from many contribution variants.
In that sense, we show you the most used on each World Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day:
Make donations to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome charities in your area.
Organize dynamic virtual fundraising events.
Share official information about the disease on social media with the hashtag #FibromyalgiaAwarenessDay.
Provide support to close people who suffer from the disease.
Wear blue clothes and post photos on social media with a motivating message.
Two diseases that need social support
To conclude, the basic consideration to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue is to have all the necessary information about the symptoms. If these signs are known, a less late diagnosis can be made and thus avoid counterproductive activities or treatments.
In addition to this, the training of those close to the sick is one of the best approaches, since harmful factors in the environment that trigger symptoms can be identified and changed.
There is still a long way to go to find the causes of these diseases that affect women the most. Similarly, World Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day is a renewed opportunity to encourage research and empathy for the sick.