Study finds, Fibromyalgia is Causing Pre-Mature Aging in Women

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Fibromyalgia is debilitating and relentless. It’s not like the pain you get from a headache or a sprained ankle. With fibromyalgia, you might feel like there’s a four-alarm fire raging in your muscles or Sulphuric acid in your joints. The pain is intense and widespread.

Getting out of bed can be more challenging than sprinting along the Great Wall of China. “Fibromyalgia tends to peak when the person is in their 50s, but symptoms can continue well into the 60s and 70s,” says Benjamin H. Natelson, MD, director of the Pain and Fatigue Study Center at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

Seniors are also more likely to develop some of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Of course, as a person ages, she may be faced with health problems she didn’t have before, and that can have a dramatic impact on how she and her physician approach her fibromyalgia therapy.

As the body ages, aches and pains might become more difficult for men and women to handle. While not all pain is indicative of a disorder or condition, aging women who experience pain may be suffering from fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is not like any other condition because the pain can vary in both the location on the body where it is concentrated and the frequency.

Many feel a heightened and painful response to applied pressure. Chronic pain is highly prevalent in older adults, and until recently, was considered to be common but relatively “benign.” Mounting evidence, however, suggests that some of the 116 million US adults who suffer from chronic pain are also at an increased risk for developing age-related diseases prematurely, suffering earlier cognitive and physical decline, and experiencing earlier mortality.

How can fibromyalgia cause Aging?

It was revealed that patients with fibromyalgia suffered a loss in gray matter, particularly in the areas of the brain that deal with physical pain and memory. Granted, the study that revealed this was small and not as fleshed out as it should have been. The unfortunate truth is that a significant number of patients with fibromyalgia suffer from memory and other mental impairment.

Patients who suffer from both at the same time are referred to as having fibro fog.  This means that they have difficult remembering thoughts and take a longer time to mentally process things.  It’s sad to think about it, but a younger individuals who is afflicted with fibromyalgia could potentially be having the cognition of someone who is twice their age.

Study investigates the process of aging in women who are affected by fibromyalgia, as well as the physical, personal, and social impacts of this disease. The results indicated a higher incidence of fibromyalgia in older women; however, the impact on quality of life, measured by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire was higher among the middle-aged group (50–59 years).

There was a higher prevalence of the disease among women with low education but its impact was found to be more significant for women with higher education. Middle-aged FM subjects who are chronically exposed to pain also show reduced joint range of motion and may present changes on gait pattern likely similar to elderly persons. Middle-aged women with fibromyalgia showed gait pattern resemblances to elderly, women, who are characterized by reduced lower limb ROM, stride length and walking speed.

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What you can do to avoid aging

There are a number of measures you can take to promote longer, deeper and sound sleep: don’t take naps after 4:00 pm and limit them to a half an hour; cut back on caffeine; and have protein at dinner or before bedtime to reduce hunger pangs that would otherwise wake you up.

A better option says Dr. Natelson, is for you to become physically active very gradually and take measures to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself. A very important factor in preventing aging is to get healthy myelin in your body, which is a sheath that defends the body’s neural signal transmissions. In the event that the myelin sheath becomes damaged, it leaves the neural signal transmissions exposed, leading to a number of different degenerative conditions. 

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Both physical and mental ailments have been found to occur in patients who lose myelin. To protect the myelin in your body, embark on a diet of healthy fat. Since Myelin is composed out of fat tissues, a healthy fat diet can restore this balance.  Examples of good foods to eat for this include eggs and some plants that are made out of fatty acids. Read more on Fibromyaliga diet

Also Read Food to avoid if you have fibro

Exercise regularly. Exercising while in pain may seem counter intuitive but numerous studies have indicated that regular exercise is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. When beginning a new exercise regimen, take things slowly at first, gradually building up your endurance levels and ramping up the intensity of your workouts as your body acclimates itself to exercise.

Working women who are dealing with fibromyalgia may benefit by examining their work spaces and adapting those spaces to make them more comfortable. Replace desk chairs if they do not provide adequate support and speak with an occupation therapist regarding other ways to make work stations more comfortable.

Avoid eating sugar, cutting sugar from your diet will ease your fibromyalgia symptoms. It will be hard, but it will help you alot and you see improvement in overall health. Also avoid Fuzzy drinks like coke, pepsi as they contain aspartame and flare up fibromyalgia.

Dr. Teitelbaum says it’s wise to take a multivitamin that contains close to 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for B vitamins, magnesium and zinc, vitamin C, as well as an additional vitamin D supplement, all of which are well tolerated with fibromyalgia medications.

Reference:

  • Fibromyalgia Treatments for Seniors By Camille Noe Pagán via Everyday Health
  • How Can Fibromyalgia Age You? via Fibromyalgia Treating
  • AGING AND CHRONIC PAIN: WOMEN WITH FIBROMYALGIA by M.S. Hayar via Oxford Academic

 

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