Poly fibromyalgia is often called polymyalgia. For those who hear the illnesses name, it sounds as though it would be something similar to fibromyalgia, maybe slightly less painful than the real deal.
However, that is not the deal. These are two separate illnesses. Though, they are very similar in nature, which makes these two illnesses very hard to diagnose in a patient.
It often takes years to see the differences in the two, and by then the doctor can make a more confident diagnosis.
With this being said, knowing the differences and who polymyalgia affects can help a person to have a better understanding of what they may be dealing with.
You have pain, muscle stiffness and you feel extremely tired. For most people, this would point to their issue being fibromyalgia.
However, remember, only a doctor can provide you with a diagnosis. However, if you are interested in learning as much as you can learn, then knowing the similarities between polymyalgia and fibromyalgia can be of great help later down the line.
When looking at both of these issues, a person will find that the pain and stiffness felt throughout the body is present with both.
In most cases, those who have these illnesses report this stiffness and pain after the person has been sitting or lying down for a while.
This is also more severe upon waking up, which is something that all patients complain about.
A few of the other similarities between the two include:
- Being extremely tired
- Having issues with quality sleep
- Having memory issues
- And having problems with the bowels and bladder
One Major Difference
There is one major difference between polymyalgia and fibromyalgia, who gets this. In studies that have been conducted it seems that older adults who are over the age of 65 are more likely to be diagnosed with polymyalgia.
On the other hand, anyone, no matter their age or gender can be diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
In people who are under 50 years of age, polymyalgia is rather rare! This is one helpful tidbit that can be of assistance to medical professionals when trying to figure out what a person may be suffering from.
Therefore, it is often easier to rule out polymyalgia rather than say for certain that the person has fibromyalgia.
For those who are maybe having issues that are related to both, your doctor can perform tests and use their own judgment in determining what could be the problem.
The Causes of Each Condition
When looking at poly fibromyalgia versus fibromyalgia, the causes of each are very different, and they can actually give your doctor a good idea of what may be going on in your body.
For those who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia the cause is still uncertain, however, we have several ideas of what may affect those who are dealing with this issue.
The causes of fibromyalgia are:
- The person already has some sort of autoimmune disorder, which has been linked to a higher chance of having fibromyalgia.
- Those who have suffered an injury are likely to have fibromyalgia.
- Those who suffer from emotional traumas are also more likely to have these symptoms.
An interesting fact about polymyalgia is that the cause of this has been linked with various seasons throughout the year.
This has led many to believe that allergies could play a huge role in a person developing these symptoms.
In addition, many doctors are looking at polymyalgia as something that could be caused by other environmental factors such as a virus.
Knowing the causes of each makes it easier to understand what polymyalgia really is. However, once you have been diagnosed with polymyalgia, how do you treat this?
There are several ways in which polymyalgia is treated in patients. For those who know a lot about fibromyalgia, they will often find that the treatments seem to overlap in many cases, which goes to show just how similar these two conditions really are.
Some of the aspects your doctor many recommend for treatment include:
1- Ensuring that you are taking the right amount of calcium and Vitamin D supplements due to the medications that are often prescribed are associated with bone loss.
2- Corticosteroids are often the first line of defense in treating this illness as they can help to decrease symptoms and make a person feel overall better.
3- In addition, you may be given the pneumonia vaccine since you are taking a steroid each day for this condition.
4- Methotrexate is an immune-suppressing medication that is often given to those in conjunction with steroids.
5- Physical therapy has been shown to dramatically help with pain and muscle stiffness of these patients.
There are also a few things that you can do at your home that can help you deal with this issue.
1- Ensuring that you are eating healthy foods. The salt can be an issue for many people, thus they often go on low salt diets.
2- Be sure that you exercise regularly. This can help with keeping the body in shape and also help avoid severe stiffness and tiredness.
3- If you are having trouble with walking or doing other activities, reach for an assistive device.
It is better to keep doing this with assistance rather than simply give up and sit still all day. For example, use grocery carts to lean on while shopping, have a grab bar in the shower to avoid falls and slips, and the like.
4- Get in touch with others who may be suffering from this illness. You will find that a great support group can go a long way in helping you to deal with this issue once and for all.
Polymyalgia is often mistaken for fibromyalgia for good reason, as the two are very similar in nature.
However, once you break the illness down it is its own separate issue to contend with.
However, with the help of a doctor, you can start to calm this illness and gain your life back.