Fibromyalgia and Multiple sclerosis are the conditions affecting the nervous system. Both have almost similar symptoms, but the causative factors differ. Multiple sclerosis is more serious as compared to fibromyalgia. In multiple sclerosis, due to immune attack, plaques are formed in the brain while no such plaque is seen in fibromyalgia. Most of the people who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia were later on diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This triggers a controversy of whether fibromyalgia may turn into multiple sclerosis.
Can Fibromyalgia Turn Into Multiple Sclerosis?
Fibromyalgia and Multiple sclerosis both affect the nervous system and the symptoms of both the conditions are almost similar. However, while the cause of fibromyalgia is largely unknown, multiple sclerosis is said to be an autoimmune disorder. The autoimmune disorders are the disorders in which the immune system of the body starts attacking its own healthy cells leading to inflammation. The symptoms caused depend upon the organs and the issues that are affected. Unlike multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disorder. Research indicates that risk was increased by three times in people who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia for diagnosed with multiple sclerosis later in their life. This indicates that there is some connection between the two conditions. This may be due to misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis which later on diagnosed with sophisticated technologies, as both the conditions present a similar set of symptoms such as musculoskeletal pain.
The major difference between both the conditions in the presence of plaque in the brain; In multiple sclerosis, plaques are present while in fibromyalgia, no such plaques appeared. There is no scientific basis to conclude that fibromyalgia is the starting point of multiple sclerosis and people with fibromyalgia may develop multiple sclerosis later in their life. As both, the conditions affect the nervous system and both have a similar set of symptoms, the physician may diagnose the person with fibromyalgia, who is actually at the starting point of multiple sclerosis. (1)
Multiple sclerosis is a seriously debilitating and progressive condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. The myelin sheath present on the nerves is essential for the conduction of nerve impulses. The immune system of the body starts attacking the nerve cells and damages this myelin sheath leading to poor control of the brain and spinal cord on the affected organs. This led to widespread inflammation all over the body. The symptoms largely depend upon the damage to the nerves innervated in a particular organ. The symptoms include:
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Confusion, dizziness, and vertigo
- Emotional stress, anger, anxiety, and frustration
- Weak bones
- Poor balance
- Weak immune system
- Vision changes, double vision and eye pain
- Poor bladder control
- Numbness and weakness in the peripheral organs
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Hoarseness in voice and loos of control over tone and pitch of the voice
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by the presence of pain in the muscle fibers. The exact cause of the condition remains unknown, but it is believed that the condition develops due to the changes in the neurotransmitters of the brain and alters the way of perceiving the pain messages by the brain. The risk increases in people who have a family history of fibromyalgia. Following are the symptoms experienced by a patient suffering from fibromyalgia:
- Muscle pain which progressively becomes severe
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Numbness and tingling sensation at the extremities
- Muscle stiffness
- Fibro fog characterized by poor concentration
- Emotional stress such as anxiety, depression, and fear
The treatment of fibromyalgia includes medications, physical therapy, and certain lifestyle changes. Exercise significantly improves movement and enhances the quality of life.
There is no conclusive evidence for the transformation of fibromyalgia to multiple sclerosis. Some people indicate fibromyalgia as the starting point of multiple sclerosis, but these statements are not backed up by any scientific data. Although research indicates that the risk of diagnosing with multiple sclerosis is increased three times in patients who suffer from fibromyalgia, this seems more of the case of misdiagnosis as both the conditions have a similar set of symptoms.
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