The fatigue experienced in fibromyalgia goes beyond "normal tiredness," according to research just published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.
Researchers wanted to further understanding of fatigue in fibromyalgia and the impact it has on our lives. After conducting and analyzing interviews, they formed a conceptual model of our fatigue that includes:
- An overwhelming feeling of tiredness,
- That's not relieved by rest or sleep,
- Not proportional to exertion,
- Associated with a feeling of weakness/heaviness,
- Interferes with motivation, desired activities and prolonged tasks,
- And makes it difficult to concentrate, think clearly, or remember things.
For those of us who live with this kind of fatigue, that's old news. However, in my opinion this model is a good step forward. The medical world doesn't have a good understanding of different fatigue types and needs adequate language to describe them. Everyone gets tired, and fatigue is one of the main complaints doctors hear. This model provides a definition of fibromyalgia-related fatigue that helps distinguish it from other types.
Personally, I've experienced every aspect of fatigue in the model, to varying degrees. I've found that even good doctors often don't understand the weakness we feel because of fatigue. This can be a frightening symptom -- I've been afraid to even walk at times because I felt like my legs were too weak to hold me. It's a weakness that comes and goes, so it's another one of those things that doesn't make sense on the surface. Hopefully this link to fatigue will help us and our doctors understand it better.
Does this new model describe the kind of fatigue you've experienced? Have you noticed other things that seem to be related to fatigue? Leave your comments below!
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