During pregnancy, it is quite common for the expecting mother to experience nausea, overall body weakness, muscle pain and mood swings, mostly during the first and third trimesters. However, do you know all these symptoms are also indicators of Fibromyalgia? A condition that even American singer-songwriter Lady Gaga suffered from, as revealed by her in 2017.
It is a chronic syndrome, which is characterized by widespread pain, sleep and emotional disturbances, and fatigue. This rare condition affect 6 to 15 percent of the population in the US. It affects the nervous system, immune system and hormones. The multiple signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia usually develops around reproductive age, with females being more susceptible to develop it than males.
If you are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia during your pregnancy, it is necessary to understand the causes, symptoms and complications of this condition. It is so because the chances to misdiagnose Fibromyalgia because most of its symptoms are same as those of pregnancy.
While the exact cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown, but there are some theories, based on levels of different hormones, stress levels, biomechanical changes, weight gain, genetic predisposition, and alterations in autonomic systems and immune system.
During pregnancy, the placenta releases various chemicals like cytokines, neuropeptides, neuro-steroids, and amines. So, these neuro-hormones may be responsible for developing or triggering Fibromyalgia symptoms. Moreover, the hormones released by ovaries are linked with alterations of pain perception and loosening of joints and ligaments in the whole body.
Also, read: Carrying a mummy tummy post pregnancy? Check for Diastasis Recti
Neuroendocrine transmitters such as serotonin, cortisol, growth hormone and substance P control the working of autonomic and neuro endocrine systems, which are considered as roots of developing fibromyalgia.
During pregnancy, when there are changes in pain perception and sensory perception due to low levels of serotonin hormone, it can lead to development of Fibromyalgia.
There are chances that its symptoms may be aggravated during the first and third trimester of pregnancy. But in some women it has been seen that the symptoms may get relieved too. Look for these signs:
There is no definitive test available to diagnose the condition, but your doctor will do a thorough examination, including detailed history, physical assessment and overall emotional and behavioral status. To confirm the condition, a certain criteria needs to be met like:
As multiple systems are involved in Fibromyalgia, it aggravates the pregnancy-related symptoms mainly in the first and third trimester. Some symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, physical and psychological stress, can have direct and indirect effects on pregnant women and also on babies.
With babies, it can lead to.
In case of pregnant women, it can cause
As pregnancy is a crucial phase of every woman’s life, this condition is well- managed pharmacologically and conservatively. It is best to have regular follow-ups with your doctor and taking medications with proper dosages are important. Health care professionals like physiotherapists can help you to cope with these symptoms efficiently.
The following are a few guidelines that can be of help:
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