Fibromyalgia (in Japanese, SEN IKINTSUUSHOU) is a complex health condition with diffuse muscle pain for more than 3 months, associated with other secondary symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbance (difficulty sleeping, agitation, and waking up frequently), morning stiffness, numbness, intestinal malfunction, subjective edema (bloating) sensation, cognitive disorders, problems with memory and concentration, and pain at specific points under pressure.
Fibromyalgia is classified as one of the types of extra-articular rheumatism, that is, it does not affect joints, affecting only the “soft” parts without inflammation. It affects about 2% to 4% of the adult population in Western countries, 5 to 9 times more women than men, mainly between 20 and 50 years old.
Among the causes abnormalities in neurotransmitter reception are mentioned, especially due to prolonged stress when there is a decrease in serotonin and an increase in substance P, which cause greater sensitivity to pain, with decreased blood flow (depression, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder) , injuries among others.
Many of the patients visit various medical specialties, performing various tests without obtaining a successful diagnosis. The more advanced the stage, the greater the suffering, especially the psychological. The emotional cause can aggravate the intensity of the pain.
Treatment of fibromyalgiait consists in clarifying and obtaining patient acceptance about the disease, associating medications with multidisciplinary measures, such as physiotherapy and psychotherapy. As it is a disease of multiple or unknown causes to the patient, emphasis should be placed on reducing pain and general symptoms, and improving quality of life.
The medicinesinclude pain relievers, muscle relaxants, sleeping pills and antidepressants. Moderate physical activity is essential; massage, electrotherapy (short waves, microwave), tourbillon, acupuncture help to relax the muscles.
It is important to emphasize the effect of psychotherapy, as both stress control training, dealing with difficult emotional situations for the patient, progressive relaxation training and cognitive restructuring help to reduce the level of anxiety, irritability, aggression, to obtain other behavior in front stressful situations.
The ideal is perform psychotherapy in your mother tongue, but if you can speak Japanese (or a little) you can have sessions with a clinical psychologist (in Japanese, RINSHOU SHINRISHI) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (in Japanese, NINTI KOUDOU RYOUHOU).
You can also seek assistance with psychologists in Portuguese at the various support organizations for Brazilians in Japan, including the SABJA-Disque-Saúde team.
Doctor at SABJA-Disque-Saúde of the Citizens Council of the Consulate General of Brazil in Nagoya. Author of Medical and Dental Terms dictionaries and applications. (SABJA-Disque-Saúde, tel: 080-4083-1096, 050-6864-6600)