Behind the rhinestones, sequins, sexy outfits and red carpets sometimes hide terrible suffering. To explain the cancellation of her European tour, the American singer Lady Gaga revealed suffering from fibromyalgia, a disease that affects about 4% of the world’s population, 80% of whom are women. Before her, it was the actor Morgan Freeman who had openly declared having to deal with “an evil that gnaws and exhausts” since also affected by this disease.
Media ads that are a real release for patients. For Valérie, the good quarantine, this disease has “eaten” much of his life. “Every day, I complained of intense pain without being believed, I was often nicknamed the imaginary patient.This label could have been devastating.I clutched.Others, faced with this injustice, sank into depression with sometimes suicidal thoughts.
A story as almost every day in his office of the Timone Dr. Stéphanie Ranque the center of assessment and treatment of pain (Public Assistance – Hospitals of Marseille). “Fibromyalgia is a confusing pathology, admits the specialist.On one hand, you have a patient who complains of being exhausted, having pain everywhere, suffering from multiple symptoms, the other a difficult diagnosis to establish because the current radiological, clinical and biological examinations show no abnormalities, but the pain is very real, like the other symptoms. “
Recognized since 1992 by the World Health Organization, fibromyalgia is still poorly perceived by the general population and some doctors who often consider it as an expression of psychosomatic disorders. Especially since the typical portrait of fibromyalgia is the 50-year-old woman. ” We are close to the abuse of these patients when we question the veracity of their words, said Stéphanie Ranque.However , we could admit that the disease is partly in the head since it is a neuro syndrome -Inflammatory.From the origin of the disorders, we find a hypersensitivity of the nervous system that dysfunctions, increasing or creating the sensation of pain where it should not be there, and sometimes You ‘re also the embarrassing penuria of fingerprint tests of colorectal cancer
Indeed, the four major symptoms related to the pathology are diffuse and permanent pain with moments of crisis more intense, an immense fatigue that lasts in time and worsens at rest, a restless sleep, a cognitive discomfort. “This is combined with a plethora of multiple and varied signs that can affect the digestive, urinary and cutaneous systems,” says the doctor.
Physical activity as an antidote
The origin of the disease is still quite mysterious. If it is neither “contagious” nor hereditary, research has made it possible to update 400 genes involved in it. “These genes would be the breeding ground for the disease but not the signature, and the first signs may appear ten years or so before diagnosis.”
On the other hand, the triggering factors are multiple as detailed Stéphanie Ranque. “Emotional or physical shock, infection (Epstein Barr, Lyme disease), painful disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis.”
If there is no really effective medicine to cure the disease, medicine can soften the pain. To do this, we use non-drug treatments such as physical practices, management of rhythms, emotions and stress (cognitive-behavioral therapy), learning psychocorporal techniques (self hypnosis, mindfulness meditation …). Some weak analgesics can be used during seizures. In some cases, anti-epileptics or anti-depressants are available, but at a low dose, they may be useful in calming the hyperexcitability of the nervous system, but there are drugs such as morphine and anti-inflammatory drugs that are counter- indicated.Overall what works best is the physical repackaging with daily practice of physical activity, regular, reasoned and reasonable, “says Dr. Ranque.Stay motionless is really counterproductive since ” the antidote to fatigue comes out of muscles moving. “ Conversely, intensive practice is prohibited. ” It should not be too long or continuously. Fractionation, proper calibration, are the key elements to ensure that there is no exacerbation of pain. “
At the Timone, Dr. Ranque launched a study three years ago to assess the impact of regular physical activity on improving symptoms and quality of life. “We should have the final results in a year .” In the knowledge of this disease, there is still much to do, but we are advancing with new steps every day.