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How do I Recognize Fibromyalgia in Children?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Recognizing fibromyalgia in children means paying attention to warning signs, such as difficulty in sleeping because of sudden discomfort. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia in children are susceptibility to infection such as colds and viruses, constant headaches, and a run-down feeling of general unrest. The most significant sign of fibromyalgia in children, however, is consistent pain that does not seem to have a cause.

Many parents and caregivers find that recognizing fibromyalgia in children and adolescents can be difficult, as symptoms can often mimic other conditions or diseases. Children who develop fibromyalgia often exhibit signs in adolescence, and typically tend to be female, although boys do contract this condition as well. When it strikes children, it is typically at the onset of puberty, and rarely does it occur in very young children and toddlers.

If the child complains of frequent fatigue and muscle or joint stiffness that doesn't disappear, she should be checked by her pediatrician for fibromyalgia. Recognizing fibromyalgia in children means understanding that genetics may play a crucial factor as well. If a parent or parents have the condition, the child may be predisposed to developing it as well. While your child may complain of generalized pain, experts concur this should not be readily disregarded as a natural part of growing up.

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Fibromyalgia in children often will manifest in pain at night, disturbing sleep patterns. The child may experience generalized pain in various areas of her body, such as shoulders, back, and legs. The aches and pains may coincide with a burning tingle or sensitivity. This is due to inflammation of body tissues caused by the condition.

Along with the pain and joint stiffness, signs to look for with fibromyalgia in children might be depression and lack of interest. She may experience disinterest in activities or schoolwork, which may be untypical for her personality. Concentration may be disrupted, which can sometimes be mistaken for other conditions such as attention deficit disorder (ADD). The differentiating aspect, of course, is that children who have ADD will not typically exhibit other symptoms such as widespread pain and fatigue.

Children who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia generally do well if treated early. In fact, the younger a patient, the more likely she will be to manage her symptoms or even outgrow the condition in time. Physical therapy, along with medication can control and manage the pain fairly well. Anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants are generally prescribed for children with this disorder. Adhering to a specialized diet for fibromyalgia may be recommended, and exercises for fibromyalgia may be beneficial as well.

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