Fibromyalgia is a condition where a person will feel pain all around the body, extreme fatigue, as well as other symptoms.
Although there are no official tests to determine this condition, it is thought to be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain or a change in the way the nervous system processes pain.
Breakdown of The Facts and Figures:
- Up to 1 person in 25 people is said to suffer from the condition.
- The condition itself does not leave any lasting damage to the body’s tissues.
- Fibromyalgia is linked to Migraines, Autoimmune diseases, and IBS.
- Around 80% of people diagnosed with the condition are women.
- Diagnosis usually occurs between the ages of 30-50.
The condition is usually treated with prescription drugs or pain management techniques, including CBT and massage therapy.
Types of Lipomas
When lumps appear on the body, it’s difficult not to jump to rash medical conclusions. Lumps are often caused by knots of muscle or fatty deposits and are non-threatening and painless.
Lipomas, on the other hand, in people with Fibromyalgia, can be painful or cosmetically interfering. They appear under the skin as soft or rubbery bumps that can be moved from side to side. They are usually caused by genetics and are often inherited.
Knowing the types of Lipomas can help assess whether a trip to the local GP is necessary.
These are listed below:
- Superficial Lipomas can develop anywhere around the body and aren’t painful.
- Angiolipoma is more commonly found in young adults and is painful. They usually develop on the forearms and upper arms.
- Chondroid Lipoma is present in a cartilage background and is often well defined as hard yellow lumps usually found in the legs of women.
- Intradermal Spindle Cell Lipoma is usually found on the head, neck, trunk, or the extremities.
- Neural Fibrolipoma involves the nerves. They usually develop on the hands, wrists or forearms and can be the cause of increased pain.
Are My Fibromyalgia Lumps Dangerous?
In most cases, Fibromyalgia Lipomas are benign tumors that are slow-growing and non-hazardous for our health. They are essentially a ball of fat (adipose) cells.
When they become painful it is usually because they are pressing down on a nerve or adding pressure to delicate parts of our body.
Due to the reduced pain thresholds that a person diagnosed with Fibromyalgia suffers from, these lumps can be particularly painful, especially after massage therapy or acupuncture.
When they become painful or incredibly uncomfortable or begin to increase in size over the standard range (0.4-1.2 inches), it is time to schedule an appointment with your local GP to rule out any underlying conditions that may be impacting your system.
To determine whether a lump is sinister, a doctor will usually complete an ultrasound or a biopsy.
It’s useful to visit the doctor if:
- The lump has grown in size
- The lump is painful or uncomfortable
- The lump is hard
It’s also worth scheduling an appointment if the lump has grown back after it has been removed.
Fibromyalgia lumps can be treated if they are painful or uncomfortable. If they are not painful to the touch or are not interfering with your day to day life then they can be left alone, they are not dangerous.
Painful lumps can be treated with over the counter medicines such as Ibuprofen (Advil) or Naproxen (Aleve) but if the pain persists or is still too much to cope then it is worth talking to your doctor to assess whether a prescription pain reliever would improve the situation.
Prescription pain relievers include:
- Lyrica (Pregabalin) is an anticonvulsant which normalizes the nerve pathways.
- Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is an antidepressant which impacts the nerve pathways.
- Savella (Milnacipran) much like Cymbalta is a drug which increases the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing pain and fatigue. This drug was FDA approved back in 2009 and is one of the first prescriptions specifically available for Fibromyalgia patients.
Remember to talk to your doctor if you feel any side effects such as nausea when taking prescription medication and always read the label
Surgery is also an option to remove painful lumps or lumps that need to be removed for cosmetic reasons. Procedures such as direct excision can leave varying length scars, liposuction will leave a few of the cells behind, or laser melting, which can reduce the scar size to 5mm, which is possible to be hidden in a skin crease.
Although Lipomas are almost always benign tumors consisting of fat cells, it is important to speak to your doctor if you are concerned about a Fibromyalgia lump.
A medical physician can undergo biopsies to determine whether the lumps in question are likely to transform into malignant liposarcoma, or are linked to any other underlying conditions.
Remember to visit your doctor if you are in discomfort or pain. There are treatments available to improve your wellbeing.