Fibromyalgia: myths and reality

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Fibromyalgia is a disease that results in severe sensitivity and pain in muscles and joints. The people who put this diagnosis, constant pain, but the severity of the condition may be different. First symptoms of fibromyalgia was described in the early nineteenth century — then the disease called “muscular rheumatism,” but today fibromyalgia is still a mystery for the medical community. Around this disease, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions some doctors and not consider it a disease. This is the topic of great stuff in the publication Medical News Today.


1. This disease does not exist

Pain is subjective, and it is sometimes hard to measure. Because the main misconception about fibromyalgia is that it is not. However, experienced doctors and the people suffering from this disease, say that this statement is absolutely untrue.

“We still don’t know the exact mechanism of the disease, but I do know that it is a diffuse pain syndrome complex”, — quotes the edition to Clover Moore, the head of the Sapphire Women’s Health Group. “Sometimes the disease occurs for no apparent reason. In other cases secondary fibromyalgia develops as a result of chronic sleep deprivation, viral infections, Lyme disease, arthritis, hypothyroidism and other diseases.”

Charlene Hoffman was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014. She says: “I met people who said all this I came up with. Not all doctors know enough about this disease and rarely understand how to treat it, not to mention to diagnose. I just ignore those who don’t understand what I’ve got. Real friends accept me for who I am. As for doctors… Whenever I go to a new doctor, I take all medical records and background information”.

2. The disease affects only elderly women

Another common myth around the disease is that it affects only older, and often women. According to the us National Institute of arthritis, musculoskeletal and skin diseases, about 80-90% of suffering from fibromyalgia is really a woman. However, to get can also men and the young. 28-year-old journalist and blogger Emily Trimnal was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 13. She says: “the Best way to combat misconceptions is to educate people. I openly speak about their problems.”

3. The pain is not strong and does not impact on daily life

Some people with fibromyalgia have such severe pain that I can’t do anything. It accordingly affects quality of life. “I’m a good artist, but drawing brings me pain because it is a repetitive movement,” says Heidi Mosely, the diagnosis also set in childhood.

“I really hurt after a few hours of drawing. To return to a normal state it might take weeks”, says Heidi.

In addition to pain, fibromyalgia also causes other problems, for example:

  • chronic fatigue
  • depression
  • headache and migraine
  • painful periods
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • morning stiffness (rigidity).

Combined with pain and sensitivity these symptoms can seriously interfere with normal life.


Fibromyalgia is really difficult to diagnose, because the obvious cause of the disease does not exist. The main symptom is pain and sensitivity in the whole body, but more often there are fatigue, insomnia and problems with memory and attentiveness.

Experts identify several factors that can increase the risk of disease:

  • physically or emotionally difficult events, such as accidents
  • multiple injuries
  • genetics
  • problems with the Central nervous system.

To diagnose fibromyalgia, doctors often ask patients to describe their pain. Tests such as x-rays or blood tests are not required, but your doctor may prescribe them in order to exclude other disease. Many patients visit multiple doctors before they are diagnosed. It is important to find a competent specialist.

However, this does not mean that the disease cannot be diagnosed in principle. American College of rheumatology has identified several criteria that are used by the medical community to determine the disease

  • Pain and symptoms over the past week based on total number of painful areas
  • Duration feeling symptoms at least three months
  • No other health problems, which could explain the pain and other symptoms.

Among other symptoms like fatigue, feeling of “weakness” in the morning, problems with memory or thinking, and other General physical problems.


In 2004, the American management under the control over foodstuff and medicines(FDA) approved for treatment of fibromyalgia drug pregabalin (Russian trade name “Lyrics”). This medication is also used in the treatment of other pain syndromes and epilepsy.

Doctors can also recommend a number of other drugs for pain relief, for example:

  • paracetamol
  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen.

The doctor may also prescribe medications such as tramadol. However, many of these drugs in the long term can increase the pain and lead to addiction. In the struggle with pain and fatigue may also be useful and some antidepressants, e.g. DULOXETINE and milnacipran.

Experts also suggest regular exercise, a healthy diet and good sleep. In addition to the traditional treatment of the condition can also facilitate alternative methods. Clover Moore advises aerobics, yoga and Chinese exercises of tai JI (tai Chi) — as well as acupuncture and massage.

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