5 Myths About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a widely misunderstood condition that causes widespread pain and fatigue. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you may come across some myths and misconceptions while trying to learn all you can about the condition.

Here are the top 5 myths I always hear about fibro:

1. The China Doll – Fibro patients are fragile.

This myth can’t be further from the truth. Sometimes, fibro patients can be emotionally and physically sensitive, but it takes a ton of perseverance and strength to live with fibro. We can’t measure our strength by the number of miles we run or the number of pounds we bench-press  — instead, we measure our strength one day at a time. Today, I am strong enough to get out of bed. Tomorrow, I am strong enough to clean the house. And, the next day, I might be strong enough to try to take over the world… mu ha ha ha

But seriously, everyday it takes great courage to just keep going – to live our lives to the fullest, no matter how much pain we are in that moment.

2. It’s all in your head – Fibro is a made up disease.

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it does not exist. In the beginning, Fibromyalgia was a last resort diagnosis. One was tested for everything, and when nothing could be diagnosed with certainty, the doctors said you might have fibro. However, that ‘s not the case anymore. Every year, more and more is discovered about the disease — and not just how to diagnosis it. In the early 1980’s, doctors developed a pain point test to diagnosis fibro. Today, “researchers have learned more about it in just the past few years. In people who have fibromyalgia, the brain and spinal cord process pain signals differently. As a result, they react more strongly to touch and pressure, with a heightened sensitivity to pain. It is a real physiological and neurochemical problem.” via MayoClinic

Being that a fibro patients’ brains process things differently, one could say it really is “all in our heads”.

3. The pain can’t be that bad.

At first glance, it might look like the daily pain of fibro isn’t that bad. Daily fibro pain is more exhausting than anything. Imagine that you have an all over body pain, similar to a flu-like-pain, every day. Yeah, it’s just like that.

But then, there are the pain attacks. I usually get one at least once a month. I love to put my best foot forward, so during my attacks, I tend to hide. (Pain attack = hermit.) So most of my friends don’t even know how bad the pain can really be — like kill me now type of pain. Though, I’m never sure if this hide-away-during-pain-attacks is better or worse for my friendships.

4. Fibromyalgia is a women’s disease.

Research shows that about 80-90% of those affected in the US by fibro are women — leaving 10% are men. Now, I’m never sure if this is because women keep trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with them or that men give up trying.

5. There is nothing that can be done to treat Fibromyalgia.

There is no miracle cure for it. But, there are a ton of things from homeopathic to western medicines that can help ease your symptoms. The trick is finding which one, or combination of ones work best for you. And remember, what works for some, might not work for others. So, why advice is nice, it’s best to listen to your own body as you figure out what solution works best for you. However, there are a few that work for almost everyone – diet, exercise and reduced stress.

Fibromyalgia is still a “new” disease. We are still learning new things and constantly debunking myths about it. What have you learned lately about fibromyalgia?

Advertisements

About Amy Higgins
Social mediaholic. Incurable content creator. Hardcore bacon nerd. Opera aficionado. Presently @TopRank Marketing Formerly @Zendesk @Concur @GoogleLocalSF

12 Responses to 5 Myths About Fibromyalgia

  1. sandy says:

    Right you are it didn’t used to be diagnosed until other avenues were exhausted, now it seems it’s gone way to far the other way, everyone is getting diagnosed with it, like it’s the new buzz word. I was first diagnosed with it when the doctors didn’t want to bother, then they decided I had female troubles, then I had surgery….odd it didn’t help those problems. I have arthritis which is what I thought from the get go. Nothing really can be done about it either, much like fibro and they often do go hand in hand; but the number of people I know who’ve been diagnosed with fibro is staggering; willing to bet half of them really don’t have it…they don’t think they do either. Doctors jumping the gun to put a label on something. The one person I know who truly has fibro is in fact a china doll; but then she was long before she had troubles and was diagnosed. It tends to be her personality and she, sadly uses the condition as an excuse to not do what she doesn’t want to do, while 30 minutes later she’s doing something else far more physical. She makes for a bad co-worker. Have you tried the grinding of the flax seed to add to your food, I heard that works well for both fibro and arthritis.

    • Amy Higgins says:

      Hi Sandy, Part of me wonders if more and more people are being diagnosed with it because of medical ads like for Lyrica. It reminds me of depression in the late 80’s – early 90’s. Remember when being depressed or bi-polar was a catch all diagnosis. Those who really have the illness were hurt most from all the mis-diagnosed patients.

  2. barbaramarincel says:

    Reblogged this on The Little Things and commented:
    This is such an informative post about fibromyalgia I have to repost this! It clears up a number of common misconceptions about fibromyalgia I encounter on a regular basis.

  3. Pingback: The Hidden Stigma | Tracey Pallett

  4. Pingback: Working Around It | The Musings of a Lesbian Writer

  5. I don’t know how I would react if I went into the doctor looking for answers as to why I am suffering from widespread pain and can’t ever get any good sleep, and they told me that all of this is just in my head. I can only imagine how horrible and angry that would make me feel. Amy, I always enjoy stopping by your blog and seeing what is new. I actually have a question for you. I am thinking about putting together an infographic on fibromyalgia, so I was wondering if you have ever come across one?

    • Amy Higgins says:

      Stephen,

      Thanks for reading my blog and the support. I always appreciate knowing that my words help others. I’ve never seen an infographic on fibro, but then I’ve never looked for one. What stats are you looking for the infographic?

  6. Pingback: Frustrating misconceptions | A Beautiful Pain

  7. Pingback: Source Of Pain (Possibly) Found In Fibro Patients | Ever So Gently

  8. Pingback: The Next Step… | Toward the within...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: