Do Fibromyalgia Symptoms Affect Only Women? How to Test It?

fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

This is a chronic syndrome commonly observed as the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain, typically at some specific sites on the body, in such cases the identifiable physical or physiological causes are unknown. This disease is more commonly observed in women. (‘Jul. 2018’ Fibromyalgia. Britannica) (1)

The Pain

The pain is described as sharp and tight. It is also noticed that it is spread out in the body and of the severe type commonly associated with severe, pounding or stabbing pain.

However, the pain has a particular pattern, that could be broken down into discernible patterns, wherein some it is noticed with consistent symptoms, whereas in the others it occurs during irregular interval periods with flareups. It is to be noted that the worst form of pain is always accompanied by heart palpitations.

pain due to fibromyalgia
Image: ShutterStock

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

The symptoms of this disease don’t show any bias based on any gender, both men and women seem to have overlapping symptoms such as pain, nausea, headaches, sleep pattern disturbances, in some extreme cases, it is also seen that it could be linked to depression and anxiety.

Several experts over the period of time have asked the question, is fibromyalgia; a mental problem?

They also concede to saying that it is not; however, it could lead to one. This disease has been recognized as a CNS disorder (central nervous system), a chronic one at that. Also, several types of research suggest a strong positive correlation between disease and mental health.

“With fibromyalgia affecting approximately 4 to 6 percent of the population, that means 5 to 6 million people in the United States alone, and interestingly 90 percent of the diagnosed cases are women.”  

That doesn’t mean that men can’t be affected obviously, but it is clearly a condition affecting more women.

fibromyalgia in women
Source:familyhealthadvocacy.com

How Do I know if I have it?

Concern for testing this disease has been a widespread issue, in the field of medicine. From researchers to concerned patients, several people have expressed their concern for a singular lab test to diagnose for fibromyalgia. However, unfortunately, there are no lab tests to determine if a patient is suffering from the disease.

The only certain and scientific method as of now is it to test your symptoms and how they match up to the symptoms of fibromyalgia (see image above). A qualified doctor can assess your pain and fatigue and perhaps rule out the other conditions so they could narrow down to this disease. This forms the crux of the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Ruling out other causes of the pain and fatigue is an important part of the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and this condition can be used as a label to acknowledge a problem without any other known cause.

A fibromyalgia diagnosis can be considered if no other known cause is determined, and there is a presence of tender points in 18 possible sites on the body. These points produce pain when pressure is applied. A person must have 11 or more of these tender points, among other symptoms if a diagnostic conclusion will be made.

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About the Author:

Dr. Casey Sinclair, Holistic Healthcare Doctor

Dr. Casey Sinclair, D.C. is a leading holistic healthcare doctor trained in functional medicine. He has extended his reach around the world by co-founding Family Health Advocacy, a health advocacy group lead by doctors and health professionals providing resources and education on global health matters.

He has been fortunate to act as health a consultant to some of the largest companies in North America and as a professional speaker, he’s had the privilege of speaking to thousands of people.

Dr. Casey is an advocate for people suffering from chronic pain and fibromyalgia and has authored a book on the subject.

Website: familyhealthadvocacy.com

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