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8 Simple facts to explain fibromyalgia on Awareness Day

Wearing  a Mask by me
Wearing a Mask by me

It’s Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!

Every effort no matter how small goes a long way in raising awareness of this little understood chronic condition.

If you didn’t know, fibromyalgia is a neurological condition that inflicts a crap load of symptoms onto patients. Symptoms include chronic muscle pains, debilitating exhaustion, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome – sensitivities to noise, bright lights, chemicals, certain medications and foods, depression and anxiety, cognitive impairments also known as fibro fog, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and dizziness. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

If you need help in explaining to someone how fibromyalgia affects your life or the life of someone you love, you can direct them to my blog where there’s loads of information, explained in simple terms.

I’ve compiled 8 simple facts about fibromyalgia to help you explain what it is to someone who doesn’t know. For additional information you can read the relevant section in my blog, there’s endless information on remedies and everything you need to know to take back your life. You’ll also find all the information you need neatly compiled in my book Living the Best Life with Fibromyalgia.

8 Simple facts

1. It is an invisible illness. This means there is not usually any physical marker or sign of illness. Fibromyalgia patients often look well on the outside, while on the inside they are struggling with the host of debilitating symptoms.

2. It is a chronic, neurological condition. That means there is no cure, so if someone tells you they have been cured of fibromyalgia, they probably didn’t have it in the first place, or are going through a remission period. Fibromyalgia symptoms mirror many other chronic pain conditions like ME, chronic fatigue syndrome and lyme disease. Leading research suggests it is caused by positional cervical cord compression, which presents itself in 71% of patients.

3. Fibromyalgia is typically diagnosed by rheumatologists and neurologists, by doing blood tests to eliminate other conditions, then followed by a trigger point test. Trigger points are pain points or areas of tenderness around joints. These points hurt when pressed with a finger. In fibromyalgia, pain is widespread and present for more than three months. Every patient is treated differently, so what works for one person might not work for another. It is managed with medicines and various therapies.

4. Through effective management, patients can experience a reduction in fibromyalgia symptoms. Support from loved ones is critical in the management of symptoms.

5. Do not believe everything you read on the internet about fibromyalgia and miracle cures. If you are looking for reliable information, first examine the source of the information. Leading researchers include Dr Andrew Holman, who has information available online.

6. Fibromyalgia affects 1 in 25 people in the UK according to Arthritis Research UK, and 3 to 6 million people in the US (approximately 1 in 50 Americans) according to the American College of Rheumatology. A majority (about 80%) of fibromyalgia patients are women. You are not alone.

5. You are more likely to develop fibromyalgia if it runs in your family.

6. Fibromyalgia is not all in the head. That line of thinking is old and has been scientifically proven to be wrong. Treating fibromyalgia patients as though their condition is imagined, increases stress which impacts on their symptoms.

7. Many fibromyalgia patients are compelled to quit their jobs and life dreams due to the debilitating effects of fms on their lives. It is imperative to remember that we get only one shot at this life, and with no easy chances, we have to take back our dreams, fibromyalgia or not. You rule your life not fibromyalgia.

8. You are not alone! Repetition for emphasis. Join a support group, make a friend with fibromyalgia, stay where you are supported and walk away from those who don’t add any value to your life. Fibromyalgia symptoms are exacerbated by stress. Support is crucial.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. – Mae West

Be brave. Gentle Hugs 🙂 x

potofcallaloo
Alisha Nurse is a curry-loving writer & comms professional who holds a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism (International) from the University of Westminster, London. Get in touch with any feedback or questions via the contact form in the 'About' section.

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