A few people have asked me what fibromyalgia is, so I thought I'd share some information with you from the NHS Choices website (they can explain it much better than me!). I've had fibro since approx 2004. My sypmtoms are moderate to severe, and seriously affect what I can do.
Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome, is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.
The pain of fibromyalgia does not just affect the muscles, ligaments and tendons, but is felt all over the body. It results in widespread pain and extreme tiredness. People with fibromyalgia may also have:
- difficulty sleeping
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- muscle stiffness
How common is fibromyalgia?
It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects nearly 1 in 20 people across the globe. In England and Wales, there could be up to 1.76 million adults with fibromyalgia. Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although the condition affects more women than men. In most cases, fibromyalgia occurs between 30 and 60 years of age, but it can develop in people of any age, including children and the elderly. Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to diagnose because there is no specific test and the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions.
There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, because the cause is unknown. However, there are a number of treatments that may ease symptoms. Treatment tends to be a combination of:
- medicines – such as antidepressants and painkillers
- talking therapies – such as counselling
- lifestyle changes – such as better sleeping habits and relaxation
For most people, the symptoms of fibromyalgia are permanent, although they can vary in severity.