Introduction to Fibromyalgia and Men
Fibromyalgia (which is abbreviated as FM) is a chronic disorder that is known for causing, lifelong pain problems. Most of those affected are women which is why the condition is considered as a woman’s health issue.
Despite the myth that men cannot develop Fibromyalgia, they can also get the disorder. However, only a small amount of the male population suffers from FM, and it is believed that many men have it without realizing it.
What Is Fibromyalgia and Its Symptoms?
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes chronic pain of various degrees throughout the body. It also causes other problems like chronic fatigue and tenderness in certain areas of the body.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Fibromyalgia. There are many different treatment options for those who have it to consider. Treatment is usually dependent on the symptoms that the person has.
The most common symptoms are:
- Sleep issues
- Any other system that might be caused by an overlapping health condition
The chronic pain that is associated with the disorder is said to be an intense shooting or stabbing pain. Many factors can determine the intensity of the pain such as cold weather, excessive physical activities like certain exercises, and being inactive for a long time.
Fatigue that is connected with the disorder can disrupt daily activities. While not necessarily connected with fatigue, studies have shown that many people with sleep problems cannot stay in a deep sleep.
Some people have systems that might be associated by an overlapping condition. These symptoms include irritated bowel syndrome, vision problems, and depression.
Fibromyalgia and Men
While the causes of Fibromyalgia are still unknown, researchers have found that genetics might play a role in developing the disorder.
Other factors can also trigger the disorder like a viral infection or emotional distress, but it is possible to get FM without any warning signs.
It is usually difficult to diagnose Fibromyalgia because the symptoms are also associated with other health conditions.
It is very hard to diagnose men with the disorder since most tests consist of finding where the pain spots are located.
Generally speaking, men have a higher pain tolerance than women, so additional testing is needed before a proper diagnosis is given.
One of the reasons that it is difficult for doctors to figure out if a man has Fibromyalgia or not is that some of the symptoms of the disorder are slightly less severe in men than it is in women.
In some men, it is the symptoms of fatigue and pain, well chronic, are not as intense as they are in women.
Men still suffer from intense symptoms of some of the other conditions connected with Fibromyalgia. Some men have reported having trouble sleeping, problems with their bowel movements, memory problems, and headaches.
While these are the common problems men with the disorder face, it is important to note that every man is different and not every man will suffer from the same symptoms.
Although only 10% of the U.S. male population have Fibromyalgia, some believe that it might be higher. The reason is that men are less likely to go to the doctors than women.
It is not that men hate going to the doctors, but generally, they have the mentality that any problems they have can go away on its own.
Treatment and Support for Fibromyalgia
There are many treatment options available for people with Fibromyalgia to choose. These treatments range from medication to holistic therapies.
The types of treatment that a person receives depends on their symptoms and their own personal needs. Although there is no cure, the treatments make living with FM easier and less restrictive.
There are only three medicines that have been approved to treat Fibromyalgia in the United States. These drugs are Lyrica (pregabalin), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Savella (milnacipran).
Researchers are still developing more medication to help treat this disorder, but it takes time for medicines to be used for humans.
Although some people are prescribed painkillers to help with the pain, it is not recommended for long-term use due to the addictive nature of pain medicine.
Due to the sleep problems that are related to Fibromyalgia, many people use different types of sleep techniques. There are many sleep techniques that one can use such as:
- Avoiding caffeine and food before bedtime
- Having a set bedtime
- Relaxation exercises
There are different types of other treatments that people use to help with the pain and other conditions connected to the disorder.
Some people take a more holistic approach to their treatment such as yoga, meditation, and herbal supplements. Others use other methods to deal with their pain like acupuncture and aromatherapy.
People with Fibromyalgia need support from their friends and family. There are other forms of support those who have the disorder can get outside of their friends and family.
Some people seek other forms of support outside of their inner circle by going to therapy or a support group. This is great for those who suffer from anxiety and/or depression.
While Fibromyalgia support groups are filled with women, there are many support groups that are friendly to men with the disorder.
For men who do not want to go to a physical support group, there are groups online that men can join. There are many ways for men to get the support they need while they suffer from this disorder.
Even though it is rare, men can develop Fibromyalgia. Despite the fact that many people do not believe that they can get FM, men need to see the doctor if they have the symptoms associated with the condition.
Not all symptoms that are connected to the disorder mean that a man has FM since there is an overlap with other health problems.
The health of men is just as important as women’s health. It is important to understand that male Fibromyalgia is not a myth that many would like to believe.