10 things people need to know about fibromyalgia

I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia – a long-term condition that causes pain and stiffness all over the body, as well as also causing fatigue and problems with mental processes.

Before the diagnosis was suggested and I started researching it, I was one of the naïve people who thought management of fibromyalgia was fairly straightforward.

Little did I know about the debilitating nature of it. My attitude of just wanting to ‘get on with life’ is the worst way to think about it and I’m having to learn how to look after myself in a completely different way.

Here are some things I’ve learned about fibromyalgia.

1. An estimated 2.9% to 4.7% of the general population has fibromyalgia.

It is difficult to measure as it is possible there are people suffering without a diagnosis (primarily due to lack of knowledge and awareness about the illness).

2. It is a chronic widespread pain and fatigue disorder possibly triggered by a traumatic event, either physical or emotional, but sometimes the trigger cannot be identified.

3. Research has shown that pain is experienced due to decreased serotonin in the central nervous system and increased substance P in spinal fluid leading to disordered sensory processing.

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