It is quite difficult to realize a complex disease, but considering fibromyalgia, you need to separate myths from true facts about the condition in order to get proper understanding of its essence. And even then you still need to deal with other people, who still believe the myths.
Below you can find top 4 most common myths about the condition. Besides, you will be able to understand what makes them wrong and find out true facts.
Some patients, as well as some doctors, have argued that fibromyalgia can be defined just as an inability to cope with routine pains and normal aches.
The thing that such people do not realize is that ache of the condition is amplified far beyond normal. Things that cause mild discomfort in others can trigger searing pain in patients with fibromyalgia. The results of brain scans show that such stimuli as pressure and cold activate pain centers, meaning that a person feels very intense and real pain from something that is normal for others.
It is complicated for some people to believe in the disease that cannot be identified by blood tests, as well as pain it causes without any damage to tissues or similar structures. If you add several symptoms related to mood disorders and start treating them with powerful antidepressants, you will feel that either you are crazy or fibromyalgia is a form of depression.
Nevertheless, multiple studies have shown exclusive physiological abnormalities in patients with such a condition. They are found in hormones, cells and the nervous system.
Antidepressants are frequently used to eliminate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, as they alter certain functions of neurotransmitters. Similar components can be involved in depression development, as well as a range of other non-psychological functions, such as memory, muscle functions, cognitive ability and sleep.
Fibromyalgia is classified as a neurological condition that puts it in a row with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Besides, it is inevitable to note that before these two diseases were fully understood, they were surrounded by dozens of myths similar to the ones with fibromyalgia.
It is common for people with fibromyalgia to hear recommendations about active lifestyle and more exercise, which have a preferable influence on the general well-being of a patient. People frequently tend to take inactivity as a reason of symptoms development. Instead, fibromyalgia presupposes decreased exercise tolerance, which means excess exertion will aggravate the symptoms and lead to related complications.
On the other hand, certain researches prove exercise to contribute to better feeling of patients with fibromyalgia. Therefore, this seems to be a contradiction.
The key to final result lies not in more exercise, but proper exercise. Every person with the disease should follow his/her personal ability to exercise, gradually expanding the current parameters. For patients with minor symptoms without a long history of the condition, an hour of bike riding is an appropriate training. For people with long-term, severe condition, it can be reduced to walking across the road and back.
Once the exercise is done properly, you can increase exercise tolerance very slowly and do more. Nevertheless, it is an exclusively individual and gradual process. Consistent exercise is more advantageous than more training.
It is true that an overwhelming majority of people, diagnosed with the condition are post-menopausal women. The results of studies prove that changing hormones play a vital role in the condition development. However, fibromyalgia can also develop in children and adults, men and women.
Advocates of some patients wonder if doctors miss fibromyalgia in children and men only because it is generally considered to be older women’s disease. Therefore, men are frequently undiagnosed and children are told it is just a growing pain.
This myth is ultimately harmful when it presupposes public perception as well. The vast majority of men with fibromyalgia are treated as weak, since they have “old women’s disease” that makes them more frustrated to tell people about it. Nowadays, over 10% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia cases are men.