Myth # 1: Only women get Fibromyalgia.
Fact: FM has long been thought of as a women’s disease. Research however shows that between 10%-40% of Fibromyalgia sufferers are men. As research is scarce it is difficult to know which number is most accurate.
Myth # 2: Only older people get Fibromyalgia.
Fact: FM is diagnosed in people of all ages, I myself was diagnosed at 19, I have heard of people being diagnosed as young as 10. Sufferers are most often diagnosed between the ages of 20-50, but children as well as older adults have FM.
Myth # 3: Fibromyalgia is not real.
Fact: FM is a very real physical condition, though there is contention over whether or not it is technically a disease. Most people who argue that FM is not real, or not a disease are not suggesting that the pain we feel is not real, not even that it is all in our heads. As a result of a lack of research however the medical world is full of different theories as to what causes our pain. The most commonly accepted of which is that FM is a neurological disease.
Myth # 4: Fibromyalgia is never cured.
Fact: There are people in the world that have recovered from Fibromyalgia. If you google FM recovery you will come across plenty of stories. In my experience I have found that most of them are either trying to sell you something or the writer is not, in fact, fully recovered. Regardless, sifting through the nonsense will allow you to find a few gems of truth. It does happen.
Myth # 5: Fibromyalgia is all in our heads.
Fact: Fm is a real, physical, medical condition that requires treatment in order to be managed. Will and gumption are simply not going to be enough to get over the myriad of symptoms. While things like relaxation and therapy may help you to handle your condition more effectively they will not cure you.
Myth # 6: If doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong, fibromyalgia is the go-to diagnosis.
Fact: FM is difficult to diagnose and is often confused with other conditions but it is it’s own unique syndrome. There was a time when FM was frequently misdiagnosed but today, with all the forms of medical testing available, this happens considerably less frequently.
Myth # 7: People with FM are just lazy and don’t want to power through.
Fact: When people first begin to experiences the symptoms of FM their first reaction is almost invariably to “power through” the pain, fatigue, headaches and other symptoms. Unfortunately they discover fairly quickly that when you have FM powering through leads to debilitating flare-ups. Pushing through pain quickly becomes an impossibility.
Myth # 8: Fibromyalgia is fatal.
Fact: A recent study about the malignancy of FM has shown that it is a completely benign condition. It does not cause deterioration over time. FM sufferers have similar life expectancies as non-sufferer. The exceptions to this rule are that due to fatigue and brain-fog FM sufferers have a slightly higher rate of accidental death and due to the difficulty of dealing with a chronic condition sufferers have a considerably higher rate of death by suicide.
Myth # 9: Fibromyalgia is a new condition.
Fact: As far as we know FM has been around for about as long as people have. Because the main symptoms are ones that cannot be tested for such as pain and fatigue its epithet as the “Invisible Illness” has meant that it has been hard to pinpoint throughout history. FM has been known by many different names and has been treated in many different ways. Even today the condition is not fully understood by modern science.
Myth # 10: Fibromyalgia is a rare condition.
Fact: between 1-4% of people experience FM, while this may not sound like very many it works out to about 600,000 people in the US alone.
Myth # 11: Fibromyalgia causes harm to your body.
Fact: Indirectly FM can cause deterioration of muscles as using them becomes more and more painful and taxing, however the connection is not causal. It is simply a correlation. If the sufferer works to maintain good eating habits and builds up a moderate exercise routine over time their body will be as healthy as a non-sufferer.
Myth # 12: Fibromylagia is a form of arthritis.
Fact: Because FM pain is primarily in the muscles and connective tissues it was once thought to be either a form of arthritis or a related condition. However FM pain is not accompanied by the redness or swelling that occurs with arthritis. Today FM is considered most frequently to be a neurological disease.
Myth # 13: Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease.
Fact: Research into FM has shown that the pain and other symptoms are not caused by an virus or bacteria that can be treated and has no affect on the bodies immune system.
Myth # 14: Fibromyalgia is caused by depression.
Fact: Many people with FM have depression, but the number of depressed patients is no greater than any other chronic condition. The fact is that having a chronic condition with no known cure depresses people.
Myth # 15: FM is just about pain.
Fact: There are many other symptoms that occur along with and sometimes separate from the pain that is so often associated with FM. These symptoms include, but are certainly not limited to headaches, brain-fog, poor cognitive functioning, fatigue, tingling and frequently dropping things.
Myth # 16: Exercise is harmful for people with Fibromyalgia.
Fact: The opposite is true. Starting a gradual exercise routine can make a big difference in your daily life and pain levels.
Myth # 17: Fibromyalgia can be completely cured by berries, pills, special juice, magic…
Fact: There are people who experience reversal of symptoms but that doesn’t mean that doing one thing will work for everybody. Be very cautious of claims that one step is a cure-all.
Myth # 18: There is no way to treat Fibromyalgia.
Fact: There are many ways to treat FM but not every treatment works for every person. One must try things until they find something that works including medications, lifestyle changes, supplements, alternative medicines etc.
Myth # 19: Fibromyalgia is not a big deal, and not a life-altering condition.
Fact: Most FM sufferers must endure huge life changes including changes in their lifestyle, diet, exercise, daily activities, hobbies, and pacing. Many people find it necessary to changes careers or stop working altogether. Being diagnosed with FM means many things in your life will change, but if you make the right changes it can affect your whole life for the better.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome be sceptical about what you read and what you are told. Unfortunately a condition that has no known cure and so drastically changes the lives of sufferers opens the door for many opportunities with no scruples who are ready to take advantage. These opportunists include but are not limited to people with shady websites. You must take care of yourself and be proactive in your own healthcare.