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Myths and facts about fibromyalgia

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There are lots of misconceptions surrounding fibromyalgia. When people are unaware of the right things, then it’s quite obvious to get misguided. This hinders pain management and negatively affects the mental state of an individual.

For your guidance we have busted the myths and presented the correct facts about fibromyalgia.

Myth- Fibromyalgia is a form of arthritis

Fact- It’s not a form of arthritis as considered before, rather it’s a neurological disease. A fibromyalgia patient can have arthritis in addition to the parent disorder.

Myth-Fibromyalgia can damage muscles, joints and ligaments permanently

Fact- No evidence has been yet found where there’s permanent damage to musculoskeletal system due to fibromyalgia as the disorder lies in sensory nerves of Central Nervous System (CNS).

Myth- Fibromyalgia is simply in the mind and it’s hypochondria

Fact- Although there are no blood tests to prove it, it doesn’t result from your thought process. It’s not a mind disease, rather, it the neurological condition that results in pain.

Myth- Fibromyalgia affects only mid age group women

Fact- Fibromyalgia can occur in children, men and women of all age groups. It could be more common in women.

Myth- Fibromyalgia is a psychological disorder

Fact- As said before, it’s a neurological disorder and the myth associated with it makes people more hypochondric. It can cause several biological complications in the body.

Myth- Fibromyalgia is a genetic disorder

Fact- Research has not been able to conclude till date that fibromyalgia has been inherited from genes.

Myth- Fibromyalgia is rare

Fact- Completely wrong. It’s one of the most common types of chronic pain.

Myth- Fibromyalgia pain is mild

Fact- The pain could be severe and can impact you daily life in a negative way. It gets controlled considerably when a person receives proper treatment.

Myth- Nothing can be done to treat fibromyalgia

Fact- The truth is the symptoms can be reduced with medicines, alternative treatments and lifestyle changes, though there’s no permanent cure. Combating fibromyalgia needs lot of mind control.

Myth- People with fibromyalgia must follow fibromyalgia diet

Fact- There’s no magical diet to cure fibromyalgia. There’s no problem identified with food as of now. One can have normal diet.

Myth- Fibromyalgia patients should not exercise

Fact- Under chronic pain, it’s difficult to get out of bed also but that doesn’t mean you cannot exercise. Your physiotherapist will show you some exercises that would reduce pain. However, never exercise too much.

Myth- Fibromyalgia can be fatal

Fact- Fibromyalgia doesn’t cause death. Therefore, it’s not fatal. But if not managed, it can significantly affect lifestyle.  

Myth- Only lazy inactive people get fibromyalgia

Fact- It’s a misconception that laziness can cause fibromyalgia. Rather over exertion and stress can trigger the neurological disorder.

Myth- People with fibromyalgia cannot have sex

Fact- The urge for having sex may reduce due to pain but that doesn’t mean they cannot or should not have sex. A proper management plan when followed would improve sex life as well.

Make sure you clarify your doubts about fibromyalgia with your doctor before framing ideas on your own. Follow the action plan suggested by your doctor to manage pain, stress, anxiety and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 17, 2015