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Key Information About Fibromyalgia

Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.


Also known as fibrositis and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

This condition affects an estimated 3-6 percent of the world population. While it is most prevalent in women (75-90 percent of the people who have fibromyalgia are women) it also occurs in men and children of all ethnic groups.

May 12th has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) since 1992.

CIND illnesses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Fibromyalgia is misunderstood not only by many members of the public, but by some medical professionals.

— Sharon Waldrop, Vice President, National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association.


Fibromyalgia seems to run in families. Painful conditions like arthritis and infection increase the risk of this disorder.

Three-quarters of fibromyalgia patients are women; however, it can affect anyone, even children.

Children who are abused are more likely to have the condition when they grow up.

"We’ve all experienced those flares where our entire body aches so much that it almost vibrates.

I used to reach for pain-killers as my first step of attack, but over time I’ve noticed this all-over, achy feeling is often triggered by my contact with certain toxins, such as glyphosate (aka Roundup weed killer) in food or chemicals in household products" said Donna Gregory Burch, who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014.

A new study published in the online medical journal PLoS One found that insulin resistance may be behind fibromyalgia.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons


Fibromyalgia may be not be life-threatening but it can have a huge impact on the affected person's life.

Main symptoms of fibromyalgia are:

  • widespread pain
  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • sleep disturbance.

"It's the fibromyalgia. ... Up and down the arm. That's where it gets so bad. Excruciating," said Morgan Freeman, American actor, director, narrator and fibromyalgia patient.

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It is not easy to diagnose fibromyalgia as there is no specific test for it. Also its symptoms mimic other diseases.

It is a unique illness in the sense that it is diagnosed by ruling everything else out. This includes rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and lupus, as well as neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.


Pregabalin (Lyrica), gabapentin (Neurontin), duloxetine (Cymbalta), milnacipran (Savella), amitryptiline hydrochloride (Elavil, Endep), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), tramadol (Ultracet, Ultram), cylobenzaprine (Cycloflex, Flexeril) and modafinil (Provigil) are some medicines used to treat fibromyalgia.

Despite more awareness of this invisible and debilitating condition after Lady Gaga revealed she lives with it in her documentary Five Foot Two, there's less research than there needs to be around fibromyalgia.

In October 2021, NeuroMetrix Inc. (NURO) said that it has submitted a De Novo request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Quell Wearable Neuromodulation Device as a prescription treatment for the symptoms of fibromyalgia in adults.

According to a research published in June 2022 in the JAMA Network Open, off-label use of amitriptyline was also associated with favourable efficacy and acceptability in the treatment of fibromyalgia.


Fibromyalgia cannot be prevented. Proper treatment and lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency and severity of the symptoms.

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet that includes natural food, doing yoga daily, and getting enough rest are good rules to follow if you hope to prevent fibromyalgia.


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What is FMS?
    • Fill my stomach
    • Fibroid syndrome
    • Fibromyalgia syndrome
    • Fasting month syndrome
  2. What percent of the people who have fibromyalgia are women?
    • 55-70
    • 65-80
    • 85-100
    • 75-90
  3. Which day has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases?
    • April 12
    • May 12
    • June 12
    • July 12
  4. What is CIND?
    • Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases
    • Chronic Immunological and Nerve Diseases
    • Chronic Immunological and Neurological Destroyer
    • Chilled Immunological and Neurological Diseases
  5. Arthritis and infection increase the risk of fibromyalgia.
    • True
    • False

Answer Key

  1. Fibromyalgia syndrome
  2. 75-90
  3. May 12
  4. Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases
  5. True

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R


Srikanth R (author) on May 14, 2019:

Yes, very painful.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 14, 2019:

This is a troubling condition. I have a friend who experienced it recently.

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