Fibromyalgia is an immobilizing, difficult to manage, and not widely known disease which affects many men and women worldwide. Because of this, Fibromyalgia Awareness Day helps to further inform people who may not yet understand the extent of what it does and can do to those who experience it.
It’s a disease that is about seven times as likely to affect women than men, and although it usually is seen in people between the ages of 30 and 50, it can appear in sufferers of any age, whether elderly or child. This, in particular, captures the attention of a wide range of people, and it gives the reality that it can, indeed, affect anyone at any time.
Fibromyalgia is a difficult disease to diagnose – there isn’t a specific set of testing which can find and diagnose it, and the symptoms that sufferers experience are often attributed to other diseases before Fibromyalgia is accurately identified.
Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is all about raising awareness for this disease and supporting further research into eventually finding a cure. Those who already suffer from the disease are undisputed fighters, and the more people who understand what Fibromyalgia can and will do, the better chance we have of discovering a way to make their lives better.
Fibromyalgia affects more than 12 million Americans. It is a musculoskeletal syndrome and causes a variety of symptoms. Some of them include:
- widespread pain
- tender points
- incapacitating fatigue
- migraines/chronic headaches
- irritable bowel syndrome
- irritable bladder
- hypersensitivity to cold/hot
- fibro fog (inability to concentrate/focus)
- difficulty remembering
- decreased energy
- noise, light and odor sensitivity
- skin sensitivity
History of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
Awareness and funding are the keys to battling the enigma that is Fibromyalgia, and this day was created for just that.
Each year, observers of this day get together and take part in fundraising events, charity runs, tea parties – anything to get the conversation going. Typically, these events are run because someone has a relative or friend who suffers from this disease. But you do not need to know someone personally affected by Fibromyalgia to make a difference.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia may include heightening skin sensitivity – especially to pain, muscle stiffness, some difficulties sleeping, problems with memory and concentration, extreme tiredness, and headaches.
These symptoms are not uncommon in other diseases – and some sufferers don’t even experience all these symptoms – so it’s easy to see what makes Fibromyalgia so tricky to diagnose. If we knew more about Fibromyalgia, could you imagine how much we could improve the lives of those who it affects? It would help recognize patterns better and even catch it earlier, leading to improved treatment.
There is no cure for Fibromyalgia, so at the moment, the only option for sufferers is to have several treatments. For example, medication such as painkillers and antidepressants are often prescribed.
Sufferers may also find that lifestyle changes may help, and there’s plenty of support groups available via healthcare services keen to offer support. Furthermore, while support groups are not always suitable for everybody, doctors will advise personal treatment plans, such as diaries and similar support options, to help people cope with such changes in their lifestyle.