The Best Tips for Men Who Are Suffering with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia affects nearly five million Americans. According to the CDC, 1 in 7 people with Fibromyalgia are men. However the Mayo Clinic in 2015 tells us this number is closer to “40% Men to 60% women” Sadly in many reports it is only 10%, as Men seem to delay getting diagnosed. It’s unclear why women are so much more likely to report symptoms of the disease–which include pain throughout the body, memory loss, headaches, and trouble sleeping–but for the men who suffer with it, getting past the stigmas attached to fibromyalgia proves difficult. Here are some Tips for Men Suffering From Fibromyalgia, that we hope will help you.
Doctors say one of the reasons that more women are reported to suffer with the disease is simply that they seek the advice of a health care professional more often than men do. It could also be because women have a lower pain threshold due to the estrogen in their bodies. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that this is not a “woman’s disease” and it never was. Men who live with it often report feeling ashamed or hurt because their friends and family don’t believe they have it.
Fibromyalgia is a neurochemical disease and can be caused by genetics, hormones, or physical trauma such as a car accident. Because a common test for the disease involves touching certain pressure points on the body to see if it elicits a pain response–and because men are generally not as sensitive in these areas as women–they are often misdiagnosed because they don’t “meet the criteria” for fibromyalgia.
Living with a disease that affects daily life–especially one that has no cure–can be devastating for some people and can test relationships, lead to substance abuse and depression, and can even cause suicidal thoughts. It’s important to see a doctor if you are having any of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, and be honest about your feelings. If you think you may be depressed, you will need to disclose it to your doctor and seek treatment for it separately.
Because being overweight can contribute to fibromyalgia, it’s important to get in daily exercise and eat a healthy diet full of protein and whole grains. This may be one of the first things your doctor tells you when you mention the word fibromyalgia, so it might be helpful to keep a log of your daily activities and keep track of your weight. Come to the doctor’s visit prepared to answer questions about your job, your stress level, and your eating and drinking habits, including alcohol.
It’s also important not to push yourself too hard. Only you know what your body is capable of, and in some cases fibromyalgia can make it impossible to work or play sports the way you used to, or at all. Taking care of yourself is the number one priority. If your doctor displays disbelief that you are suffering from mysterious pain and you believe you are living with fibromyalgia, get a second opinion. No one doctor knows everything, and if your body is trying to tell you something, you need to listen.
Remember that it’s important to talk about how you’re feeling. A diagnosis of fibromyalgia can lead to depression and feelings of shame or inadequacy, so if you don’t have a strong support system at home, look online for a support group or join one in your town.
Guest Post to Men With Fibromyalgia – “Tips for Men Suffering From Fibromyalgia”:
Written By: Jennifer McGregor
2885 Sanford Ave SW #35235 | Grandville, MI 49418
“As a med student, pain management is a topic of growing concern in my instruction, and I’m learning that it is a quickly evolving (http://www.theatlantic.com/