11 Fibromyalgia Facts and Tips

Fibromyalgia Facts and Tips

  1. The two most common fibromyalgia symptoms are widespread chronic pain and debilitating fatigue.
  2. About 5 million people in the US who are 18 years or older have fibromyalgia. Most people with fibromyalgia are diagnosed when they're middle-aged.1
  3. The majority of people who have fibromyalgia are women—about 80% to 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. But men and children can have fibromyalgia, too.1
  4. There are 18 tender points—a classic fibromyalgia symptom—located all over the body, including on the neck, chest, back, and knees. Patients who have fibromyalgia experience pain in at least 11 of the 18 tender points.
  5. Many people with fibromyalgia have memory and concentration problems. This is often referred to as "brain fog" or "fibro fog."
  6. Fibromyalgia usually doesn't have just one main cause. Instead, many factors can contribute to developing this chronic pain condition, such as your genes, an injury, or trauma.
  7. Being overweight or obese may trigger fibromyalgia. But maintaining a healthy weight can reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.
  8. Currently, there are 3 FDA-approved medications that can help treat fibromyalgia symptoms: duloxetine (Cymbalta), pregabalin (Lyrica), and milnacipran (Savella).
  9. Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids—which are found in foods, such as salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, and olive oil—can help reduce fibromyalgia-related pain. If you don't like these foods, you can take a fish oil supplement to boost your omega-3s.
  10. Exercise is a very important part of fibromyalgia treatment. Try to incorporate aerobic, strengthening, and flexibility exercises as part of a regular exercise program to help treat pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms.
  11. If you have another pain condition—rheumatoid arthritis, for example—you may be more susceptible to developing fibromyalgia.

Updated on: 11/18/15