Is Fibromyalgia in Men common? Fibromyalgia is a disorder marked by widespread pain in the muscles and bones, sleep problems, fatigue and mood disorders. Doctors believe it may affect many more women than men but when men have the disorder, they may experience unique problems. Estimates of the number of men versus women with the disease vary widely.
Fibromyalgia in Men
The national fibromyalgia associations say that a review of the literature found the ratio was nine women to every one man with the disease. Elsewhere self-help groups have put the figure at one man for every eight women with the condition or higher. These groups leave the possibility open that 30% of people who experience fibromyalgia might be male.
- 1.5 Million Men in the US
Due to the leaning towards fibromyalgia is predominantly a female condition, it may be harder for men to receive a fibromyalgia diagnosis even though some experts believe up to 1.5 million men in the United States may have the condition. In this article, we will explain how people can recognize the signs of fibromyalgia in men and how they should manage the symptoms when they occur.
Fibromyalgia may have a higher prevalence than doctors previously thought. Some people are at higher risk of developing fibromyalgia than others. Including a personal history of rheumatic diseases, including fibromyalgia and lupus, a history of mood or depressive disorders, a family history of fibromyalgia among close relatives.
Fibromyalgia symptoms may appear differently in men than in women. People have always considered fibromyalgia symptoms to be milder in men than in women. In reality, they may be as widespread in both genders and recent studies indicate that the severity of symptoms may be the same in all people. A 2017 report says that men may be less likely to consult a doctor than women.
- Vary from Person to Person
They may also feel stigmatized as wimpy, whiny or lazy when they complain of fibromyalgia symptoms such as tiredness and muscle pains. Symptoms of fibromyalgia in men can range from mild to debilitating. They may vary from person to person and can include
- Pain and tenderness
- Morning muscle stiffness
- Brain fog
- Seek Medical Help
If a man thinks he may have the symptoms of fibromyalgia, he should seek medical advice to rule out other conditions. If the symptoms worsen or change, it is also a good idea to tell the physician as they may wish to change the treatment. It may be difficult for a man to receive a fibromyalgia diagnosis. To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia a person must experience widespread pain for more than three months.
The pain must have no other known medical cause. A man living with fibromyalgia may find it difficult to get a diagnosis as doctors must first rule out other conditions that have similar signs. There are no lab tests to diagnose fibromyalgia but a doctor may do blood tests and imaging to eliminate other possibilities. Some doctors incorrectly think of fibromyalgia as a ”female” condition and they may be reluctant to diagnose it in men.
One of the best treatments for fibromyalgia includes a mix of medication and self-care. Fibromyalgia is not completely curable. However, a person can relieve many of the symptoms that occur. Medication can also improve sleep problems and reduce fatigue both of which are common in people with fibromyalgia. Treatment with medication may include antidepressants.
Certain antidepressants can help lessen pain reactions and improve sleep quality. Anti-seizure medications drugs used to treat epilepsy may help relieve and reduce pain. Naltrexone and anti-opioid called naltrexone may help relieve pain when people use it in small doses. Self-care is an essential part of fibromyalgia treatment. Men with fibromyalgia need to engage with self-care actively.
Change of Lifestyle
Certain lifestyle changes can help men with fibromyalgia improve symptoms including getting enough sleep. Fibromyalgia causes fatigue. It is vital that people allow ample time for sleep and rest so they can manage their symptoms.
Though exercise can be painful at first physical activity will decrease pain and increase mobility over time. Exercise can also help improve mood.
- Eating a Healthful Diet
A balanced, nutritious diet or vitamins for fibromyalgia can support overall health which will reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Managing stress
People with fibromyalgia need to find ways to manage stress. Stress relievers include meditation exercise and saying no to unnecessary tasks. A person may benefit from therapy too.
- Recognizing limits
men with fibromyalgia may overexert themselves which can worsen symptoms.
Men vs Women
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition. People often believe that men experiencing fibromyalgia have milder symptoms that last for less time than women and that men experience the condition extremely rarely. However, the condition may be more prevalent in men than doctors formerly believed.
Men with fibromyalgia may still experience severe and debilitating episodes of pain fatigue and psychological effects including confusion and depression. While there is no full cure for the condition, men with fibromyalgia can manage symptoms and lead a full life with appropriate treatment and lifestyle modifications.