Fibromyalgia – Understanding The Risks and Causes
Each day thousands of people are diagnosed with this often misunderstood disease – leaving many of us to wonder… Why? What are the causes and what has put some of us more at risk than others? Extensive research is finally giving us some answers.
Both men and women are at risk for fibromyalgia – yet between 80 and 90% of people diagnosed are actually women. Some experts believe it has to do with hormonal differences, but men also might be less likely to seek out proper diagnosis.
Genetics also comes into play. Developing research has shown us that women who are closely related to someone with fibromyalgia are more likely to develop it themselves. This might mean that people are actually predisposed to the condition. Where age is concerned, it is quite common for those being diagnosed to be between the ages of 20 and 55.
Some experts place blame on sleeping disorders or prolonged stress to the body. Many who have had a long history of sleep problems, and those with disorders such as sleep apnea may be at increased risk for fibromyalgia. Additionally, people who lead highly stressful lives are also more frequently diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Chronic lower back pain, and postural disorders in addition to other chronic conditions such as migraines, and osteoarthritis can make fibromyalgia more likely. This is because chronic pain causes sensitisation of the central nervous system – widely believed to be the cause of fibromyalgia pain.
Reducing stress levels can have a positive effect at lowering risk, or easing pain if already diagnosed – in addition to getting regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet. It may be a journey – and there may be peaks and troughs ahead, but with the proper support and knowledge, fibromyalgia is a manageable condition.