Who is affected?
This invisible, life-altering condition causes 2-4% of women, men and children of all backgrounds worldwide to suffer. (That’s 10 million Americans alone.) The disorder can strike suddenly or occur as a gradual increase in symptoms, indicating changes in the central nervous system (neuroplasticity). Sensory information (such as light, sound, and touch) becomes amplified by the CNS, causing the brain to respond with increasing pain and symptoms. FM severity often increases over time and may become disabling.
FM takes its toll on once healthy individuals, especially between ages 20-60. Escalating stress and fear of what might lie ahead if symptoms worsen can contribute to anxiety and depression. There are no cures for fibromyalgia; however, as with any illness, some symptoms can be controlled with carefully improved lifestyle changes.
FM is a physical disorder, not a psychological condition. The most common constellation of FM symptoms (widespread chronic muscle pain, sleeplessness, relentless fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and a host of other overlapping conditions like TMJD, IBS, migraine, interstitial cystitis, metabolic syndrome, endometriosis, and vulvodynia) can wax and wane over time.