22 Lesser Known Facts About Fibro

If you’re like me, you’re always trying to stay apprised of new information surrounding your illness(es). Sometimes, it seems like I never see anything new and oftentimes, it seems the data I read is just somehow recycled; one site to another. So I spent some time (okay, a lot of time) gathering facts that, maybe, are not quite as well known about Fibromyalgia. I have to say, there is not a plethora of studies out there. While I can certainly appreciate why millions upon millions of dollars are spent on cancer research, how many lives could be vastly improved with better understanding and more (or even just one!!) viable treatment option for Fibro?

So, without further adieu, did you know these 22 facts about Fibro???

  1. Fibromyalgia is a disease of the Central Nervous System, characterized in part, by abnormalities in pain processing.1 (it’s NOT Autoimmune, Rheumatological OR Psychosomatic)
  2. In a 2018 Harvard study, PET Scans of patients with Fibromyalgia showed widespread inflammation in their brains; more specifically, in the immune cells of the brain (once and for all debunking the myth that Fibro is a Psychological disease). 2
  3. The average time of morning stiffness for a Fibro patient is 75 minutes.
  4. Descriptions of Fibro in medical literature date as far back as the early 17th century. There are even descriptions in the Bible’s book of Job.
  5. On average, it takes a typical Fibro patient 5 years and 15 Providers to reach a diagnosis. 
  6. Over 50% of patients are originally misdiagnosed. 
  7. 93% of patients had worked *throughout their entire life* (prior to becoming ill). 
  8. 44% of patients are fairly or totally dependent on a family member for household chores. 
  9. 42% of patients are not in the workforce. 
  10. 84% of patients report suffering from more than one condition or disease, with 28% of FM patients also diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 
  11. 45% of patients feel that their family does not understand the disease. 
  12. 67% of patients report many sexual difficulties as a result of the disease. 
  13. 3% to 6% of the world’s population, or more than 200 to 400 million people worldwide, have this chronic condition. It crosses all nationalities and races and both sexes. 
  14. There is an average of one workday missed each week, for those who are employed, with an average of 10% earnings loss.
  15. In people who have fibromyalgia, the brain and spinal cord process pain signals differently. As a result, they react more strongly to touch and pressure, with a heightened sensitivity to pain.
  16. The suicide risk among fibromyalgia patients is *ten times* that of the general population. However, *none* of the Fibromyalgia patients who did commit suicide had a medical history of depression or other psychiatric illness at the time of diagnosis. 
  17. Many people who went to Mayo Clinic’s Fibromyalgia Clinic are perfectionists who have very high expectations for themselves.
  18. 74% of responders reported spending between $100 and $500 each month on over-the-counter products. 
  19. 61% spent between $100 and $500 each month on prescription medications.
  20. Interventions with the highest effectiveness ratings were: prescription sleep medications, prescription pain medications, rest, heat and prescription antidepressants. Although non-prescription pain medications and nutritional supplements were commonly used, they **did not** appear to be particularly effective. 
  21. In one study of 2,569 respondents, the medications perceived to be the most effective (out of 253 listed) were: Hydrocodone, Alprazolam (Xanax), Oxycodone, Zolpidem (Ambien), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Clonazepam (Klonopin).  (So much for Opiods not being effective!)
  22. 34% of fibromyalgia patients spend between $100- $1,000 per month *above* their insurance to see a healthcare professional.

I hope that I have provided you with some statistics that maybe you did not know before now. The more we talk, the more we call attention to it, the more and harder we fight, the better we may be heard.

Love, Stace

ps While I am not including the bibliography in my post, I do feel it important to be transparent and to be able to back what I write with factual data. Please reach out to me if you would like to receive the bibliography.

Oh how I miss that hair!
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Fighting with Fibro and Living With Purpose. Mom, Wife, Blogger and animal lover. Fighting with Chronic Illness on a minute by minute basis; sometimes winning.

29 thoughts on “22 Lesser Known Facts About Fibro

      1. Two totally different “people”-I apologize for confusing you. Pain Pals is a personal Blog; as one of her posts, she rounds up and calls attention to other Bloggers who’s material she liked that week-which is great. The Mighty is a large organization who allows you to submit your “stories” and possibly have them chosen for publication.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Send me a pic with your “thinking cap” on. I bet it’s awesome!
        Ok-I guess I didn’t literally mean “story”. For instance, The Mighty is publishing three of my blog posts: Why Fibro Affects Your Speech, Why Give Up Has Been The Best Advice Any Doctor Gave Me and 22 Things to Remember Next Time You Flare. Those are the examples of what they’re publishing. I got rejected on two.
        They have monthly writing prompts to help, found here: https://themighty.com/submit-a-story/

        I hope this helps! I’m giving away all my secrets!! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are way to organized for me and no woorry on giving away the secrets, I have dementia so last nights dinner doesn’t always come to mind. I did take a self of my hat, maybe the third in history. I’m too fat to allow anyone to see me, you get the yes. I’ll send to email! Now you have to share, I can’t put myself on the line without something in return. Maybe your eating something good for lunch? I had yogurt nothing worth a photo. I’m sure you can put your creative mind to work. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. It’s been so long I missed you. Are you specifically speaking of The Mighty badge I have displayed? The Mighty “badge” can only be displayed (based on the Mighty’s rules) when you have had a story published on their site in the last three months. Once you’ve been published, then you can display their badge. Does that help?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like your blog, it was filled with information and not fake cure alls, and I’m sorry to say I have FM i know the struggles I would just like to find a site/blog with positive energy and sharing of what has worked for someone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andi, thanks so much, I greatly appreciate that feedback and you taking the time to comment. I hope you will sign up to follow my blog! I’m sorry you have FM, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I completely agree with you, that’s part of why I finally decided to start writing. I got so tired of the same unhelpful, recycled material. I wanted to try to use the wealth of experience I have battling this, to help others, without (as you said) the nonsensical fix alls. We can’t cure this, but there are things I’ve learned that can help and my readers are the best, also chiming in with their experience!! I wholeheartedly believe that positivity and gratitude are two of the most effective tools we have in our arsenal. It isn’t always easy, but focusing on the moment and all we have, instead of all we’ve lost, is something I really believe helps get us through. Please let me know if/when there’s anything you would like to see a post on-I’m always open to suggestions. It’s really great to “meet” you.
      ~Stace

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