If you are a man suffering from fibromyalgia, you may be having trouble dealing with your illness. This is because fibromyalgia syndrome is typically thought of as a woman’s disease, and men with the illness are often overlooked. Men sometimes don’t receive the same fibromyalgia treatment or emotional support that women do, and many men may even have trouble getting diagnosed properly. If you are a man dealing with the rigors of fibromyalgia,it is important know that you are not alone.
A Woman’s Disorder?
Fibromyalgia is often thought of as a female affliction, by doctors and sufferers alike. This is because the large majority of fibromyalgia patients tend to be women between the ages of 20 and 40; in fact, it is believed that as many as 80% of fibromyalgia patients are actually women. While it is thus understandable that fibromyalgia is considered a “woman’s” disorder, it does affect a large proportion of men too.
How Many Men Have Fibromyalgia?
Recent research suggests that 1 in 8 fibromyalgia patients is male. However, it is difficult to know if this number is truly an accurate reflection of the real number of male sufferers of the disorder. Because it is so often thought of as a woman’s illness, many men suffering from fibromyalgia actually don’t get diagnosed with the syndrome. As a result, a large number of male sufferers may go unreported. It is thought that the number of men suffering from fibromyalgia could in fact, be closer to 30%.
Differences in Male Fibromyalgia Sufferers
Though many men do suffer from fibromyalgia syndrome, the experience of men with the illness is very different from that of its female sufferers. There are actually a number of differences in male fibromyalgia symptoms, treatment, and testing.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia in Men
Symptoms of fibromyalgia are widespread, and vary from person to person. Some sufferers are more affected by widespread pain, while others find that persistent fatigue is the worst symptom. Symptoms in men are very tend to be quite different when compared to the symptoms suffered by women. Most research illustrates that men actually experience milder symptoms than women, and also experience less:
- tender points
- morning stiffnes
Male symptoms also tend to last for shorter periods of time and occur less often than those appearing in female patients. However, a recent study shows that male symptoms may actually be more severe than those experienced by women. Under-reporting or misreporting of symptoms may affect the general understanding of fibromyalgia symptoms in men.