5 Fibromyalgia Myths
Fibromyalgia is a condition that is not well understood. Some people think that it’s all in the sufferer’s head. Others have heard about unusual cures that aren’t true. In order to understand Fibromyalgia and to learn to cope with it, it is important to dispel these myths.
The Disbelieving Doctor
Myth #1 – Chances are, your doctor won’t see fibromyalgia as a real condition.
Fact – Most doctors will believe that your symptoms are real. The problem with fibromyalgia is that it’s defined by a list of symptoms. Most doctors don’t believe that it is actually a disease that can be reversed or cured. They believe, instead, that it is a collection of symptoms that aren’t caused by one underlying disease. They will usually work to help you to manage the symptoms, but won’t be able to look for a “cure” per se. The American College of Rheumatology has developed a set of criteria that helps doctors to diagnose fibromyalgia. The problem with diagnosing this condition is that it can take quite awhile. Often times, doctors will need to run many tests to rule out other diseases and conditions first. If your doctor knows nothing about this condition, you may want to seek out someone who is more knowledgeable. You may not be able to find an expert in this field, but, hopefully, you can find someone who has dealt with other patients with this condition. You’ll certainly want to find someone who is compassionate and interested in helping you to alleviate your symptoms.
Looks Say It All
Myth #2 – You look fine, so therefore there is nothing wrong with you.
Fact – It can be difficult, at times, to convince others that there is anything wrong with you since the symptoms often come and go. People may assume that you are faking your problems to get out of work or to lighten your load at home. Education is the best remedy for this issue. Try to openly communicate with others about fibromyalgia and about your pain, and be honest about how you are feeling.
Don’t Bother with the Doctor
Myth #3 – Since there is no treatment for fibromyalgia, there is not use going to a doctor for it.
Fact – While there is no specific treatment for fibromyalgia, there are many options that your doctor may recommend. There are medications that the doctor can offer to you, alternative medicines and treatments that they can recommend, and lifestyle changes that you can discuss together. It’s certainly worthwhile to get a diagnosis from a doctor and to see if there is a combination of medications that might help your symptoms.
Go Crazy When You Can
Myth #4 – On a day when you are feeling well, you should do as much as possible, since you may not be productive the next day.
Fact – Don’t overdo it on good days! You may exacerbate your symptoms by doing too much. Even if you feel great one day, you still need to pace yourself and set realistic goals for the day. You don’t want to sit around doing nothing, as this can weaken your muscles and increase your pain; at the same time, there is no reason to go crazy on a good day just because you feel you need to get things done. Find a balance and give yourself a break, even when you are feeling good!
An Unproductive Life
Myth #5 – You’ll never fully be productive in your life again and won’t be able to completely enjoy your life.
Fact – This is simply not true. While it may take awhile to learn to control your pain with fibromyalgia, and your pain may never go away 100%, you can certainly be a productive, happy and active person. Fibromyalgia isn’t fatal and it doesn’t cause lasting damage to your body. If you can work with your doctor to adapt both your daily activities and your time and energy, you’ll be able to create a healthy balance in your life. Keep a positive attitude and connect with people who are successfully living with fibromyalgia to see good role models. Just because your life is going to be different now, doesn’t mean that it won’t be productive.