Fibromyalgia is an illness with symptoms like widespread chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, extreme exhaustion, and mood swings. Although females may be more affected, men with this disorder may have particular challenges.
Estimates of the proportion of men to women who have fibromyalgia are highly subjective, and scientific inquiry into the condition has lagged. According to a 2001 literature analysis cited by the National Fibromyalgia Association, the female-to-male fibromyalgia patient ratio is approximately 9:1.
Some other sources claim that the ratio is one man for every eight women with the condition or higher. According to these surveys, men may make up as much as 30 percent of the fibromyalgia population. Although some specialists estimate that 1.5 million males in the United States have fibromyalgia, male patients may have difficulty obtaining a diagnosis due to the historical association with the feminine gender. This article discusses how to spot the symptoms of fibromyalgia in males and how to treat them.
About 2% of the adult population in the United States suffers from fibromyalgia. About 4 million people, if you believe the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States (CDC). However, some people are more likely to be affected by fibromyalgia than others. The most important risk factor is a person's gender, but there are other reasons too, such as:
- Personal experience with rheumatic conditions, such as lupus
- Depression or bipolar disorder in the past
- Having had close relatives diagnosed with fibromyalgia
Males and females may experience fibromyalgia symptoms differently. Fibromyalgia has traditionally been thought to manifest less severely in men than in women. They may be equally common in both genders, and new research suggests that the intensity of symptoms may be the same in men and women.
According to a survey published in 2017, men may be less likely to see a doctor than women. When people with fibromyalgia complain about their fatigue and muscular pain, they may be considered as weak, whiny, or sluggish. According to the report's author, men may have a harder time obtaining disability claims from employers than women if they do not receive a diagnosis.
Equally concerning is that having a man rather than a woman as the principal breadwinner may result in a family receiving less financial assistance. Men's fibromyalgia symptoms might vary from moderate to severe. Each individual has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, which may include:
- Emotional distress and tenderness
- Irritable bowel syndrome and morning muscular stiffness
- Depression, Headache, Brain Fog
When Should You See a Doctor?
The signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia may resemble those of other disorders. It can be difficult to determine when to seek medical attention if the symptoms are mild. Men experiencing what they believe to be fibromyalgia symptoms should get medical attention to rule out other possible causes. Likewise, if your symptoms improve or change, you should let your doctor know so that they can assess the situation and choose the best course of action.
A diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires at least three months of widespread pain. There can be no other medical explanation for the pain. Fibromyalgia in men might be hard to diagnose because of the wide variety of illnesses that share symptoms.
Blood tests and imaging can't confirm fibromyalgia, but they can help rule out other conditions. Some medical professionals may be hesitant to identify fibromyalgia in men because they mistakenly believe it is a "female" condition.
Fibromyalgia is a long-lasting illness. It's a common misconception that males with fibromyalgia endure less severe symptoms for a shorter period than women do and that men with the disorder are exceedingly rare.
However, the disease may be more common in males than previously thought by medical professionals. Pain, exhaustion, and mental symptoms, including disorientation and sadness, are still possible for men with fibromyalgia.
While there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, with the proper treatment and lifestyle changes, men can manage their symptoms and live productive lives.