Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that affects up to five million people in the United States. But even with this large number, there are still people who often go undiagnosed or are wrongly diagnosed, silently living with the disease.
Experts believe that there are still many people around the world who suffer from fibromyalgia in silence. That is because they have not yet been diagnosed with the disease. But why are people still undiagnosed and suffering without the proper treatment?
The answer lies in the fact that it can be confused with a psychological problem. In fibromyalgia, medical professionals believe that there is a substantial link between both the person's mental state and the physical symptoms of the disease. As a result, many still think that the illness is all in the mind, which causes those who have fibromyalgia to stay undiagnosed or wrongly treated.
Another reason as to why people suffer from fibromyalgia in silence is because they become accustomed to the symptoms, deeming it "normal" and coping with the symptoms without going to a doctor.
Medical professionals have attempted treating undiagnosed fibromyalgia symptoms with means that do not work. Unfortunately, there are still skeptical doctors who do not want to recognize fibromyalgia as a disease, as it has no concrete proof that it exists, making them reluctant to diagnose patients.
Another reason people are misdiagnosed is that of the lack of knowledge people have. Many people presume that fibromyalgia is a female disease, with many men often going undiagnosed because of it.
The degree of support varies by the area, depending on the knowledge health authorities have with the condition. It's why more awareness and research must be made so more medical practitioners can understand fibromyalgia instead of avoiding its existence. Through awareness and better research, we will have faster diagnoses of the disease, which in return, will help people manage it easier.
For those who have experienced any form of fibromyalgia symptoms and do not get recommended to a specialist by a doctor, then it's best to visit a rheumatologist and get second opinions. The earlier fibromyalgia is detected, the more manageable and bearable it will be.
It takes an average of eight years for one to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. And by that time, the patient is already experiencing painful and uncontrollable symptoms that will be difficult to manage. This is because it will take a chance to figure out the symptoms through a physical exam, and these symptoms may even overlap with other conditions that lead to the misdiagnosis of the patient. It doesn't help that there are no specific lab or blood tests that will diagnose fibromyalgia, as x-rays or tests cannot confirm it.
Neuron function in managing fibromyalgia
Recent studies have already indicated a permanent change of neuron function, which happens during a physical or emotional traumatic experience. That is one step forward to help diagnose and treat the disease.
Many patients who suffer from fibromyalgia have been through various doctors, only to get negative results and get overlooked. The challenge of suffering from fibromyalgia isn't only the symptoms one has, but because others do not see it as a real illness. And it is what's depressing for many who suffer in silence, especially for those who have loved ones that do not recognize that they are ill.
Living with chronic pain is difficult, especially if doctors aren't able to pinpoint the primary cause or cure to help manage it accurately. That is why you may have noticed that there are various petitions and organizations dedicated to helping fund the studies and raise awareness of fibromyalgia. If you have spotted any of these petitions and groups in your social media networking sites, then you know the tremendous efforts medical professionals and families of those with fibromyalgia put into finding a cure for it.
The power of support and awareness
Power will come in uniting people and raising awareness of the disease. No one deserves to suffer in fibromyalgia in silence, which is why many efforts are made in ending further studies to prove that the disease isn't just all in mind and something that needs to be recognized and treated right away. Those who remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed deserve the right treatment to manage it.
And as time passes, there are discoveries. Various drugs will be able to control the symptoms and lessen the pain. But they do not specifically treat fibromyalgia, and there are severe side effects that may come with it, which is why other forms of treatment include changing one's diet and exercise regime, as well as focusing on meditation and natural remedies to help maintain wellness. Support is also significant, as loved ones can contribute to strengthening those who are suffering from the pain.
For those who live with fibromyalgia silently and employed, it may look difficult to juggle the symptoms and maintain good rapport with their careers. But you will be surprised to know that up to 60% of those who suffer from fibromyalgia do not suffer from depression and do their best to maintain a healthy life despite the symptoms. They develop coping techniques if they do not get the right medical support. Many people also find hope in various strategies, such as CBT and drug therapies.
In line with raising awareness, there are petitions from different organizations that focus on fibromyalgia. And as these groups and advocates continue to post on social media and create events, more people are starting to become aware and donate. Just recently, there are over 30,000/100,000 petitions in one petition from two moms, while you can also find some medical practitioners who use their practice and knowledge in finding out more about fibromyalgia and what can be done to prevent and treat it.
Fibromyalgia, a chronic disease, doesn't need to be suffered in silence or alone. You will be able to raise your voice and speak up through joining various organizations or finding support online. Through finding the right medical practitioners who can accurately identify your symptoms and diagnose you as soon as possible, you will then be able to find many ways on how you can begin treating the disease before it progresses quickly.
It also takes faith and emotional support from your family and peers. Through positive thinking and a balanced mind and body, you will be able to take one step closer into managing your life with fibromyalgia, preventing the symptoms from getting worse and feeling the love and help from either support groups, medical practitioners, or loved ones.
If you want to learn more about fibromyalgia or the organizations that will be able to help you locate a doctor or support group to help improve your health, then you can search online or consult doctors around your area. You will be able to find some organizations and physicians near you that can help begin your journey to wellness despite having fibromyalgia. Again, it is a disease that you do not need to suffer from alone or silently.
Continue fighting, and that alone is one step to wellness.