Healthy Living

What It Really Means to Love Someone with Fibromyalgia

What It Really Means to Love Someone with Fibromyalgia

Many with fibromyalgia need someone who is there with them through all of the difficult and painful moments.

Support is key when battling fibromyalgia, but sometimes, it's hard to remember that. It's important for both men and women to know to be patient, considerate and compassionate while their partner is fighting the painful and chronic symptoms.

Whether you are someone who loves a fibromyalgia patient or just curious about what it is like to love a fibromyalgia patient, we have gathered several tips and guidelines for you in order to improve your relationship with your partner. However, before getting into what these tips are, it's also important to understand what fibromyalgia really is and how it affects a person's mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Understanding fibromyalgia

People diagnosed with fibromyalgia are characterized by having severe muscle pain and fatigue. A patient would typically experience tenderness and pain all over their body, as well as symptoms like difficulty sleeping, morning stiffness and tingling sensations in their hands and feet. Because a majority of patients are female, they also can experience painful menstrual periods.

Fibromyalgia also seems directly linked to chronic pain illnesses like endometriosis, inflammatory bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction and vulvodynia. While researchers are aware that all of these ailments are somehow related, they still aren't aware of how they are related.

The causes of fibromyalgia

There is currently no study to prove the direct cause of fibromyalgia. However, researchers have discovered some factors that could lead into the development of the disorder, such as stressful or traumatic events, repetitive injuries and other related diseases. 

Some of the diseases that are linked to fibromyalgia, and that may cause its onset, are rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and systemic lupus erythematosus. It has also been found that there is an increased chance when a close relative is diagnosed with the disease as well. The gene that is linked to this chronic pain disorder causes the person to react more strongly to pain than others. However, while this theory seems reliable, there are still not enough studies that support this claim.

Currently, there are almost 5 million Americans who are affected by this disease. While approximately 80 and 90 percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women, it can still affect children and men, however, these cases are rare.

Read on to learn what it's like to love a fibromyalgia patient, and what partners can do to improve their relationship and their own quality of life.