What is Fibromyalgia?

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Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that causes persistent pain in different areas of the body without the person having completed any effort and which is often accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, tiredness or sleep disturbances. It is a chronic condition that affects more women than men and influences the patient’s quality of life.

Fibromyalgia explained in first person

Professionals and patients explain how you live with the disease
Having first-degree relatives with fibromyalgia increases the risk of developing it by 8 times.
You have to be very aware and pay a lot of attention to potential symptoms, potential triggers that you know can provoke fatigue or pain. If you’re aware of it, you’ll improve your day-to-day life a lot.

Fibromyalgia is an illness characterised by constant, chronic widespread muscle and joint pain which results in hypersensitivity to touch or rubbing against the skin, tiredness and sleep disorders. Other common symptoms are numbness, headache, muscle spasms, joint stiffness, painful periods, stomach ache, abdominal bloating due to gases, constipation, diarrhoea, memory and attention disorders, and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Patients may also display a form of general irritability to noise, light, unusual aromas or strong perfumes, the smell of food and the presence of other people.

Classification of Fibromyalgia

There are several types of fibromyalgia which are classified according to their gravity or intensity. In general, this variability is individual, and each patient has some predominant symptoms as well as variable cycles of intensity and duration.

The intensity of the condition ranges from mild forms with practically no symptoms to very severe forms that can leave the patient incapacitated.

Researchers have classified the disease into subgroups:

  • Fibromyalgia with extreme sensitivity to pain.
  • Fibromyalgia with associated depression.
  • Predominantly depressive syndrome with symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  • Predominantly somatoform fibromyalgia syndrome.

How many people are affected by Fibromyalgia?

In Spain, fibromyalgia affects 2.4% of the adult population, mainly middle-aged people, and it decreases slowly and progressively. It also affects children and adolescents. In every 10 patients, 9 are women and 1 is a man.

Substantiated information by:

Ana Arias Gassol
Antonio Collado Cruz
José Pérez Ruiz
Xavier Torres Mata
Ángel Fernández López

Published: 28 December 2018
Updated: 28 December 2018

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