It doesn't take much web surfing to fill your head with meaningless anecdotal and unsupported information. Most people with fibromyalgia are very anxious and sometimes afraid of this new diagnosis. They don't know what it will do to their lives, or really what to expect, and turn to the web for answers. Fibromyalgia.com will remain vigilant to help explain this syndrome and attempt to unravel the science, treatment options, and personal expectations, as well as to remain a source of support and hope.
Fibromyalgia is more common in women than men, but may be under reported and under-diagnosed in men, so ratios such as 4-1, 7-1, and 2-1 are somewhat meaningless. It is known that men and women have obvious hormonal differences, and likely differences of certain chemicals in the brain. That may play a role. Even human growth hormone has been implicated. Serotonin levels are also different in men and women. It is likely that the list will continue to grow as we become more aware of the central nervous systems role in pain and functional impairment. Those that have depression, and anxiety, also have a higher incidence of fibromyalgia. It is difficult to say which came first. This is where many healthcare providers come to differences with her patients, believing less that fibromyalgia exists, and that the depression is the cause of so many of the symptoms.
It is true that depression and fibromyalgia many outwardly look the same, but those that take a careful history, will find that fibromyalgia has many distinctive characteristics of its own.
As a standard disclaimer, we always insist that you maintain contact with a medical care provider that is trained and qualified to diagnose and treat medical and painful disorders. We encourage an ongoing rapport with a physician to maintain continuity of care, which will enhance outcome and minimize complications. Under no circumstances should the advice on this website or by anyone within the Fibromyalgia.com community be followed without first discussing it with a qualified physician.