Fibromyalgia in Men
Men are Impacted Too!
Men and Fibromyalgia? Not a diagnosis commonly heard of but it is definitely valid and should be treated just as seriously as in a woman. Men with fibromyalgia are definitely outnumbered with women making up about 90% of all cases. According to National Fibromyalgia Association estimates, the 10% of male cases could mean as many as one million men are living with illness.
Because of the gender disproportion we know a lot more about how fibromyalgia affects women. Many studies are done exclusively with female participants, and most doctors have a lot more practical experience with female fibromyalgia patients.
Much of the population and even some doctors erroneously think that men don’t get fibromyalgia. This can cause special problems for men who are living with it, both in getting a diagnosis and in finding support. Societal expectations and stereotypes of men pose their own problems as well.
A 2012 study in the science magazine, Psicothema, suggested that fibromyalgia is underdiagnosed in general, and even more so in men. Although considered a relatively small study that didn’t examine the reasons behind the underdiagnosis, the issue has now gotten attention and it is possible that we will learn more in the coming years.