Skip to main content

A few words about men with fibromyalgia...

Much attention has been given to fibromyalgia in recent years. Much has been learned, but there is still much to learn!  For one thing, ninety percent  of fibromyalgia patients are women.  We know more about this group of patients simply because there are a lot more of them to study.  But men can be diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well--and even though there are many similar disease characteristics, there are also some striking differences.




First of all, men are affected by fibromyalgia differently because of the hormonal differences between men and women.  In women, disease flare can be associated with the menstrual cycle. For males, this is not a  problem.  On the other hand, the primary male hormone testosterone benefits males because it is thought to play a beneficial role in general when it comes to pain. The hormone cortisol also appears to be involved; here again, it appears that women are more greatly affected than their male counterparts. The neurotransmitter serotonin also seems to be involved, and here again women seem to be more greatly affected than men due to gender differences in brain chemistry.

In terms of symptoms, men seem to report lower pain intensity than females.  They also seem to have fewer tender points than women with fibromyalgia. Men tend to have fewer problems with fibromyalgia associated depression. Fibromyalgia is less disabling overall to men than to women.. and they tend to wait longer before seeking medical attention.

Good quality sleep is important for all of us, and for those with fibromyalgia this is no exception. Here again, gender differences prevail: it appears that sleep quality is a good predictor of pain in men, but that is not the case for the female gender.

Sources: About.com; Wikimedia

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:


Sources: prweb;NorthJersey.com;YouTube


Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.





Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.




The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…