Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia: What Is Normal What Is Not?
Everyone experiences pain occasionally, whether its a headache, muscle stiffness, or an upset stomach. Some people, such as migraine sufferers or those with irritable bowel syndrome, have to deal with pain and discomfort on a more frequent basis. And then there are people with fibromyalgia—a chronic pain syndrome whose daily, sometimes debilitating symptoms overlap with many other diseases.
Now that the FDA has approved three drugs to treat fibromyalgia, you may be hearing a lot about this condition. And if youve experienced unexplained pain recently, its easy to wonder whether you might even suffer from it. (Between 80% and 90% of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women.) Diagnosis can be tricky, but experts say that with the right information, it is possible to find the true cause of your pain—whether its fibro or something else—and get the treatment you need.
So where do your aches, pains, and everyday health woes fit in? Heres our guide to whats normal and whats not, and when you should see your doctor.