I have read several different stories lately about men who are being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Most men, and especially women, do not want to believe it.
Most people feel that fibromyalgia is a women’s disease. It’s kind of like menopause or PMS. How can a man get a woman’s disease.
But, that is all a huge misnomer. While menopause and PMS may be for women only (given our parts are different), the very definition of fibromyalgia makes no distinction between a man and a woman.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder of the muscle tissue and fibrous connective tissue. While it may be true that women are more sensitive to pain than men, the last time I checked, there is no difference between muscles and connective tissues. Both have a similar nature, similar cell structure, and are both subject to pain.
WebMD says that about 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and/or fibromyalgia symptoms. About 90% of those are women. It could be that more men would be diagnosed, but either the men are reluctent to see a doctor over this, or, some doctors are reluctent to diagnose a man to have fibromyalgia.
Of the 18 tender points that are used to diagnose fibromyalgia, women tend to show more sensitivity in more of those points than men.
With all this said, FMS in a man can be just as debilitating as in a woman. It can be crippling. It can completely keep one from doing his job normally. It can cause unrest, lack of sleep, and depression.
The bottom line is that fibromyalgia does not play gender favorites.
Anyone can do a “self diagnosis” by going over the 18 tender points. If half of those seem to trigger, it would be worth the man going in to get a professional opinion from your doctor… at least that is my humble opinion.