Why Are Men NOT being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?
Ask 10 people about their image of the typical fibromyalgia patient, and it’s likely that all 10 will describe a typical fibro sufferer as being a woman. While it’s true that 80 to 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients are women, new evidence suggests that the illness may be widely underdiagnosed in men.
It’s not just a stereotype that men avoid going to the doctor. According to the Centre's for Disease Control, men are 80 percent less likely than women to go to the doctor. Some men haven’t had a check-up in the past year. Half of all men don’t even have a regular doctor. Even if they do see a doctor, men are less likely to mention physical complaints like fatigue and muscle pain. Men are culturally taught to “buck up” and accept such pains.
Fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed based on an 18-point checklist. The checklist is based on tenderness or pain at certain pressure points throughout the body, but it has only been updated twice since 1990, and many fibro advocates believe the diagnostic criteria is outdated and insufficient, and many researchers are working on a new diagnostic test to ensure we are correctly diagnosed. This may help more Men come forward
A male patient’s description of symptoms like headaches, sleep problems and body pain doesn’t suggest fibromyalgia to medical staff. Doctors may be more likely to diagnose men with an illness that has similar symptoms to fibromyalgia, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or even sleep apnea. Which may dishearten many men in going to the Doctors in the first place.
DO MEN DIFFERENT SYMPTOMS?
A 2012 study suggests that men with fibromyalgia may experience different symptoms than women with the same illness. According to the study, men have a higher pressure pain threshold at the 18 pressure points than women and experience less pain overall. However, men with fibromyalgia are also more likely than women to have intense, ongoing pain in the neck region. Although men may have fewer intense physical symptoms than women, they tend to be more socially and mentally impacted by the effects of their illness, guilt and even emotionally effect them as they may not be able to maintain their chores around the family home anymore making them feel “less of a man”, which is not true ofcourse but some men may not see it this way. Men with Fibromyalgia may also start to see their relationships start to suffer as they are punishing themselves for not being the man they once were, or being the man their wives married. The guilt they are carrying may start to effect them in more ways than one.
Any sort of chronic illness tends to be more difficult to diagnose in men, in large part because men are more likely to downplay their symptoms as nothing serious. When they do seek a diagnosis, doctors are prone to look for different causes.
Getting Men to the DOCTORS
if you think you have fibromyalgia and don’t know what’s do, go straighten your Doctor, tell them you think you have fibromyalgia.
If you have a partner who you think could have fibromyalgia, get them straight to the Doctor.
pain and tenderness
morning muscle stiffness
irritable bowel symptoms
If you are a Male and reading this thinking, ok those symptoms sound like what I have but I am still not going to the Doctors, Please go, you wouldn't watch your loved one in pain so why should they watch you?