Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by melissanreynolds
Have you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia? Or know someone who has? Perhaps you have been Googling some big questions, like is fibromyalgia serious?
As someone who has been living with it for over 15 years, I can tell you two things. It is serious. And there is hope.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition with no agreed cause or cure. There are several theories on inciting factors. And many treatment ideas. But no unified theory that has led to a cure.
It is debilitating. Mostly because of how it’s treated. Or rather, under treated.
Many people wait a long time for diagnosis. Treatment is subject to the doctor understanding or research ideas. And also on the patient being willing to try the lifestyle approaches too.
The symptoms – chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia, brain fog and the others – are pervasive. They can be hard to manage. But they can be managed.
Insomnia and fibromyalgia
The chronic deep sleep deprivation usually experienced in fibromyalgia is serious. It should be addressed as soon as possible. Sleep must be rectified as soon as possible for healing to occur.
Insomnia and sleep deprivation can cause serious problems and other health conditions. It can be harder to lose weight, manage blood sugars and reduces your mental functioning. If you want to read more about the problem of insomnia, you can do so here.
The heart and fibromyalgia
New research is indicating that people with fibromyalgia are subject to some cardiovascular issues, such as pulmonary hypertension.
“Cardiovascular affections and comorbidities are highly prevalent in patients with rheumatic diseases primarily due to high-grade systemic inflammation and high-dose and lasting corticosteroid therapies.” Cardiovascular manifestations and comorbidities in rheumatic diseases: perspectives on timely diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, Armen Yuri Gasparyan (2023)
However, with knowledge comes the ability to work early and preventatively.
Another issue here is orthostatic intolerance, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. This is where the heart rate climbs too high and stays there for some time. It can have accompanying chest pain. While this is not expected to damage your heart, fainting and hitting your head is something to be mindful of.
Diagnosis with fibromyalgia
In order to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you will have experienced chronic, widespread pain and fatigue for at least six months. This will have heavily impacted your life. It impacts your ability to work, study, parent and enjoy life.
The impact of living with fibromyalgia
Depression, anxiety and suicide in patients with chronic pain and fatigue are no jokes and the rates of these are why I work so hard to share hope.
This is an important factor to consider. It seriously impacts quality of life. And the way we are treated by some medical professionals and people in our life can compound this.
I want to be clear here, I live this balance between being impacted by my symptoms and maintaining hope. This is why I advocate pursuing hobbies and things we love and making them as pacing/energy friendly as possible. We deserve joy and love.
I spent a long, long time trying to push through. It wasn’t until recently that I realised two things. Fibromyalgia is serious, and I am actually unwell. I am no where near normal as I thought I was.
For the past 12 years, I’ve been on an upward trajectory. I’ve put many treatments in place to support my health. I do all the right things, and fibromyalgia still impacts my life in a serious way.
I got the impression that doctors considered fibromyalgia to be benign and more of a nuisance (albeit a serious one) for patients.
Now we know more.
Everything I share about my journey is to give you ideas to research for yourself. The sooner we make headway on our symptoms, especially sleep, the sooner we can improve our quality of life.
Is fibromyalgia serious?
Yes, fibromyalgia is serious. It’s not life threatening but it does require careful management and I hope that you are able to advocate for that.
BUT I believe it is highly treatable and we are able to improve.
Grab my free resources vault with 18 worksheets, eBooks and yoga classes to get you started in your journey.