Fibromyalgia & Women: A Unique Struggle

Fibromyalgia & Women: A Unique Struggle

In 2017, the documentary “Five Foot Two” was released. The film followed Lady Gaga through the production of her fifth album and preparation for a major performance. Viewers learned a lot about the artist, watching her creative process and her personal struggles. They also learned that she has been suffering from fibromyalgia for over seven years.

Letting viewers witness the physical and mental pain her condition caused allowed the general public to get a glimpse into the effects of fibromyalgia in a way that had not been showcased in mainstream media previously. Suddenly, the disease was a topic of discussion, and a new awareness was spread.

Statistics show that fibromyalgia overwhelmingly affects females more than males. U.S. studies report that approximately 90% of cases are diagnosed in females, and males that do have the disease face fewer and milder symptoms. While the cause for this is unknown, research suggests that there may be a link between hormones and severity of the disorder. This would explain why diagnoses are most common for women during reproductive years, and leading up to menopause.

There are seven fibromyalgia symptoms that are most common in women:
– widespread pain
– fatigue
– migraines
– sleep issues
– brain fog
– depression/anxiety
– irritable bowel syndrome

Often people experience stiffness, and full body aching. There is a persistent tiredness that is not fixed by sleeping. Upset stomach and nausea occur regularly. Memory and processing issues are widely reported, as are mood disorders, which are commonly associated with chronic pain conditions.

At the same time, the most common symptoms of perimenopause include sleep problems, mood changes, difficulty concentrating, and joint stiffness. For these reasons, symptoms are compounded for those experiencing fibromyalgia and perimenopause concurrently. Women in this age bracket may also have a harder time claiming insurance as it becomes even more difficult to prove that one’s inability to work is due to fibromyalgia and not other factors. Insurance companies are often skeptical, believing that there is insufficient medical evidence to prove the condition.

If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, we suggest that you ask your family doctor to refer you to a specialist such as a rheumatologist or physiatrist. They will be able to further confirm your diagnosis, which will strongly help your case should you experience difficulty in making a claim. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information and assistance. Share Lawyers has decades of experience in such cases, and our goal is to help you through every step of the process, supporting and guiding you along the way.