The aim of Fibromyalgia Awareness Week, Sunday 3rd to Sunday 10th September, is to raise awareness of fibromyalgia, the impact it has on those living with fibromyalgia, and their family and friends.
Fibromyalgia affects up to 4% of the population and is more commonly found in people between the ages of 20 and 50, mostly women.
It is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain and fatigue. Other symptoms often include unrefreshing sleep, headaches, an irritable bowel, cognitive disturbances, dizziness and sensitivity to environmental factors. It has been called the “invisible syndrome” because it can’t be diagnosed based on a lab test or X-ray. It is also known as Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS).
It is very common for the diagnosis to take a long time, even years because the symptoms can be vague and similar to other conditions.
Given that fibromyalgia is an invisible disease, awareness needs to be raised in order to broaden perceptions, knowledge and understanding of this condition.
Each sufferer of fibromyalgia experiences the condition differently. The pain tends to be felt as diffuse aching or burning, often described as head to toe. It may be worse at some times than at others. It may also change location, usually becoming more severe in parts of the body that are used the most. The fatigue ranges from feeling tired, to the exhaustion of a flu-like illness. It may come and go and people can suddenly feel drained of all energy – as if someone just “pulled the plug”.
It is not currently completely clear what the exact causes of fibromyalgia are, although there are a number of theories currently being researched more fully.
Find out more about the awareness week via the Fibromyalgia Action UK website and get in contact with a local Fibromyalgia support group, such as the group that meet at The Disability Resource Centre.
Our charity is here to help you if you live in Bedfordshire, Luton or Northamptonshire.
We offer free help and advice for disabled people, including carers and families of disabled people, older people and people affected by long-term health conditions.
For further details please call 01582 470900 or visit us or email us.