If you have fibromyalgia you have probably experienced that moment when you tell someone your diagnosis only to be met with a look of confusion, skepticism, or an actual question about whether what you say you have is real.
Because there are no specific blood or lab tests that diagnose fibromyalgia, those who are diagnosed (by a doctor noting that they have several of the specific criteria of symptoms) often get this type of reaction from their friends, family and even some doctors.
That’s right, some doctors still do not take the condition seriously; more so in the past, before recent research and studies, but I feel many doctors still brush the condition aside as ‘not important’ today.
This skepticism is unfair and based on ignorance to the latest research and the fact that a condition can exist without being able to see proof of it under a microscope or capture it with an x-ray.
Fibro Untruths Can Be Frustrating
Probably the most common misconception of the general public is that fibromyalgia isn’t a real medical condition and that it is somehow “all in your head.” Basically, we are accused of being hypochondriacs or attention seekers. Though much research is still needed to solve the mystery of fibromyalgia, there have been great strides in research over the past few years.
Here are a few facts to counter any questions about fibromyalgia being a real medical condition:
People with fibromyalgia process pain signals differently
People who have fibromyalgia have an issue with how they process pain signals. Basically, researchers have found that the brain and spinal cord process pain signals differently in fibro patients than they do in people without fibro.
As a result, patients have a heightened experience of touch and pressure, with a much greater sensitivity to pain. It is a real physiological and neurochemical problem.