There is a common misconception that fibromyalgia is a condition that’s only suffered by women. This, however, is not the case, although fibromyalgia in men often presents itself differently. Fibromyalgia is a condition that has a number of symptoms, including pain throughout the whole body, stiffness in the morning, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and fatigue. Although fibromyalgia in men is a common condition, men typically suffer from milder symptoms than women. Recent research has suggested that this may be a result of men under-reporting their symptoms, however.
The most common presentation of fibromyalgia in men is pain that spreads throughout the entire body. A patient may not realize this is a symptom of fibromyalgia, and men are often less likely to seek help straight away. Instead of widespread pain, some men may also suffer from painful points on certain parts of the body. A problem with diagnosing fibromyalgia is that men are less likely to report the true extent of the pain.
Irritable bowel syndrome is another common symptom of fibromyalgia in men. This can cause problems such as diarrhea, a feeling of bloating and a change in bowel habits. Other symptoms of IBS that may be a result of fibromyalgia include indigestion and bladder problems.
Men with fibromyalgia often find that they feel stiff in the morning. Fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed, as symptoms are very close to the natural aging process and natural stiffness. In general, male patients may find that symptoms last for shorter periods of time than women, which can reduce the chance of correct diagnosis.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia in men include a disturbed sleep pattern, paraesthesia and sensitivity to temperature changes. Some men may also find they have patches of itchy skin and a dry mouth. Increased numbers of headaches are common amongst people who suffer from fibromyalgia, and migraines may develop. Fibromyalgia and depression often exhibit similar symptoms, but the two conditions are not the same and should not be treated as such. It is possible, however, for the two conditions to appear simultaneously.
Diagnosis of fibromyalgia in men can sometimes be a difficult task. Many doctors are reluctant to diagnose the condition in men, as it was thought until relatively recently that it could only affect women. Accurate reporting of the levels of pain is essential for a correct diagnosis in a reasonable time frame.