Why Is Fibromyalgia More Common in Women?

Why Is Fibromyalgia More Common in Women?

Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain and a range of other unwelcome symptoms, like brain fog and sleep troubles. Medical experts think this comes from oversensitivity in the nerves that send pain signals to your brain, but they still haven’t uncovered the reason for that hypersensitivity.

That doesn’t mean fibromyalgia is a total mystery, though. We know one thing for sure. Women are diagnosed much more frequently. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with this condition as men. 

If you have a fibromyalgia diagnosis or live with persistent, widespread pain and think it could be fibro, don’t hesitate to visit Dr. Jonathan D. Carlson. As a fibromyalgia specialist here at Hawai’i Pain and Spine, he helps people throughout the Windward side of O Ľahu in Kailua.

In many cases, Dr. Carlson’s fibro patients are women. And that brings us back to our main question: Why is fibromyalgia more common in women? Let’s dive in. 

Why fibromyalgia affects women more often

Just like the exact cause of fibromyalgia, researchers still aren’t precisely sure why women develop this condition so much more often. But they generally agree that it seems to come from one key difference between women and men: hormones. 

Research links painful periods and fibromyalgia, suggesting that the hormonal fluctuations women go through during their menstrual cycles may play a role in this condition. To drive home the link between fibro and hormones, pregnant women often experience a change in their fibromyalgia symptoms. 

That said, other research suggests that part of the disproportion between the sexes actually stems from underdiagnosis in men. It’s possible that the tender points that are used to diagnose fibromyalgia occur in different places in men’s bodies or react differently in a male body. 

Getting relief from fibromyalgia symptoms

Ultimately, whether you’re a man or a woman with widespread, persistent bodily pain, you want to find relief. And that’s where Dr. Carlson comes in. 

He has expertise in diagnosing fibromyalgia. He works with you to rule out the other potential causes of your discomfort first. Then, if it is fibromyalgia, he develops a management plan.

While fibromyalgia can’t be cured, you can moderate your symptoms with treatment. Most people get the best results when they pair lifestyle changes with pain management options like physical therapy and trigger point injections. Dr. Carlson partners with you to find what’s most effective for your specific symptoms. 

If you’re ready to start finding relief from your fibromyalgia symptoms, call our office to schedule your appointment today.

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