Young people report worse fibromyalgia than older patients

Oct. 27, 2013 — It may seem counterintuitive, but young and middle-aged fibromyalgia patients report worse symptoms and poorer quality of life than older patients, a Mayo Clinic study shows…

Young people report worse fibromyalgia than older patients.

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7 thoughts on “Young people report worse fibromyalgia than older patients

  1. teeks55 says:

    Well, I am afraid I’m going to have to vehemently disagree with this one. I have had fibromyalgia for 30+ years. I was diagnosed in my 20’s and now I am 58. I would have to say that my pain is equal to if not WORSE now than it was in the early days. Back then I was not even given adequate pain control in the form of narcotic meds….but now I am on narcotic meds 3 x a day and STILL my pain is off the charts. I don’t think their findings on this are true because they did not test a large enough number of test subjects, when there are so many hundreds of thousands of people with fibro out there. Or else I am just one of the unlucky ones who do not “fit” their study findings. All I can say is, in my experience this is totally wrong. I suffer as much as I did in my 20’s and many days the pain is much worse than before. But then….each person is different and each person’s perception of pain is different. And I seriously do not agree with a study that lumps one entire group of people into a “stereotype” and say that their pain is “less” than another group. I’m sitting here, hurting so bad right now…(I’m in a big fibro flare up right now)…..so this post just really ticked me off. LOL! GRRRR!!! (nothing personal, and I don’t mean to rant at you….. it’s just that I’ve suffered so much for 30 years and then to be told that older people suffer less than younger…..hey!! I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum and I know what I’m talking about!!!)

    • Katarina says:

      Hi there! Thanks for you input. I posted the link to the study because I thought it was controversial, to say the least! I agree, pain perception is so personal, individual and subjective that it seems unlikely they can put it in a neat box, measure it and say “voila, group x has more pain than group y”. Even if there is some kind of ‘average’ difference, so many people will fall outside that ‘average’. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps people who develop fibromyalgia earlier have more time for it to ‘sensitize’ their central nervous system into feeling higher levels of pain? Meaning that it will still stay more severe as they age? For example, since you developed it in your 20s, maybe it stays more painful as you age because it started so young?

      • teeks55 says:

        I do understand exactly what you are saying, and agree with it for the most part. I think maybe what happens (at least probably part of what happened to me) is that over the course of 30 years, I pretty much got used to living in pain 24/7……I have varying degrees of pain on any given day, and I’m sure my pain threshold has risen because of that fact. So maybe that is why they think older people aren’t suffering as much. I have no clue. It is raining and 57 degrees here in central IL today and I cannot begin to tell you how bad I hurt right now. Of course it’s not all just the fibro, but also the osteoarthritis that has invaded my body…..my hands feel like someone has beaten them with hammers. My hips feel the same. Every muscle feels black and blue. The tendinitis in my feet feel like they have been walking on hot coals. So there you have it. If this is what they mean when they say that I feel “less pain” than younger people, I don’t know what planet they are living on. I know the weather is a factor, not only the rain but the changing temps as the seasons change. It’s tough. Anyway, I’m glad you did not take offense at my strong reaction to the article. My angst was not directed at you, I think you realize that….it’s just all these stupid studies and observations….I swear, how they come up with some of this data blows my mind. LOL I hope you have a good day my friend, and thanks for the response.

    • Katarina says:

      HI! Thanks for stopping by and reading. I thought it was a controversial article because of the idea of ‘measuring pain averages’ and pain perception in different age groups.

  2. KJ says:

    I have read in the past that fibro eased as you got older and went through menopause. I had always hoped it was true because it gave me something to look forward to, that I would feel better as I got older. I also heard that fibro doesn’t damage your body in anyway and that it doesn’t get worse. I’m 38 and have been dx with fibro for 10 years. Maybe these people who said it got better and hadn’t done a longitudinal study on people dx young and followed them. My fibro pain waxes and wanes. It’s not getting better. I also seem to add more symptoms as time goes. I call that getting worse.

    • Katarina says:

      thanks for sharing your perspective! From all the feedback, I’m thinking that this study isn’t reflecting the experiences of a lot of fibro sufferers. You’re right that longitudinal studies of people diagnosed young are what is needed to compare to people diagnosed later on in life.

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