What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is something of a mystery. It can’t be detected with scans or blood tests, yet it causes lifelong pain for millions of people.

The disease mainly affects women (about 75-90% of cases), causing pain all over the body. Because not all healthcare professionals are adept at identifying and diagnosing fibromyalgia, reported rates of the condition vary greatly from country to country. In China, it affects only 0.8% of people, in France around 1.5%, in Canada 3.3%, and in Turkey 8.8%. Estimates in the US range from 2.2% to 6.4%, and in Russia, about 2% of the population is affected.

People with the condition are often diagnosed if they have longstanding muscle pain, bone or joint pain and fatigue. Fibromyalgia can also cause insomnia, “brain fog”, some symptoms of depression or anxiety, as well as a range of other complaints, including irritable bowel syndrome and headache. Many patients are also hypermobile (“double-jointed”), and there is some overlap with chronic fatigue ...

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