Is Fibromyalgia a symptom of modern l... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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Is Fibromyalgia a symptom of modern life?


There's a million dollar question....I'm just reading through all the posts to Kens Poll on what is the worst symptoms and I'm thinking 'How come we're all so poorly'? Is there something in the water or food chain? Is there something in the air we breath that affects our brains? Is there chemicals that we don't know about?

Was Fibromyalgia around in 'Ye Olde Days' or is it a modern phenomenon?

Surely there's got to be a reason why we're all so poorly with something the doctors and scientists know very little certainly makes me wonder why?

will we ever find the answers? 🤔

23 Replies

I think most of today's illnesses come about due to modern life an the way we live. We live off additives, preservatives and chemicals. Hardly anything is natural. Take smoking for example, once upon a time it was promoted as good for you an now look at it. In 30/40 years time the things we did and the way we brought up our children will be widely criticised and most likely frowned upon.

People live longer due to advancements in medicine an the like, Alzheimer's is prevalent and on the rise in the elderly especially but 50/60 years ago people were lucky to live to 65 let alone 85/90 as a lot do today.

I can't help but think that life is much more difficult than it once was, and much more difficult than it need be. We seem to have more stress, debt, social problems, processed food's no wonder. I have really bad TMJ and a dentist years ago told me one of his patients was retiring to Spain. Simple, stress free life. Says it all. Not an option for me sadly for quite a few years yet.

Hi Heat1386

Fibro has been around a long, long time (with different names) and I have pasted an excerpt below from the Fibrocentre Website which gives a very brief history of Fibro. Mind you, there are probably a lot more people with it today. Whether this is because it is more prevalent or because there are more people, I do not know?

*History of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Is Not a New Disease

But it was not until recently that fibromyalgia has begun to be understood and accepted.

Fibromyalgia was once thought to be a mental disorder. It was first described by doctors in the early 1800s. They wrote about a health condition called “muscular rheumatism.” The symptoms were stiffness, aches, pains, tiredness, and difficulty sleeping

A doctor in Scotland first described the tender points of fibromyalgia in the early 1820s

Eighty years later, the term “fibrositis” was first used. Because inflammation (swelling) was thought to be a cause of the pain, the ending “itis” was given

In 1976, the name of the condition was changed to “fibromyalgia.” Swelling in the body was no longer believed to be the cause of pain

The term fibromyalgia is taken from Latin and Greek words:

Fibra (Latin) means fibrous tissue and has to do with painful tendons and ligaments

Myos (Greek) means muscles

Algos (Greek) means pain

*Excerpt From the FibroCentre

All my hopes and dreams for you


Actually I think it's been around longer than that. I read somewhere that it was but can't remember

Yes I believe that Cleopatra exhibited signs of fibromyalgia.... also Florence Nightingale, I guess their lives were stressful in different ways!

I read somewhere even king tut I think maybe not. But I did here cleopatra. I know my grandpa use to call it the old folks disease.

Heat1386 in reply to TheAuthor

Very informative Ken......many thanks


I have read that it could go back at least to Roman times as it is thought that an Emperor had it. He had all the symptoms. :)


Long read but in my humble opinion CFS/me crosses over with fibromyalgia and where the line is drawn will be down to each individual given its to do with our cellular makeup. There's an host of articles to support the known studies by top professors and biochemical scientists for many years there is something happening within our cells. There is an interesting part on toxins and people tend to think of serious chemical exposure, gulf war syndrome etc but you just have to look at the labels in our food, in our cosmetics, shampoos and toothpastes, the cleaning products that we use. I know now I am very much chemically sensitive and have stripped a lot of my life back to organic food where possible, using natural cleaning products .. Looking into making my own (... Google the uses of vinegar) and the body shop has become my source for most toiletries. Working on cosmetics but wear so little and not out much so need less 😢... I thinks people are becoming more aware of their surroundings and lifestyles now but shame we have to suffer before we realise.. Why are these ingredients in our food chain, hair dyes, shower cleaner if they are toxic in the first place? Perhaps minimal amounts but add them all up..

Food for thought I know but desperate times need desperate measures.. Shame most of the time I have little energy to do much but thankfully small butchers down the road and farmers markets are becoming more fashionable again.. People are waking up .. Maybe not the cause but they definitely aggravate symptoms.


PS.. And yes I do think our water isn't good either. Drink bottled now.. Yet another expense!

I wonder what the Romans put in their wine?? 😜

Heat1386 in reply to Hidden

Very well put Jax, and probably not far away from the truth. 😊

Telynores in reply to Hidden

My water supply is St Teilo's well, filtered through the graveyard above :-)

On a more serious note, I don't use bleach/shampoo/toothpaste/commercial well, commercial much at all :-)

My food is made from scratch, can't grow my own now :-( but rarely anything processed, local bacon/sausage with it's provenance.

I'm more like a cave woman than a modern woman :-D


When the doctor told me I had fibromyalga I said is that fibrositis he said no that's different I always thought it was a made up condition ond was not happy about it I have rheumatoid arthritis he said fibromyalga was a secondary condition

Telynores in reply to Hidden

I had never heard of fibromyalgia before I was diagnosed. I was told it may last several years but would eventually go away.

Well, after 20 years of the symptoms I think that was rather ambitious :-P

Remember in the olden days if you were ill, firstly you had to pay for the doctor, which most poor people couldn't afford. And before the workhouses, then you probably had no income and possibly no family. With being unable to pay a doctor would mean that a lot of stuff would not be known or recognised.

Also most medical advances - for everything have been in more recent times so the chances are a lot of us wouldnt have made it to our ages now. Children were more likely to die and there were other diseases that caught us first. Also given that some of us have other conditions with fibro secondary to those - then everything would be put down to the first diseases.

Good question! I've been wondering this myself.

I've recently read several things about the possible causes of Fibromyalgia:

1 Magnesium deficiency (improvement seen with epsom salt baths)

2 Fluoride toxicity (in water supply and/or prescription meds)

3 Black Mould infection

4 misdiagnosis with other infections that hide out in the body.

It's an interesting question. My older GP who has been a GP for over 40 years called it 'muscle rheumatism' and told me my grandparents would have referred to it as 'rheumatics' and that it was very real but in his opinion he was seeing more and more 'youngsters' (LOL I'm in my 40s) with it now than he ever used to. I don't know about the stress element of it. I don't suffer from stress really. I can't pin down when it exactly started nor what caused it - I know some on here have said fibro started after an accident, a particularly stressful event etc. I've often thought the proliferation of chemicals in our every-day life doesn't help either - pollution etc. And then there's other environmental factors such as the weather...

I think you are right

lynsu in reply to Purplesara

My opinion, sorry if long winded. l read our immune systems are the tcells and bcells, thymus and bone marrow, we get the tcells passed to us from mum in pregnancy and bcells we make thereafter. think some are born with better immunity than others, maybe how healthy mums were in pregnancy, not sure. l was a healthy active robust kid, but from late 20s allergy probs started lst allergic rhinitus, but did start when moving to house side of busy main road, got rynocrom script and that big help, later moved up hillside symptoms cleared without med, later again in valley bottom symptoms returned, also had penicillin allergy. After birth of 2nd son cs, got really poor health over years frequent severe pain, occasional days of fatigue nausea,other odd symptoms, gps put it down to post op gyny, hormones, phycalogical by which time it was, near demented with symptoms and affect on lifestyle partner kids, l read loads trying to find cause, l knew thrush fairly constant with it, so latched on to immune probs, l did diets, but then years later scope diagnosed intersticial cystitus, its an allergy or auto immune, experts not decided yet, also strongly linked to fibromyalgia, sjorgens, cfs, a lot of us also have skin probs, eczma, psoraisis, rash,s easily. For my rhinitus it looked like my worst allergen in chemical terms was formalin, which is used in many things, in the air we breathe, in the home, unavoidable, for others might be different chemicals. theyre all increasing in the air we breathe, which also puts it in the water, cycle. Asthma now common from being fairly rare, mouth, nose, eyes first place of attack, but if it can affect them logical it can in other body systems, depending on how good your immune system is, and age also increases systems vunerability. more so if not great before. l personally think even those with good health and good immune systems do not have same levels of energy and activity as people in past times. though some lucky ones at peak levels are still very active.

Many of these immune allergic conditions are not at same levels in every country, often the less industry and pollution the less immune allergy diseases, l guess such as africa, parts of asia, though China now also having simular conditions due to increased air pollution and industrial increase. Though some of those countries with cleaner air and less immune conditions get other serious diseases and most contagious, many water borne. l expect modern life complexity and stress adds to it, as with junk food, less activety, but cancer despite many giving up triggers is still increasing, l def think we humans have created a lot of the reasons for poor health immunity. l think rheumatics have always been around, and in uk we are a cold wet climate, but dont think debilitating fatigue went along with it. but medical advances have improved surgery and drugs to prolong life, steroid based stuff, statins, but chronic health probs worse. We can try boost our immunity, press goverments to clean up air. were all supposed to be fitter and live longer, l,m sceptical, my grandparents lived till mid late 80s, parents aunt uncles late 60s 70ish, whilst bros cousins late 50s, my family might not be typical, but difficult to deny level of chronic health in people from 50s up, many will deny it, authoraties even more so, and its just my personal opinion. ld a consultant from mauritius

apparently 2nd cleanest air in the world, according to world health organisation. l,d go on 6month research to see if it helps, live in hope.

Best Wishes to all for improvement and future medical advances to help.


I believe that we have access to more information than ever before and this assists us to understand what we may be suffering from.

Medical research has expanded and the results available to see, this in turn improves our knowledge and gives us access to information that we would never have seen before.

If we use the example of PTSD, today it is understood together with the causes. In WW2 it was caused shell shock and in WW1 the poor Devils were shot for cowardice before the Enemy.

Increased knowledge can only be a good thing as it enables us to make better decisions about what we can do.

However, Fibro is not a priority illness for research for whatever reason. More needs to be done to understand the connections between Fibro and brain / central nervous system function.

lynsu in reply to Hidden

On getting intersticial cystitus years ago, was told there was no research in uk at all, support orgs had to rely on usa, germany, holland for latest info research new meds. Think it depend on how many suffer from conditions and if its classed as terminal, when it isnt or widespread its not priority, some conditions even classed as orphan conditions, i.c also affected by central nervous system, and many with ic get fibro, cfs, linked.

The common response attitude towards potential terminal disease is miles away from immune diseases, research, treatment, care, support for practical, emotional, financial, is very good, where with immune probs often very poor, which in some ways l understand response to terminal, but l think they should take far more into account the level of suffering and poor quality of life caused by immune conditions, its bad enough when older, for younger people its worse. there should be more research and help offered, not just left to it, thank goodness there is mbs to advice support.


I don't know All I no is it started in one big toe and spread all over my body Its even in my teeth and eyes now I'm going to make the most of my life and then Bo too it I hope you can handle your Fibro .

lynsu in reply to Hidden

lol, sounds like me, even teeth, and boo to it, get that also, good luck.

I truly believe this is a problem within the brain , over the last 30 years I have tried lots of different treatment and drugs and nothing helps my pain this is why I stopped all the meds as far as I can see there. Is no point taking something if it doesn’t help I have tried all the diets they didn’t work I was very sick a few years ago with some sort of bug I couldn’t eat for 10 days I was on a drip so i Don’t think it’s food and I only drink distilled water so I don’t think it comes from the tap .

I think if it was anything to do with the environment there would be more people with the same issues ,

More research needs to be done otherwise it will never be understood .


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