In the UK they are currently approximately 3 million people living with fibromyalgia in the UK alone, between 2.9 and 4.7% of the population worldwide.
Fibromyalgia is an invisible illness characterised by chronic widespread pain and debilitating fatigue among other symptoms including unrefreshing sleep, joint stiffness, dysautonomia, cognitive dysfunction (often referred to as Fibrofog), multichemical sensitivity, hyperalgesia, allodynia and bowel & bladder abnormalities. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown; however, it is thought that it’s onset may be due to a trauma and this could be a viral episode, a bereavement, whiplash or a stressful experience. People living with fibromyalgia experience a painful response to pressure and can experience a heightened response to both painful and non-painful stimuli.
Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be a lengthy process as there is currently no proven laboratory test and due to many other conditions displaying strikingly similar symptoms. Patients often live with depression either as a precursor to Fibromyalgia or most likely due to living with this debilitating often disabling condition. Recent studies consider Fibromyalgia to be most likely a Central Nervous System disorder relating to central pain sensitisation among other hypotheses.
We need allocated funding for research into Fibromyalgia which will increase knowledge and understanding within healthcare and help individuals living with this condition receive appropriate healthcare, timely diagnosis and ongoing support for the condition. Therefore, we are calling on Jeremy Hunt & the UK Government to discuss the need to provide funding in order to conduct further research.
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