The confidence to live with fibromyalgia
People with fibromyalgia live with chronic pain and fatigue. Although the symptoms can decrease at times, there is always the threat of another flare-up. Fibromyalgia can be managed and treated, but it’s important for those living with the condition to have safeguards in place in case of a severe flare-up.
How does MedicAlert help someone with fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia can cause a range of symptoms, but pain throughout the body is the most common issue. Sometimes, this pain can get severe enough that it causes a person to fall unconscious. In these situations, there would be no way to alert the first responder that the person is living with fibromyalgia.
A MedicAlert fibromyalgia bracelet or fibromyalgia medical card can alert first responders to your condition and medical history, allowing you to get appropriate treatment from the very beginning. First responders are trained to look for the MedicAlert symbol on fibromyalgia jewelry so they can identify any key medical conditions and take quick action.
Pairing your ID with a MedicAlert membership plan provides life-saving benefits that go beyond the ID. Membership benefits include access to our 24/7 emergency response team, which provides medical personnel with your detailed digital health profile when it’s needed the most.
MedicAlert will also reach out to emergency contacts, so people with fibromyalgia can enjoy more independence knowing that their loved ones will be contacted in case of an emergency. Anyone with fibromyalgia can benefit from a MedicAlert ID and membership.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanies by issues with fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood. Around 4 million adults have fibromyalgia, according to the CDC. Because the condition is chronic, people living with this condition must develop a management plan with their healthcare providers.
What are the effects of fibromyalgia?
People with fibromyalgia experience pain to varying degrees. During a flare-up, pain can become extremely intense. Additionally, the condition can cause a person to become more sensitive to pain, due to the way the body processes pain signals.
Pain is the hallmark of fibromyalgia, but there can be several other symptoms as well. Many people experience stiffness and fatigue due to the condition, and may also have trouble sleeping. Some people experience mental health symptoms, such as depression or anxiety. Headaches and poor concentration are also common.
These symptoms can make it difficult for people with fibromyalgia to participate in their daily activities. Pain and trouble concentrating can make working or studying extremely challenging. The condition can affect overall quality of life and can result in hospitalizations.
Some people with fibromyalgia have other conditions that commonly coexist. These can include chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome.
Who gets fibromyalgia?
Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, even children. However, it is more common in older adults. Factors that can lead to fibromyalgia can include genetics, severe physical injury, or infections. It isn’t clear exactly why or how fibromyalgia occurs, but there are some risk factors for the condition.
Women are more likely to have fibromyalgia than men. It also tends to run in families. People with certain other health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or osteoarthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia symptoms.
To diagnose fibromyalgia, doctors ask questions about specific pain regions to determine the likelihood that a person has the condition. Your doctor may also order blood tests to rule out any similar health conditions. A sleep study may be required if sleep apnea is suspected for sleep issues. Family history, x-rays, and other diagnostic tools may also be used to pin down a fibromyalgia diagnosis so treatment can begin.
Treatment options for fibromyalgia
Because it is a chronic condition, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, there are several management strategies that can be used together to help people living with the condition find relief from their symptoms.
Medical fibromyalgia treatment options include medication, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. People with fibromyalgia see a rheumatologist to work out an individual management plan.
Self-care strategies include getting regular exercise and stress management practices. These may include yoga, meditation, massage, and more. Emphasis on good-quality sleep can also help people manage their fibromyalgia symptoms.
Some people can also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for mental health symptoms relating to fibromyalgia. Many people experience depression and anxiety in conjunction with fibromyalgia and talk therapy can be extremely valuable in these cases.
As with any medical concern, you should consult your doctor for specific instructions on managing your condition.
Where can I get a fibromyalgia bracelet or necklace?
MedicAlert Foundation has been making high-quality, stylish medical IDs for over 60 years. Today, we offer a wide range of styles, allowing our customers to pick out fibromyalgia jewelry they look forward to wearing every day.
You can choose any of our styles online, from the classic stainless steel bracelet to dog tags or sporty silicone bands. We even offer fine jewelry options. Once you’ve chosen your style, you will select your most important health information from our extensive menu for engraving. The process of choosing your fibromyalgia jewelry is simple. However, it’s important to wear it every day in case you are in an emergency and unable to respond to paramedics who may need your health information to save your life.
What should I engrave on a fibromyalgia medical ID?
MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our medical ID products. The engraving on your medical ID should include any critical medical information that can protect and save your life if you are in an accident or have a medical emergency, including:
- Medications you’re taking
- Allergies to drugs
- Other medical conditions
- Implanted devices
- Any additional medical information that needs to be communicated to first responders
The American Chronic Pain Association provides resources for those living with fibromyalgia, and access to support groups for help managing chronic pain.