Fibromyalgia May Affect 1 in 20 People

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although it affects around seven times as many women as men. The condition typically develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but can occur in people of any age, including children and the elderly. There is currently no cure.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia in addition to widespread pain, people may also have:

  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • muscle stiffness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • problems with mental processes in memory and concentration
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 

It is very difficult to diagnose and to know how many people are affected by fibromyalgia. The similarity with other conditions has meant that there is no specific test for it. It is also thought that many people do not realise that they have the condition.

There are a variety of treatments suggested to alleviate symptons:

  • medication
  • counselling
  • lifestyle changes
  • exercising 

Research has found that people with fibromyalgia have low levels of the hormones serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine in their brains. There may also be a genetic link.

Fibromyalgia Scotland is part of Alliance Scotland which is working with other organisations in partnership with the Scottish Government. Since 2006, the Alliance has received core funding from the Scottish Government. Originally, this supported 1.5 posts which rose to 10 posts in 2008. In 2013-14, the Alliance’s total estimated expenditure was £7.8 million. The Scottish Government provided £700,000 in core funding and £2,474,218 of project funding during 2013-14. In addition, the Alliance received £2,000,000 from the Scottish Government over this period, which it was responsible for awarding to others through the Self Management IMPACT Fund.

In Orkney there is a support group on Facebook for people with fibromyalgia: Orkney Fibromyalgia ME/CFS and Invisible Illnesses Support Group

Other support can be found at:

Fibromyalgia Friends Scotland  Facebook page

Fibromyalgia Friends Scotland 

Fibromyalgia Association Scotland 

Related story MS Support in Orkney: Here to Help

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