Fibromyalgia: Living with the Disease

A healthy lifestyle and diet, as well as educating friends and family members, are important for supporting patients and helping them in their everyday lives.


Doctors recommend that patients avoid stress factors, do not get physically exhausted, and do not allow pain to take root, especially the tendinitis that is often seen in fibromyalgia patients.

The HAS (French High Authority of Health) suggests graduated and tailored programmes of care for adults suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome:

- First of all, the job of the doctor is to recognise and evaluate the emotional and psychological suffering of the patients, the impact of symptoms on daily life (reduced physical activity) and giving all of the advice that will allow the patient to understand their symptoms, find adjustments that help them cope and to continue their usual activities;

- Once the other possible diseases have been ruled out, it is important to recognise the realities of the syndrome, as well as to inform the patient that the cause of fibromyalgia is currently unknown, the fact that the symptoms will not lead to disability, even if they last a long time, and about the aims of treatment: to reduce symptoms, find the best ways of adapting to life with the condition given the circumstances, to continue everyday professional and social activities, and to maintain quality of life the way that the patient wants to live;

- Then, classify the care based on the impact of symptoms and to tailor the treatment plan to the specific patient. Therapeutic options include physical exercise, education and, if necessary, psychological care. For patients whose level of activity is very limited, a multidisciplinary approach is advised. The effects of medical care must also be evaluated on a regular basis.

Fibromyalgia: The Role of Family and Friends in Everyday Life

Fibromyalgia has a major socioeconomic impact on patients, many of whom are no longer able to keep working due to the debilitating nature of fibromyalgia. It is therefore important to give patients the help they need. The role of family and friends is paramount in helping the patient to cope with their pain. Loved ones should also make the effort to understand the illness and the pain suffered by the patient.

The patient should continue their current activities as well as possible, or try new ones if they are no longer able to keep doing what they used to before they developed fibromyalgia. The key is to avoid withdrawing into yourself, isolation and despondency at all costs. To help, it is advisable to find out about local and national organisations in place to help you. 

It is not possible to prevent this disease, since its causes are still unknown. However, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle (enough sleep, regular exercise adapted to the patient’s abilities, balanced diet) are very important for fibromyalgia patients.

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