Fibromyalgia at 28 – could it be hereditary ?

I don’t know if you have read the article in the Mail’s Good Health Guide today on Fibromyalgia, but I was shocked that it claimed some Doctors are STILL of the opinion that its all in the mind !!

I also think that is the first time that I have seen someone as young as 28 being diagnosed with it. Its been written that if affects 3 – 6% of Americans, the majority woman between the ages of 40 – 75 and with people with other autoimmune diseases.

It makes me wonder if its possible if its something hereditary as medical literature began discussing the symptoms of Fibromyalgia back in the early 1900’s but recognition and treatment of the condition did not increase until the early 1980’s. By 1989 the respected Textbook on Rheumatology, 3rd Edition, included a chapter on fibrositis, a term for the little understood condition at that time. But the chapters author, Robert M. Bennett MD a professor of medicine and director of the division of arthritis and rheumatic diseases at Oregan Health Sciences University in Poland, pointed out that the name didn’t really fit, Fibrositis stems from the Latin word meaning “inflammation (itis) of fibrous tissue (fibro)”.

Fibromyalgia however does not cause inflammation as arthritis does. A year later the American College of Rheumatology agreed the condition should be called Fibromyalgia Syndrome by adding the Greek words “mys” and “algia”, meaning muscle pain, which is a more accurate description of the syndrome, marked by widespread muscle pain and tenderness.

I’ve been researching it for some time as I would love to know if there was a connection with other members of the family as my Mum, in the 1960’s suffered badly with Fibrositis, which would be so bad it would put her to bed and she would need injections for pain which was always in her shoulders and neck. I also suffered from the same problem as a child and into adulthood and we used to say that maybe I’d “been in a draft ” !! The only difference then was that the worst pain was in your neck and shoulders.

You would think by now with all the information they must have collected in America that even if they cannot connect it to other members of the family at least the sceptic Doctors could see that it has been around for a long long time and is certainly not something “in your mind”.

Its like ME (Myalgic Encaphalomyelitis ) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Over forty books have been written on chronic fatigue syndrome ( I hate that word “syndrome”) with at least half mentioning Fibromyalgia, and ME as well as IBS. So basically its a collection of symptoms under one heading which can be difficult to diagnose at the best of times.

I am also going through a diagnostic phase at the moment with my daughter who has been told she has IBS but also has terrible chronic fatigue symptoms which can also mimic liver dysfunction and the hardest thing we have found is for a Doctor to look at her symptoms as “one problem “instead of her having lots of different things wrong with her, which can then make her look like a bit of a hypochondriac.

Fortunately when she went for her last visit to the Doc I suggested I tagged along for a bit of moral support and the Doctor actually thanked me for going with her before we left as she said I had given her a much better picture of her overall health, whereas on her previous visits whenever she tried to tell her Doctor about another problem she had, she would just say that she could only deal with each problem one at a time whereas in actual fact its a “collection” of problems under one heading. Does that make sense?

Anyway, we’ve had some results back today so when they are all back I will be very interested to see what they come up with as I must admit after reading the article today it does make me wonder if she is suffering from one of the above syndromes !!


7 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia at 28 – could it be hereditary ?

  1. A lot more people in their 20’s and 30’s are being diagnosed with fibromyalgia these days, as it is become more well known. I think the demographics are skewed because the people in their 40’s and 50’s probably went decades without a proper diagnosis. Fibromyalgia IS the current name for fibrositis. And there are a lot of people who have both CFS/ME and Fibro – around 70% of CFS sufferers also have FM. (like me) It would be nice if there was a lot of useful information accumulated on these disorders, but they haven’t been properly studied until very recently. Hopefully something will turn up soon that will point to real treatments instead of this hit and miss symptom-management that we are all getting right now, with little improvement!

    Good luck to you and your daughter. I really hope she has something treatable instead of fibro or cfs!


    • Thanks for your thoughts. I suppose it will only get treated better if people like us make it to the press for more Doctors to accept it. There MUST be some Doctors out there that have it!!! You take care – this change of seasons every day affects us Fibro sufferers something rotten.

      I will write a post when I know the outcome of my daughters problems – thanks again.


  2. I have Fibromyalgia. Got it in late 2000 and it was finally diagnosed in August 2002. Still holding down a full time job and no longer taking a whole box of Ibuprofen a day. I do still have crisis days usually 2 or 3 days with weeks in between. Recently though I have had more prolonged periods of pain – stress related (work) and possibly the poor summer. Off to the Canaries next Friday for a week and although I know the tiredness of the journey will be paid for in pain on Saturday – I know the rest of the week I will be like I was pre-fibromyalgia.
    Your Blog is appreciated and I often pop in 🙂


    • Thanks for your reply. Sorry to hear you also have Fibro and I do hope you have a great holiday. This years summer has affected us all big time. Take your medication the day before you travel to get some into your system then follow up when travelling and you might find that helps. Have a lovely relaxing holiday and if you see those beach massuers – treat yourself to one!!!!
      Glad you like the blog – always makes it worthwhile doing it when I get comments like that. Barbara


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