On September 18, 2017, it was made public that Lady Gaga’s European tour had been canceled. The reason for the cancellation was “extreme pain that was physical and affected her capacity to perform.” A few days after the announcement, the singer had posted several photos from a hospital bed in Rio, Brazil explaining that she had to cut short her tour due to severe physical pain a condition known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).
Lady Gaga went ahead to raise awareness about the long-term condition through a Netflix documentary called Gaga: Five Foot Two.
What Exactly is Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)?
You have heard about Lady Gaga, but FMS may be a mystery to you. It is a disease that is difficult to diagnose, describe, or even treat. And most individuals with the disease have expressed their disappointment when it comes to sourcing medical practitioners who seriously acknowledge their symptoms.
FMS is a chronic condition that results in pain throughout the body. Its weakening symptoms include muscle aches, problematic sleeping and concentration, and intense body fatigue. Bloating and headaches are also typical symptoms of FMS. It is therefore easy to understand how Lady Gaga may have originally tried to hide these indicators, but she eventually had to cancel her tour due to the persistent fatigue and pain.
Individuals with FMS mostly realize that a reasonably non-offensive injury, for example, accidentally hitting your toe on the pavement, hurts more and is more intense than usual. For someone with this condition, a light touch that, in a typical case, is painless, is experienced as a painful feeling. With the fatigue, it signals that you need more sleep, but you still wake up with a stiff and aching body. Concentration also becomes a problem because it means you have to make a significant attempt to concentrate. This affects your learning process, and your speech might be slowed down or a bit disorderly.
Age Bracket Most Likely to be affected by FMS
FMS is usually diagnosed in individuals that are similar to Lady Gaga, those who are female and aged between 30 to 50 years. Lady Gaga is 31 years. It affects one person in every 20 people; however the number is not definitive, so it becomes a challenge approximating the numbers.
What Causes FMS
The real causes of FMS have not been identified. There is likely some type of disorder in the area of the brain that processes pain in people with FMS. This makes the pain intolerable. Some skeptics say that “pain is in the mind,” but the brain processes pain, so that kind of insensitive remark makes no sense. There are some suggestions that FMS mostly affects people who may have undergone sexual, emotional, and physical abuse during their childhood. But, this evidence is weak and needs more research.
FMS mainly co-exists with other conditions that cause pain in the joints, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. But its major causal factor has been linked to genetics and environment. Presently, FMS is easily diagnosed from the time it is first suspected as a cause of disabling and persistent pain. Even though you may assume that because FMS has no real cure, that you don’t have to get a diagnosis, individuals who experience the extreme pain and other unexplained symptoms often are relieved after they are informed that they have FMS.
How is FMS Diagnosed
FMS diagnosis is based on the history of intense pain as well as pressure points. A practitioner pokes 18 locations on your body by applying enough pressure with his or her fingernail. In the case that 11 out of the 18 locations are abnormally tender, the FMS diagnosis is supported.
Is there Cure for FMS?
No particular cure exists for FMS. That means accepting FMS shows that you are aware of its triggers such as bereavement, stress, illness, surgery, travel, weather changes, or sleep deprivation. These can make you weak and more prone to intense pain. Searching for a way of working, living, and eating that suits you is critical.
Exercise, adjustments at home or work, and stress management methods can really help people overcome the symptoms of FMS. And some drugs with antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, and medications used to treat epilepsy have been used to relieve the extreme pain and fatigue caused by FMS.