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What increases my risk for fibromyalgia?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and others are closely linked to fibromyalgia. While it's not known that rheumatic diseases cause or trigger fibromyalgia, it's interesting to note that 25 percent to 65 percent of people who have this condition also have certain forms of rheumatic disease.

Rheumatic diseases cause the joints and supporting tissues to become inflamed, painful, and swollen. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine) are all rheumatic diseases that have been linked to fibromyalgia.

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Your chances for developing fibromyalgia can be increased by several risk factors. One of the most common is experiencing some type of physical or emotional trauma. High stress levels and not sleeping well are also associated with developing fibromyalgia, although it remains unclear exactly how they affect the condition. Age, sex, and family history can increase your risk as well. Fibromyalgia most often occurs in early to middle adulthood, and if anyone else in your family has the condition, you're at a higher risk of developing it, too. Women have seven times more risk than men. Those suffering from some other type of rheumatic disease, like lupus, or an infection like Lyme disease, also have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.