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Are fibromyalgia symptoms different between men and women?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
It is unknown whether men and women with fibromyalgia have the same symptoms. According to a 2001 review of the research literature in Current Rheumatology Reports, the ratio of women to men with fibromyalgia is 9 to 1. So while more women are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it may be because women tend to go to the doctor more frequently. One study in the Journal of Rheumatology reported that men with fibromyalgia have milder symptoms than women due to fewer trigger points and less fatigue. Yet, another report contradicted these findings. No matter what your gender, it's important to see your doctor about any symptoms of chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and depression. There is help and hope for people with fibromyalgia, but your doctor holds the key to making the accurate diagnosis and prescribing effective treatment.
Although fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men, there is not a major difference in symptoms which typically is widespread pain and fatigue. Women generally have more pain than men. The treatments are not different and the response to treatment is not different between men and women.
Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine
They are largely similar. In men and women, testosterone levels drop significantly, but have a farther way to go in men before they can trigger symptoms.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
We don't know yet whether there are clear gender differences in fibromyalgia symptoms. Many more women than men have fibro, and some researchers have suggested that more men may actually have it than we know, because some men don't fit into the classic tender points scale. However, recent studies have failed to find any statistically significant differences between the way men and women experience fibromyalgia symptoms.

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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.