What Is It Like To Have A Child With Fibromyalgia

Out of the 5 million Americans with the condition fibromyalgia, one in six of them will be under the age of 18. When faced with a condition such as fibromyalgia at such a young age, a person can look forward to a lifetime of coping with a condition that will affect every aspect of life. It is especially important for children to be diagnosed early onset of symptoms so that medical professionals can assist the parents and child to cope with and manage the condition before the symptoms negatively impact the life of the child. Children who have one or more parents with fibromyalgia are more likely to receive early diagnosis because of the family history and awareness of the condition.

It can be difficult to arrive at the diagnosis of fibromyalgia especially because the diagnosis of fibromyalgia will not be expected. 85 to 90% of all fibromyalgia patients are women so doctors expect them to have the diagnosis not a child. Girls are more likely than boys to have fibromyalgia and the symptoms typically will start during puberty around ages 11 through 15. Kids diagnosed with fibromyalgia will usually have sleep difficulties in common. Parents should be careful to seek medical advice if they notice prolong sleep difficulties in their child, as this could be a clue that there may be some medical condition such as fibromyalgia causing the sleep disturbances.

Parents should be concerned and seek medical attention if a child:

* Reports feeling persistent pain

* Frequently complain of not getting enough sleep or reports being sleepy despite being in bed long enough

* Has frequent colds or other viral infections

* Is constantly complaining of being fatigued or not feeling well on a regular basis

* Common symptoms of fibromyalgia in children are pain, fatigue, and a general “not feeling well” complaint.

Treating children who have fibromyalgia:

Treatment plans for children with fibromyalgia focus on minimizing the symptoms and giving the child the best quality of life as possible. Studies show that children respond quickly to treatment, which is another reason why early diagnosis is important, why make a child suffer unnecessarily?

It is in some respects easier for a child to cope with the symptoms of fibromyalgia than it is for an adult to cope with the same symptoms. Children have a huge capacity for adjustment and the ability to manage as long as they are given information and shown what to do to minimize symptoms. It is even possible with early intervention and proper treatment that a child with fibromyalgia may be able to outgrow the symptoms.

Medication is an important part of treating the child with fibromyalgia in managing the symptoms on a day-to-day basis. Exercise and diet are also important components of the treatment plan. Mild exercise such as biking, swimming, stretching exercises, and walking are all good exercises for a child with fibromyalgia to participate in.

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