Unmanned and Unmoving

Almost 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women.

However, we don’t really know whether fibromyalgia is more
common in women than in men.

Confused yet? Today, we will attempt to explain this paradox in three different ways: statistically, medically and sociologically.

Firstly, statistics. The logical inference from the 90% statistic should be that women are just nine times more likely to have the disease. This wouldn’t be unheard of; red-green colour blindness is more common in men by a factor of thirteen because of their genetics and osteoporosis is four times more prevalent in women due to anatomical differences. But we are yet to find any scientific reason as far as fibromyalgia is concerned. And that really ought to be the end of this post.

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Before any problem can be dealt with, it needs to be identified. This axiom applies doubly within the field of medicine, where treatments required by some patients are potentially lethal for others. As such, the first step on the journey toward combating a disease is usually a diagnosis. Your doctor asks you some questions, runs some tests and then comes to a conclusion about what is wrong with you. From there, you can discuss treatment options and move on.

Of course, all of that is far too conventional for an invisible illness. So let’s deconstruct three of the false assumptions that you just accepted, comparing them to a typical fibromyalgia diagnosis.Read More »