Lady Gaga Just Revealed She Suffers From Fibromyalgia
Lady Gaga has been open over the last year about the fact that she suffers from chronic , and now she’s revealed an actual diagnosis to her fans. “In our documentary the #chronicillness #chronicpain I deal w/ is #Fibromyalgia I wish to help raise awareness & connect people who have it,” she tweeted on Tuesday, referencing her upcoming documentary,Gaga: Five Foot Two.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and sleep, memory, and mood issues, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms can begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection, or significant psychological stress, or just gradually build up over time with no one trigger, the Mayo Clinic says. (Feeling tense? Relax with Women's Health's DVD.)
Between 80 and 90 percent of people diagnosed with the chronic disorder are women, but the reason for the gender disparity is unknown, according to the .
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Of course, everyone experiences pain at some point, and you may even have pain that lasts a few days or more. So, how do you know if you have fibromyalgia or something else?
With fibromyalgia, people have widespread pain that lasts more than three months, and other general physical symptoms like fatigue, waking up tired, and memory or thought problems, per criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology. But ultimately, you need a diagnosis to know if you have it, says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D.
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Unfortunately, there’s no cure for the condition, but there are things that can help including medication, physical therapy, good nutrition, and psychological counseling, says Gerardo E. Miranda-Comas, M.D., assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Fibromyalgia symptoms typically lead to physical inactivity, poor sleep, fatigue, and generalized pain, Miranda-Comas says. “In order to break this vicious cycle people need to increase physical activity in order to build endurance to tolerate physical activity, improve sleep, and decrease pain,” he says. Exercise is really important, says Medhat Mikhael, M.D., pain management specialist and medical director of the non-operative program at the Center for Spine Health at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif. “Sitting and doing nothing makes it worse,” he says, which is why he encourages his patients to take up swimming and other aerobic exercises like walking. “All of that improves oxygenation in the muscles and joints and helps pain without someone needing to take much mediaction,” he says. Regular acupuncture and massage therapy may also be helpful, he says.
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If you have a demanding, active lifestyle like Lady Gaga, Miranda-Comas says it’s important to rest often, try to follow good sleep practices, start exercising in water, and take up mediation and other stress relief techniques.
If you suspect that you have fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor. Many other health conditions, including lupus and arthritis, have similar symptoms, so it's important to talk to a medical expert for a proper diagnosis.
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