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Photo of David Dopkin

Study looks at fibromyalgia pain from teen to adult years

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2014 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Illness

There is still a lot that is yet to be known about fibromyalgia. At this point, doctors are not even 100 percent sure on what causes the syndrome that can leave people in physical pain and fatigued. However, for those with fibromyalgia — while many of the specifics are yet to be known — those with the syndrome know just how real the pain can be.

Recently, a study was conducted looking into the connection between being diagnosed with fibromyalgia as a teen and the likelihood of also having the syndrome into adulthood. The findings of this study will be presented in March’s issue of Pediatrics.   

As part of this study, researchers followed 94 teenagers, for six years, who were all diagnosed with fibromyalgia. On average, most were diagnosed at the age of 15. At the end of the study, the average age was 21.

According to the study, nearly half of those who were diagnosed as a teen still met the diagnostic criteria for adult fibromyalgia. Another 35 percent, while they did not meet the criteria for adult fibromyalgia, they still experienced many of the same symptoms, such as muscle pain, fatigue and difficulty sleeping. 

For parents, this means the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia need to be taken seriously during the adolescent years. While some parents may be tempted to chalk complaints of pain as just growing pains, know that if the pain is indeed tied to fibromyalgia, this could end up being something that continues to impact the teen into adulthood.  

Overall though, the No 1. thing to remember is that this pain is very real for the person living with the syndrome. And while some treatment options have improved over the years, some may continue to face issues when it comes to employment and being able to hold down a job due to the symptoms of the syndrome. In these cases, one will want to learn more about possible disability benefits.

Source: WebMD News from HealthDay, “Most Teens With Fibromyalgia Have Pain as Adults,” Dennis Thompson, Feb. 26, 2014