Fibromyalgia In Children And Teenagers

fibromyalgia in children

Fibromyalgia was previously considered as a disease in adults. However, recently, experts confirmed that this condition affects both adults and kids. As a matter of fact, one out of six patients suffering from fibromyalgia are children or teenagers. In addition, according to medical experts, girls have a much higher risk of developing this condition than the boys. Although fibromyalgia is generally the same for all patients, the symptoms of fibromyalgia in children are somewhat different from the symptoms in adults.

Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia in Children

Fibromyalgia in children often manifest during the teenage years and when the child reaches the age of 13. Unlike adult patients, the tender points affected by kids who suffer from fibromyalgia are lesser. In addition, the most notable symptoms of fibromyalgia in children are the following:

  • Sleep problems – kids suffering from fibromyalgia complain about sleep issues, most especially frequent sleep deprivation. In most cases, sleep will not come easy to kids who have fibromyalgia. They struggle to get enough sleep at night. Consequently, during daytime, the kid tire very easily simply because of sleep problems.
  • Generalized pain – kids who suffer from fibromyalgia will suffer from chronic pain in various parts of the body. They usually report burning pain in their muscles, as well as stiffness in their joints.
  • Increased Weakness –fatigue is among the most common symptom of fibromyalgia in children, and this can be due to sleep deprivation and body pain. They tend to get exhausted rather easily without any reason.
  • Depression – a child who suffers from fibromyalgia can suffer from anxiety, mood swings and lack of concentration. They tend to be depressed very easily without any reason and will show lack of interest in any activity.

Genetic Predisposition

The exact causes of fibromyalgia in children is unknown. However, doctors often think of genetic predisposition as the major reason why kids develop fibromyalgia. As such, the offspring of parents with fibromyalgia have higher chances of developing this chronic condition as compared to other kids. Moreover, if a child has a pre-existing health problem such as restless leg syndrome, sleep disorder and irritable bowel syndrome, he or she will be more likely to develop fibromyalgia.

Therapy Sessions

Kids suffering from fibromyalgia should undergo therapy sessions. During the therapy, the child will be learn how to cope with the symptoms through positive thinking methods and various relaxing techniques. As parents, it is important to keep in mind that physical and emotional stress can exacerbated the symptoms of fibromyalgia in children. Therefore, it is important for parents to be sensitive towards their child’s emotional needs. Parents should also monitor and their activities at all times.

3 Comments

  • Thanks for that bit of information. I have had Fibromyalgia for as long as I can remember. The physicians I have seen thru out my life have always told me that it was impossible for me to have had this problem even as a young child. My mother commented that when I was 2-3 I had difficulty performing what she considered normal movement which is why she put me into a gymnastics class. Didn’t work for me and only made me hurt more but at least she noticed and tried. As a teenager I was on the swim team for 2 years. Probably the best I felt in my life. As an older adult though after reading the information I will attempt to exercise but… to late in life?

    • I completely understand. They told me from the time I could talk, I complained that I hurt. They said it was “growing pains.”

  • This article is really an eye opener. My grandson complains about leg pains at night and has difficulty falling asleep due to his restless leg pain. I have tried to massage his legs but he doesn’t want to have anyone touch them because they hurt him. He is 12 yrs. old. We were told it was growing pains which I thought was misdiagnosed. He has had trauma in his life. His father has also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and he is 48 yrs. old but has suffered with the same pain in the noted points. He was originally told by a Physicians Assistant that he was drug seeking because men didn’t get Fibromyalgia. We knew she didn’t know what she was talking about and needed additional learning in the area if medical practice and a better bedside manner. I am the paternal grandmother and have had Fibromyalgia since as far back as I can remember. I can remember as a child in elementary school wondering why other children could run and play and not have pain as I was suffering with so I decided that I should try to keep up with them and my pain would go away. Well it didn’t and only got worse. I battled the pain all through my teen years and started seeking medical assistance in my early 20s when I became in charge of my health. Well guess what physicians didn’t believe me. They started telling me I was drug seeking. Well it was odd because I didn’t even know what pain pills were and didn’t care. I just knew I was hurting. Well I had a hysterectomy at 21 yrs. old because doctors felt that was the problem and it wasn’t. Then I was put on a diet because my pancreas wasn’t functioning properly and at least it did help my stomach pain (IBS). Then at 50 yrs. old I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 (Hereditary). My family from both sides had diabetes severe! Another reason for pain neuropathy from years of being a diabetic and not being treated properly because I didn’t know. Finally at age 55, a physician said I had Fibromyalgia and started treating my pain. I did at least give me some relief the most I had had in years! I am now 64 yrs. old and sit back in pain at times no one knows because I have lived with pain for so many years that my family just assumes that is my personality. Isn’t it sad that I had to live a life of pain and when I was told I was the one acting like I was in pain instead I was seeing physicians that were not qualified to diagnosis my health issues. I also have kidney disease in the 3rd stage. I cannot help but wonder if physicians would have admitted that they didn’t know and would have sent me to qualified physicians would I have so many health issues and be in so much pain all the time. I fear the same will happen to my son and his son. Physicians need to quit worrying about drug seeking habits and try to listen to their patients and figure out the real issues be it physically and/or mentally.

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