Lady Gaga dis­cusses fi­bromyal­gia pain

The Fresno Bee - - Life - BY MARI A. SCHAEFER

The one thing that can re­ally ir­ri­tate Lady Gaga is peo­ple not be­liev­ing that the pain from her fi­bromyal­gia is real.

“Peo­ple need to be more com­pas­sion­ate,” she told Vogue in an in­ter­view.

With a hit movie and sound­track for “A Star Is Born” and the re­cent pre­miere of a two-year Las Ve­gas show, Enigma, it is hard to imagine that less than 18 months ago, Lady Gaga stepped away from a world tour to con­cen­trate on her re­cov­ery from the chronic pain dis­or­der.

The mu­sic star opened up about her con­di­tion in Septem­ber 2017 just be­fore the re­lease of her doc­u­men­tary “Gaga: Five Foot Two.”

“In our doc­u­men­tary the #chroni­cill­ness #chron­ic­pain I deal w/ is #Fi­bromyal­gia I wish to help raise aware­ness & con­nect peo­ple who have it,” she tweeted to fans.

The star at­tributes her ill­ness to both phys­i­cal and emo­tional is­sues in­clud­ing post-trau­matic stress from a sex­ual as­sault at age 19 and break­ing her hip in 2013.

Fi­bromyal­gia has ex­isted for cen­turies, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Fi­bromyal­gia and Chronic Pain As­so­ci­a­tion. But, it has often been mis­un­der­stood by both pa­tients and med­i­cal-care work­ers.

WHAT IS FI­BROMYAL­GIA?

Fi­bromyal­gia is one of the most com­mon chronic pain con­di­tions, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Fi­bromyal­gia As­so­ci­a­tion.

About 10 mil­lion peo­ple in the U.S. and an es­ti­mated 3 to 6 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion suf­fer from the con­di­tion. While it can af­fect any age or race, about 75 to 90 per­cent of those with fi­bromyal­gia are women, MedPageTo­day re­ported.

The dis­ease is con­sid­ered a rheumatic con­di­tion, like arthri­tis, can im­pair the joints and/or soft tis­sues, and causes chronic pain and fa­tigue. But un­like arthri­tis, it does not cause dam­age or lead to in­flam­ma­tion.

WHAT ARE THE SYMP­TOMS?

Most fi­bromyal­gia pa­tients re­port pain and fa­tigue as the pri­mary symp­toms.

Oth­ers in­clude: Con­cen­tra­tion or mem­ory prob­lems, often called the “fi­bro fog.”

Sleep dis­tur­bances.

Morn­ing stiff­ness, im­paired co­or­di­na­tion.

Headaches or mi­graines.

WHAT CAUSES THE DIS­EASE?

There is no sin­gle known cause of the dis­ease, al­though there may be a ge­netic com­po­nent. Re­searchers be­lieve fi­bromyal­gia may be the re­sult of an in­jury, emo­tional dis­tress, or viruses that change the way the brain per­ceives pain. Those with rheuma­toid arthri­tis, lu­pus, and spinal arthri­tis may be more likely to have the con­di­tion, ac­cord­ing to the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

WHAT TREAT­MENTS ARE THERE?

A mul­ti­spe­cialty ap­proach may be needed to treat the con­di­tion, in­clud­ing ex­er­cise, mas­sage, move­ment ther­a­pies such as Pi­lates, chi­ro­prac­tic treat­ments, di­etary changes, and acupunc­ture.

There are three med­i­ca­tions, du­lox­e­tine (Cym­balta), mil­nacipran (Savella), and pre­ga­balin (Lyrica) that are ap­proved by the FDA for the treat­ment of fi­bromyal­gia.

Lady Gaga has used warm heat, an elec­tric heated blan­ket, in­frared sauna, and Ep­som baths to help her fi­bromyal­gia.

“It’s get­ting bet­ter ev­ery day,” she told Vogue. “Be­cause now I have fan­tas­tic doc­tors who take care of me and are get­ting me show-ready.”

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