Fibromyalgia teens have worse symptoms than adults, pain and fatigue continue in adulthood: Study

Fibromyalgia teens have worse symptoms than adults, pain and fatigue continue in adulthood: studyFibromyalgia in teens leads to pain and fatigue in adulthood, and teens experience worse symptoms than adults. The findings of the study uncovered that four out of five teenagers with juvenile fibromyalgia will continue experiencing pain and other symptoms in the adulthood. Nearly half of those with juvenile fibromyalgia will end up with full-blown adult fibromyalgia.

Study author Susmita Kashikar-Zuck said, “Half of the former teens we studied met the full criteria for adult fibromyalgia, and another 35 percent of them continued to have symptoms of fatigue, pain, and sleep difficulty, but did not meet all the criteria for fibromyalgia syndrome.”


Fibromyalgia still remains a large mystery, as Kasikar-Zuck explained, “It appears to be caused by a pain hypersensitivity in the central nervous system. It’s sort of like the volume is turned up on pain, and now they are exquisitely sensitive to pain.”

Although the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, doctors have seen that teenagers with fibromyalgia often have a fibromyalgic parent as well.

The researchers followed 94 teenagers with juvenile fibromyalgia for six years to determine whether their condition would follow them into the adulthood. Fifty-one percent of patients continued to experience fibromyalgia symptoms in the adulthood.

Over two-thirds did not meet the criteria for fibromyalgia diagnosis, but still complained of the specific symptoms related to fibromyalgia.

Dr. Anne Eberhard, a pediatric rheumatologist at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, said, “It is not surprising that the symptoms are still seen and persist into early adulthood, where major life decisions are being made.”

Those with juvenile fibromyalgia were less likely to attend college and more likely to marry younger. “Nearly half of the originally diagnosed patients with fibromyalgia were improved to the point that they no longer fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia. Many of the patients in the study with fibromyalgia were attending college and indeed some had married and even given birth. This is very encouraging as despite having more pain than the controls, these patients were able to lead a normal, productive life,” explained Eberhard.

The study reveals the importance of diagnosing fibromyalgia in its early stages for treatment to begin as soon as possible.

Fibromyalgia may be worse on young people than older patients, study

Fibromyalgia may be worse on younger people than older patients, according to research. Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, which can take a negative toll on a person’s day-to-day life. The impact of fibromyalgia can be particularly detrimental in younger individuals.

For the study, 978 patients were divided into three age groups: under 39, 40 to 59, and over 60. Younger and middle-aged patients were more likely to be employed, unmarried, smokers, have higher education, and lower body mass index.

Senior author Dr. Terry Oh said, “Among the three age groups of young, middle-aged, and older, symptom severity and quality of life differs.”

The findings surprised researchers because older adults typically have poorer quality of life.

The study was presented in 2013 at the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting in San Diego.

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