Two weeks ago, FMS Global News interviewed Dr. Daniel J. Clauw, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health System.
During the interview with Dr. Clauw we asked about the prevalence of fibromyalgia on a global scale. Dr. Clauw responded that ” the prevalence of fibromyalgia is remarkably consistent at 2 – 4% of the population, in different countries, cultures, and socioeconomic situations.”
What this means is that fibromyalgia can affect as many as 1 in 25 people on a worldwide basis.
We also learned during the interview with Dr. Clauw, that fibromyalgia and related disorders can be inherited. Dr. Clauw stated “there is overwhelming evidence that the tendency to develop fibromyalgia and related disorders is inherited. People with fibromyalgia are 8X more likely to have a close relative with fibromyalgia than people without fibromyalgia.”
We learned that once a person develops fibromyalgia they rarely recover from it. Dr. Clauw reporting that “once people develop full-blown fibromyalgia, this is usually something that they’ll have forever. This is actually no different than most chronic medical conditions.”
John Ernst, media representative for FM-CFS Canada tells FMS Global News that the recent report by Stastics Canada stating 393,000 Canadians have fibromyalgia is short by at least half. John stated that the Statistics Canada numbers recorded how many doctors had diagnosed the illness. The problem said Ernst, is that many doctors deny the illness is real, while most haven’t yet learned how to diagnose or treat the illness.
Dr. Clauw agrees that education campaigns for health care providers would be of great benefit in future diagnosis and treatment, telling FMS Global News that, “with some modest training, most health care providers can easily diagnose fibromyalgia. It’s treating it that they often struggle with, and the new drugs as well as education campaigns that will accompany the drugs, will be very helpful in this regard.”