Fibromyalgia: What to know about Lady Gaga’s chronic condition

Lady Gaga revealed this week on Twitter that she suffers from fibromyalgia, sparking curiosity among many of her fans about the chronic health condition, which is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue. The music star shared new details on Thursday.

“I was taken to the hospital,” she wrote, adding that it’s “not simply hip pain or wear & tear” from being on tour. “I’m in severe pain. I’m in good hands w/ the very best doctors.”

She also released a statement saying she’s canceling a scheduled performance at the Rock in Rio music festival in Brazil on Friday because she’s “not well enough.” “I have to take care of my body right now,” she wrote.

Earlier this week she announced she would be speaking more about her struggle with the condition in the upcoming Netflix documentary “Lady 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,” the singer tweeted.

Fibromyalgia affects about 4 million U.S. adults, about 2 percent of the adult population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The cause of the condition is unknown, but doctors have identified a number of risk factors. While anyone can be affected by fibromyalgia at any point in their lives, people are most often diagnosed during middle age and are more likely to have fibromyalgia as they get older. Women are also twice as likely to have the condition as men. Additionally, people who have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia can include:

  • Pain and stiffness all over the body.
  • Fatigue and tiredness.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration.
  • Headaches, including migraines.
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat and not all doctors are familiar with the condition so it is important to find one who is. Currently, only three medications — duloxetine, milnacipran, and pregabalin — are approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia.

Complementary therapies, including massage, physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, and acupuncture may benefit some patients, as well.

Lady Gaga tweeted about her own experience working through the pain.

“Thought ice helped #Fibromyalgia. I was wrong & making it worse. Warm/Heat is better. Electric Heated Blanket, Infrared Sauna, Epsom Baths,” she said in Twitter.

The singer also said she hopes to inspire more conversation about the condition.

In response to her announcement of her condition, one fan responded: “It’s incredible how just this one tweet has created a discussion about fibromyalgia and chronic pain and is allowing many to open up.”

In reply, Lady Gaga wrote: “I am praying that more and more people come forward and we can all share what helps/hurts so we can help each other.”


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