What’s new: A new peer-reviewed study published early in the journal Arthritis Care & Research looked at the connection between self-harm and several rheumatological conditions. The results suggest that people with fibromyalgia are at a higher risk of self-harm while those who live with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis also have a higher risk.
- Researchers investigated rates of self-harm among those diagnosed with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis using data previously collected from patients in the U.K.
- Those with fibromyalgia were twice as likely to self-harm compared to those without the condition, while there was a significant but lower association of self-harm in those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- There was no connection between self-harm risk and ankylosing spondylitis in this study
- It’s important to note that there are often many factors that lead to self-harm, which this study didn’t take into account
Physicians need to be aware of the potential for self-harm in patients with rheumatological conditions, especially fibromyalgia, and offer appropriate support and management. — Sarfaroj Khan, Medscape
The Frontlines: Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that causes widespread muscle pain and fatigue, among other symptoms, and it’s often misunderstood, misdiagnosed or dismissed by medical professionals.
- There is no laboratory test to diagnose fibromyalgia, which can lead to many patients being misdiagnosed or having their symptoms labeled as “all in their head”
- Fibromyalgia most commonly affects women, with the risk being twice as high as it is for men
- Adults with fibromyalgia are over three times more likely to have clinical depression than adults without fibromyalgia. Depression also has a high association with self-injury
- There’s also a significant overlap between experiencing trauma and fibromyalgia — trauma is believed to be one of the things that can trigger the illness. Keep in mind, not everyone with fibromyalgia has experienced trauma