“At what age do you get fibromyalgia?” It’s a question that’s actually harder to answer than you might have thought. The truth is that determining at what age do you get fibromyalgia is tough. And that’s because it varies so much from person to person.
See, there are a large number of different factors that determine at what age you get fibromyalgia. These include things like genetics, family history, trauma, and a history of having other diseases. But with that being said, there are a few broad trends we can look at to hopefully answer the question of “at what age do you get fibromyalgia?”
Let’s start by talking about some of the factors that influence how likely you are to get the disease and when.
Fibromyalgia Risk Factors
No one knows what causes fibromyalgia currently. But there are a few things that are known to influence how likely you are to develop fibromyalgia:
- Family history. Fibromyalgia seems to have a genetic component. This fact is evident due to the way that the disease seems to run in families. So if you have a relative, or multiple relatives, who have fibromyalgia, you are more likely to develop the disease yourself. At the same time, if your relatives seemed to develop the disease at a specific age, it can give you a clue as to at what age you might develop it.
- Physical trauma. We also know that physical trauma plays a role in determining whether someone develops fibromyalgia. And if you are involved in a serious accident or have a major surgery, your odds of getting fibromyalgia go up. And that also affects the age at which you develop it.
- Other diseases. Having already suffered from other diseases can actually increase your odds of developing fibromyalgia as well. Depression, for instance, is strongly linked with fibromyalgia. Because fibromyalgia is so poorly understood, it’s tough to say if these other conditions are actually causing patients to develop fibromyalgia or if people with these conditions are predisposed to fibromyalgia as well. But the effect seems to be the same either way.
If you have these risk factors, the odds of getting fibromyalgia increase significantly. That means of course, that someone with a significant number of those risk factors is more likely to develop fibromyalgia at an early age. But that’s not quite the same as answering the question “at what age do you get fibromyalgia?”
So let’s look specifically at that issue and how these risk factors tie into it.
At What Age Do You Get Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is different for everyone obviously. And no one can tell you when you are likely to develop fibromyalgia. But we can look at statistics to see if there is a certain age at which most people develop symptoms. And it turns out that there is.
According to the U.S. Department of Health’s Office on Women’s Health, most people who develop fibromyalgia do so in middle age. Of course, this can be anywhere between the ages of 30 and 50. That’s a huge range if you’re trying to narrow down an age when people are likely to develop fibromyalgia.
And there are many cases of people who developed fibromyalgia at much younger ages. In fact, children can even develop fibromyalgia. It’s estimated that anywhere between 1-7% of children under the age of 18 have fibromyalgia or a similar chronic pain condition. And roughly 25% of fibro patients begin reporting symptoms before they are 18.
But we can use this fact to make a general statement about when you are likely to develop fibromyalgia. If we take that range and pick a point in the middle, in this case, 45 years old, we can construct an average fibromyalgia patient profile.
And according to studies, the average time between when someone starts developing the disease and when they are diagnosed with it is 8-9 years. Using this fact, we can deduce that the average fibromyalgia patient started developing the disease at around 36-37 years old.
So at what age do you get fibromyalgia? Statistically, the most likely time is around 36-37 years old. But we have seen that this number can vary throughout a person’s lifespan. And certain risk factors can lead to developing fibromyalgia much earlier. At the same time, you could have all the risk factors and never develop fibro, or develop it much later in life.
The fact is, no one can tell you when you are likely to develop fibromyalgia, which is why it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and keep an eye out for them. Don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you think you are developing fibromyalgia. Early treatment can help you avoid unnecessary suffering.
But, you tell us. At what age did you develop fibromyalgia? How long have you lived with it? Are you currently fibro-free but worried that you might develop it?
Let us know in the comments.