In Five Foot Two, her new documentary on Netflix, Lady Gaga discusses what it’s like living with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic and painful illness, and Lady Gaga has set out to raise awareness and connect people who have it, as stated in her recent tweet.
Her announcement has led many people to ask: What is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is often misunderstood, and can be hard to diagnose. While there currently is no cure, symptoms can be reduced through a combination of medication, exercise, stress management and healthy lifestyle habits.
Common symptoms of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is associated with feeling frequent body aches. Here are some of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia:
- Muscle pain, burning, twitching or tightness
- Low pain threshold or tender points
- Draining fatigue
- Trouble concentrating and remembering, referred to as “fibro fog”
- Insomnia or not being able to sleep at night
- Feeling nervous, worried or depressed
Who gets fibromyalgia?
Doctors still aren’t sure what specifically causes fibromyalgia, but many believe that it has to do with how the brain communicates pain with the body. It most likely occurs in women, especially those with mood disorders, arthritis or some form of PTSD. Additionally, not exercising increases one’s risk for developing fibromyalgia.
Lady Gaga raises awareness about fibromyalgia
In her documentary, Lady Gaga seeks to raise awareness and understanding about this painful condition.
“It was basically hard on a fundamental human level to be near someone who was experiencing pain like that and knowing that there is nothing you can do,” said director Chris Moukarbel about working with Lady Gaga on the film.
Lady Gaga’s fibromyalgia pain became so intense that she actually had to cancel her European tour that had been scheduled to start this month. To learn more about her personal experience with fibromyalgia, watch Five Foot Two, now available on Netflix.