People with fibromyalgia feel pain all over the body even when they are not ill or injured. ‘Fibromyalgia affects around seven times as many women as men,’ says Dr Suha Alhoubi, specialist obstetrician & gynecologist at Medcare Medical Centre — Al Rashidiya.

‘The exact cause is unknown, but it’s related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system processes pain messages.’

People with fibromyalgia have increased sensitivity to pain, muscle stiffness, fatigue (extreme tiredness), difficulty sleeping, and problems with mental processes, memory and concentration, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Treatments include a combination of medication and therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling and lifestyle changes. The doctor suggests not ignoring any symptom of the condition.