What We Discovered About Fibromyalgia from Lady Gaga?

The Queen of pop shares her fight against the chronic illness and how it has impacted her life

Lady Gaga, the sensational actress and iconic songwriter, had recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in September 2017. According to Mayo Clinic Health, Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder that causes chronic pain and amplifies pain sensations from the brain accompanied by fatigue, memory, and mood issues. At first, the doctors were unable to pinpoint her condition, but after many consultations with her doctors, they were able to confirm that Lady Gaga has Fibromyalgia. For several months Gaga was experiencing intense chronic pain that resulted in her to cancel a show in Montreal; a week later she postponed her remaining tour. The Born This Way pop star has been open to her fan about her Fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

Gaga shares in an emotional Instagram post I have always been honest about my physical and mental health struggles. Searching for years to get to the bottom on them… I will tell my story in more depth and plan to take this on strongly… I am a fighter.” 

Let’s focus on what we learned about the queen of pop and her story about Fibromyalgia.

1.) Lady Gaga’s Sever Chronic Pain a common symptom of Fibromyalgia

Chronic pain is one of the significant symptoms of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia affects nearly 5 million individuals in the United States, and 90% of cases are diagnosed in females, according to U.S government statistics. Ed Zimney, MD, explains that males can have fibromyalgia, but with few and, less intense symptoms compared to women.  

 

According to WebMD, “Your muscles may feel like they have been overworked or pulled…muscles can twitch, burn or ache with a deep stabbing pain.  Some patients with fibromyalgia have pain and aches around the joints in their neck, shoulders, back, and hips, which can make it difficult to sleep or exercise.”

 

In 2017, Gaga made a Netflix documentary,  Five Foot Two highlighting her chronic illness, paranoia, and anxiety to give her fans a raw glimpse into her life experiences. In the documentary, Gaga cries in her New York apartment, “it’s the whole right side of my body, it feels like there’s a rope from my toes all the way up my leg, my first rib, my shoulder, neck, head, then to my jaw and my face hurts…”  Later in the film expresses that she has been dealing with global pain since 2012. One of Gaga’s doctor performed a procedure called the trigger point injections, which decreased her chronic pain from her face through muscles injections. 

 

Despite Gaga’s chronic illness, she continues to embrace her individuality to empower others to speak their truth and to share their story.  Lady Gaga is able to connect with her fans through her music because it relatable to many individuals around the world.

 

“Chronic pain is no joke. It’s waking up not knowing how you are going to feel.” – Lady Gaga

2.) Fibromyalgia can Impact your Mental Health

In 2018, Lady Gaga opened up about her mental health at the SAG- AFTRA Foundation, a non-profit organization for literacy and educational programs for performing arts. In Gaga’s speech, she expresses her battles with mental health. 1 in 4 people experience a mental health crisis, and I am one of those people… mental health later morphed into physical chronic pain, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses, and debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal ideation and masochistic behavior.”  

 

According to WebMD, “Many studies link fibromyalgia and depression.  People with fibromyalgia are up to three times more likely to have depression… the stress from fibromyalgia’s pain and fatigue can cause anxiety, social isolation… It is essential to seek guidance and support from your healthcare provider, family, and friends to help manage your fibromyalgia. Life can be difficult, but never give up on yourself because we are in this together. Fibromyalgia is tough, but so are you!  As Gaga says, “I’m a fighter,” and we all can be fighters too. 

3.)Relaxation and Massages Can Help Relieve Symptoms

Although fibromyalgia is an “invisible disease”, many people are not aware of the severities an individual will experience.  According to MEDPageToday, many people with fibromyalgia have great success with alternative therapies, including “massage, movement therapies, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and various herbs and dietary supplements…”.  It is essential that individuals with fibromyalgia decrease stress and embrace relaxation practices to minimize pain.   A good practice for relaxation is to meditate or lay down for at least thirty minutes in a quiet area to allow your mind and body to be present.  There may be days where it is difficult to relax, but it is important to listen to your body and take a moment for yourself.

In the Netflix documentary, one way Gaga is able to relax and decrease stress is by getting multiple massages to help reduce chronic pain and manage her fibromyalgia symptoms.  Gaga is grateful for her supportive team and doctors that have helped her deal with her fibromyalgia journey.  Remember it is okay to take a step back, listen to your body, and relax.

4.) Healthy Lifestyle

Lady Gaga is a Fibromyalgia advocate who tries to bring awareness about chronic pain and mental health.  Some days Gaga may not always feel the best, but creating a life that has a balance and meaning allows her to keep fighting. According to Fibro Center, it explains lifestyle changes individuals may consider to help decrease pain such as exercising, (walking, stretching, swimming) sleeping (stay cool, stick to a route, nap if you need to), and dieting (fibromyalgia diet).  Every fibromyalgia case is different, but practicing a healthy lifestyle with consistency may help relieve your symptoms.  According to Verywellhealth, “Illness can make us feel afraid, insecure, hopeless, depressed, and bad about ourselves [practicing coping skills may]….change your outlook on things, and a lot of people need help making that adjustment”.   Lady Gaga continues to create inspirational music that transpires throughout the world regardless of her fibromyalgia; it has not stopped her ambition to live life to the fullest.

Behind every chronic illness,  is a warrior trying to find their way.” – LupaVita

Related Articles About Fibromyalgia

Simple Self Care for Fibro Warriors (2019).

Pacing with Fibromyalgia (2018).

 

Sources

Everyday Health: Ed Zimney, MD (2012).

Fibro Center (2016).

The Hollywood Reporter: Lady Gaga’s Full Speech at SAG-AFTRA Foundation (2018).

Mayo Clinic Health (2019).

MEDPage Today. Lady Gaga Music Icon…and Fibromyalgia (2018).

Netflix. Gaga :Five Foot Two (2017).

WebMD Articles about Fibromyalgia (2019).

Verywellhealth (2019).

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