Although 80 to 90 percent of fibromyalgia diagnoses are women, that still leaves about 1.5 million men in the United States who are affected. They are the forgotten minority, if you will. I'd like to take some time here to look at a few of the issues that affect men. Just like women, men must experience pain for at least three months with no other known cause. Although men, for the most part, experience milder symptoms than their female counterparts, they can just as easily experience more debilitating pain and other symptoms. I'm going out on a limb here and speculating that men are less likely to go to the doctor with their complaints. Societal pressure to just suck it up and keep going may result in taking longer to get a proper diagnosis. They also need to consider their jobs and what potential loss of income would do to them, as single individuals or as family men. Part of me wonders if the disparity between the number of women compared to the number of men diagnosed might have more to do with who goes to the doctor more frequently. If men are generally expected to provide for their families, once they've been diagnosed with FM, they may have to go to part-time, or even lose their jobs. That can make them feel like failures. The stress could exacerbate their symptoms and potentially cause a downward spiral. Some tips from the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association are: 1. Don't push yourself beyond your current physical capabilities. 2. Set short-term goals that are realistic and can be done on a daily basis. 3. Be honest in expressing your pain as well as your fears. 4. Connect with others who share your same concerns, be it online or in a local support group. 5. Accept that change doesn't need to be something seen as negative.