What are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Since determining what fibromyalgia is, which seems to be an undetermined Chronic Pain Disorder or ‘Central Sensitisation Syndrome’, and a type of illness that it is as a ‘Chronic Illness’, which can involve many symptoms such as ‘widespread musculoskeletal pain’, accompanied by ‘fatigue’, ‘sleep’, ‘memory’ and ‘mood’ issues. We can now begin to look more closely at the varying symptoms that make it such a difficult illness to diagnose.
The varied symptoms can be different from one patient to the next and also vary in intensity, and severity, making Fibro a chronic illness in many cases with some of the symptoms being illnesses in their own right. Although it is known predominantly as a ‘secondary’ health condition to some other ‘primary’ illness, it can be a primary condition for some people and it doesn’t just affect women as a lot of early literature portrays, it does indeed also affect men too!
The list of symptoms here may be missing a few but it gives you the ones that are believed to be connected to fibromyalgia in accordance to many reputed health information resources such as the ones listed on this post. If you have any symptoms that you think should be listed please get in touch so that I can take a look and add if it should be on the list. Thank you for reading.
What are the common symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Widespread (chronic) Pain – felt throughout your body, but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck. The pain is likely to be continuous, although it may be better or more severe at different times.
Fatigue – (extreme tiredness). This can range from a mild, tired feeling to the exhaustion often experienced during a flu-like illness.
Severe fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain you of all your energy. If this occurs, you may feel too tired to do anything at all
Sleep Disturbance – Tiredness from lack of sleep and poor sleep patterns is very common, and is sometimes severe enough to be more distressing than the pain itself.
You may wake feeling exhausted and fatigued. Many people feel worst first thing in the morning, but improve by the afternoon. Even a small amount of activity may make you tired. The tiredness may cause you to have poor concentration and contribute to ‘Brain Fog’.
Hypersensitivities – Fibromyalgia can make you extremely sensitive to pain all over your body, and you may find that even the slightest touch is painful. If you hurt yourself – for example, if you stub your toe – the pain may continue for much longer than it normally would.
You may hear the condition described in the following medical terms:
Hyperalgesia – when you are extremely sensitive to pain & your pain senses are heightened more than normal.
Allodynia – when you feel pain from something that should not be painful at all, such as a very light touch such as fabric against the skin for example.
You may also be sensitive to things such as perfumes (chemical senstivities), smoke, certain foods and bright lights (photophobia). Being exposed to something you are sensitive to can cause your other fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up.
Stiffness and aching – The stiffness may be most severe when you have been in the same position for a long period of time – for example, when you first wake up in the morning.
Cognitive Dysfunction – BRAIN FOG – Fogginess
Trouble remembering and learning new things including problems with attention and concentration & slowed or confused speech.
Depression &/or Anxiety – constantly feeling low, feeling hopeless and helpless & losing interest in the things you usually enjoy. Depression and/or Anxiety can also be viewed as reasons for why Fibromyalgia is being classed today as an Invisible illness.
Headaches/Migraines – Can be very debilitating for many fibro sufferers who also find them very difficult to get under control.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – This appears to be a commom problem with fibromyalgia patients
Migraine headaches and Fibromyalgia
“One of the more common symptoms that accompany fibromyalgia is headaches. Along with muscle tension headaches, those caused by neck and back muscles that just won’t relax, there are migraine headaches – the kind that can flatten a person. It is very interesting to note the similarities between migraines and fibromyalgia. As we look at the two in tandem, you will be able to see may points where symptoms, causes and treatments overlap. Many people who are successfully treated for migraine headaches find their fibromyalgia symptoms abate and improve.”
This excerpt is taken from www.fibromyalgia-symptoms.org click the link to read more…
Menorrhagia – Heavy Periods
Dysmenorrhoea – Period Pain
Other, ‘not-so’ common, or ‘other possible’, symptoms may include:
Dizziness and clumsiness including – poor balance and co-ordination as well as poor hand-eye co-ordination.
Feeling too hot or too cold – this is because you’re not able to regulate your body temperature properly (Another hypersensitivity), could also be a sign of Reynauld’s, or an autonomous nervous system dysfunction, hypothyroidism or a number of other chronic disorders.
Restless legs syndrome – (RLS) an overwhelming urge to move your legs and discomfort, it can disrupt sleep patterns and cause irritability between sleeping partners because their sleep patterns often become disrupted as well. Disrupted sleep patterns can lead to chronic fatigue, or even insomnia.
Paraesthesia – Tingling, numbness, prickling or burning sensations in your hands and feet. A good explanation via the link below
Costochondritis – Causes pain around the breastbone and ribcage which can cause very painful episodes of limited mobility, ie: inability to use upper body much due to movement enhancing the pain!
Poster via Dear Fibromyalgia Online Facebook community support group ©
See more at some of my fave Fibromyalgia Medical Info HOTSPOTS:
American College of Rheumatology
Fibromyalgia Action UK (FMAUK)
National Fibromyalgia Association
National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
FM Aware Magazine (subscription is a possibility)
Arthritis Research UK
Please note: content is subject to change.
Please remember that this post has not been composed by a medical professional, if you suspect any health issues please contact your doctor for advice.
Many thanks for reading
Header image was composed by Fluffmeister Campaign Arts
Updated May 2017, Updated October 2019
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