10 Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is where you basically feel pain and tenderness in the muscles throughout your body. It intensifies painful sensations because of how your brain processes pain signals.
Fibromyalgia is a very common condition, with more than 3 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Medications, therapy, exercise, and reducing stress can help control symptoms.
Symptom 1: Trouble Sleeping
Are you tired all the time? Can you never get enough sleep? Do you wake up tired? Snooze, snooze, snooze.
Fibromyalgia can definitely deprive you of much-needed rest. Sleep is often disrupted by the pain you experience, and you are at risk of developing other sleep disorders, including restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
Symptom 2: Memory Problems
Do you have trouble with your memory? Do you forget things? Is it difficult to concentrate?
You are probably dealing with what is called, "fibro fog," which impairs your ability to focus, pay attention, and concentrate.
Symptom 3: Frequent Headaches
Those who have fibromyalgia tend to have more headaches, as well. The two tend to commonly occur together.
According to Help For Headaches, “A study of about 100 patients with transformed migraine showed fibromyalgia in 36% of the migraine sufferers. Those patients with both fibromyalgia and headaches experienced both greater pain severity and more depression. Another study compared about 70 patients with fibromyalgia to those with chronic headache. About 35% of the fibromyalgia patients reported migraine or tension-type headache, while 42% of the headache patients had painful fibromyalgia tender points throughout their bodies. Similar to the other study, patients with both fibromyalgia and headache reported more pain, disability, and depression than patients with headache alone.”
Symptom 4: Numbness
Are your hands, feet, arms, or face numb? About 1 in 4 fibromyalgia patients have numbness.
Why? Possibly because of muscle spasms and stiffness that can lead to numbness when tense muscles press on and irritate your nerves.
Symptom 5: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
As if one condition was enough to have to deal with, fibromyalgia and IBS often happen together. As a result, you have cramping, abdominal pain, constipation, and other side effects.
According to everyday Health, “Fibromyalgia and IBS frequently co-exist in the same people. As many as 60 percent of people with IBS also have fibromyalgia, and up to 70 percent of people with fibromyalgia also have IBS.”
Symptom 6: Mood Swings
Do you feel anxious or nervous? Are you happy one minute, but depressed the next moment? Mood swings can be a part of fibromyalgia.
The same chemical imbalances in your brain that control mood swings may also impact your fibromyalgia. Also, the pain and fatigue you have from fibromyalgia could cause your mood swings.
Symptom 7: Pain
Pain associated with fibromyalgia is typically described as an endless, dull ache for the past several months on both sides of your body.
Most fibromyalgia patients have pain, especially in the muscles in their neck, abdomen, and back. The pain is chronic, drawn-out, sharp, and severe. Usually, the pain is worse during the night.
Symptom 8: Constipation/Gas
Many people with fibromyalgia complain of constipation, nausea, abdominal gas, and diarrhea.
According to NCBI, “…patients with fibromyalgia have a high prevalence of gastrointestinal complaints that should be carefully assessed. If the diagnosis of IBS is confirmed, appropriate treatment may improve patients' symptoms…”
Symptom 9: Nausea
Have you ever experienced morning sickness? Well, according to some, nausea from fibromyalgia is even worse. It can be daily or occur just once in a while.
To try and avoid nausea, stay away from caffeine, processed foods, and dairy products. Also, be aware of your environment and avoid bright lights and loud noises.
Symptom 10: Tingling
Do your hands and feet have a tingling sensation? Like pins and needles? Or, are they numb?
More than half of fibromyalgia patients experience tingling and numbness. Such sensations can last a few seconds or be constant.
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