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What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

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Have you been feeling run down lately? Tired, achy, can’t concentrate, can’t sleep and you don’t even feel like… yourself. It’s like you caught the flu, but you don’t have a fever weirdly, but you’re not getting better either. So, just what is happening?

It’s possible that it could be Fibromyalgia, the hallmark of this chronic disorder is pain – everywhere. Researchers believe that Fibromyalgia makes people more sensitive to pain by affecting the way the brain and spinal cord process painful and non-painful signals. In short, you’ll naturally be a creature who’ll experience everything *cough* pain *cough* a little more than others.

But it’s not a life-threatening disorder either. Don’t give this guy too much credit – except for heightened sense of pain, fibromyalgia can’t do much. It isn’t even a progressive disorder, which means it won’t steadily worsen over time.

But you need to get yourself checked anyway because Fibromyalgia can increase your risk of depression threefold… so let’s see how to recognize Fibromyalgia among other types of pain.

Most Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia affects about 2 to 4% of the total population, and it’s more common among women than men. Symptoms of fibromyalgia can be obvious and as simple as it can get, but due to these symptoms overlapping with many other medical condition, it might take years for some people to get an accurate diagnosis.

You might have some of the common symptoms from this list, or one or two obscure symptoms. You might also notice some symptoms for a short period and go without symptoms for months and years. Or, unfortunately, you might live with extreme pain because you were not diagnosed accurately.

These are the most common fibromyalgia symptoms in females:

Fatigue and Tiredness

There’s tired, and then there’s fibromyalgia-tiredness that is very hard to recover from. You may find yourself spending entire days in your bed because it’s too much of a struggle to get up. But sleep won’t do you much good either, people with fibromyalgia often report that they wake up tired even after long periods of sleep.

Allodynia

One of the biggest giveaway that your pain is fibromyalgia related. People with allodynia experience extreme pain at stimulus that doesn’t normally provoke pain. For example: A feather touch or a paper lying on your arm could trigger sharp, shooting pains.

Morning stiffness

Everyone knows what morning stiffness feels like, but fibromyalgia takes it to an extreme. Every move from the bed to the bathroom hurts – as if you have arthritis – but you don’t! This stiffness lasts only for 15-20 minutes or so, but it can also last for an entire day at times.

Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

While the cause of this symptom is unclear, many people with fibromyalgia experience it. It may last a few seconds to minutes, or it may be constant.

Cognitive difficulties

Along with heightened sense of pain, many people with fibromyalgia experience difficulties with various cognitive processes. Difficulties include problem concentrating, memory loss and issues with thinking clearly. This symptom is often referred to as ‘Fibro Fog’

Sleep problems

Deep sleep is a forbidden fruit for people with fibromyalgia. They may be able to sleep for long periods of time, but sleep is always light and disturbed for them. Due to constant pain, their brain and body are constantly at war with themselves even during their sleep. As a result, they wake up tired and exhausted.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Almost 2 out of 3 people with fibromyalgia often have belly pain, bloating, gas trouble and nausea. They can also have diarrhea and constipation.

Mood disorders

Up to half the people with fibromyalgia suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder. Dealing with pain and being fatigued 24/7 isn’t an easy feat.

So, what to do when you notice these symptoms? Keep track of your signs and symptoms so you can bring this info to an appointment with your doctor. But at the end of the day, fibromyalgia is considered a ‘diagnosis of exclusion’ because there are no clinical tests, like a blood test, that can tell for certain that it’s fibromyalgia you have.

As a result, your doctor will take various tests to rule out other health issues and you will be diagnosed with fibromyalgia finally. So, keep note of the symptoms to make the process easier. Want to learn more about fibromyalgia? You know where to find us!

Frequently asked questions about Fibromyalgia:

1. What are the two most common symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Widespread pain and fatigue are the two most common symptoms of fibromyalgia in women and men.

2. Where is fibromyalgia pain usually felt?

Fibromyalgia related pain can happen anywhere on the body but there are certain hotspots where the pain strikes frequently. To name a few: Neck, shoulders, chest, elbows, hips, knees, upper back and lower back.

3. What can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms?

Stress and change in weather. Yes, you might think how can change in weather affect anything? Well, many women reported pain with changes in temperature and on hot, humid days. Another factor that can make fibromyalgia symptoms in women worsen is hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy.

4. Do people with fibromyalgia know they’re depressed?

Depression is a common symptom of fibromyalgia but not everybody with fibromyalgia necessarily must be depressed. Then again, the line between fibromyalgia and depression is extremely thin. The constant pain and fatigue from fibromyalgia can cause anxiety and social isolation; which can, in turn, result in depression.

5. What are the worst signs of fibromyalgia?

The worst signs are just the common symptoms of fibromyalgia turned up a notch. When the pain is constant, intense and severe enough to keep you at home from work, college and other activities, you are probably facing the worst of it and should see your doctor ASAP.

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