43 Fibromyalgia Symptoms – Anyone with muscle pain should read this

This article was written by Julie Hambleton, fitness and nutrition expert and co-founder of the Taste Archives. 

 

In the United States, between three and six million people, or one in fifty, suffer from fibromyalgia, a debilitating syndrome characterized by pain experienced throughout the body with no obvious cause. Although people often don’t get better with time, it is often something they will have to deal with throughout their lives. (1)

If you have chronic muscle pain however, it does not necessarily mean that you have fibromyalgia. If you’re concerned that you might have fibromyalgia, it’s important to note that there are  many  other symptoms that accompany muscle pain. Take a look at the signs and symptoms below to get a better understanding. (1)

fibromyalgia symptoms

If you find that your muscles are constantly sore with no obvious external causes, have a read through this list of symptoms to help you determine if you might have fibromyalgia.

It is unlikely that  all  the symptoms will coincide, but if most of them resonate with you, then take your concerns to your doctor who will be able to rule out all other causes first. (2)

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The muscles and tissues of the body

  1. Muscle spasms
  2. morning stiffness
  3. Swelling
  4. Mild to severe pain that can move to different parts of the body
  5. Tender and lumpy breasts (fibrocystic breasts, as an overlap condition)

trouble sleeping

  1. Fatigue
  2. gnash teeth
  3. muscle spasms, even while sleeping
  4. Having the sensation of falling during sleep (“dream begins”)
  5. Difficulty sleeping / broken sleep pattern, making you feel tired and lethargic each morning instead of refreshed.

Allergies and Sinus Problems

  1. Ringing in the ears
  2. thick mucus
  3. itchy ears and ear pain
  4. Runny nose and postnasal drip
  5. Allergies, sensitivity to molds and yeasts
  6. Difficulty breathing

stomach and digestion problems

  1. Bloating, nausea, abdominal cramps, and pelvic pain
  2. frequent urination (whenever you have to urinate, get up every night, often more than once)
  3. IBS

Sensory Problems and Sensitivity

  1. Sensitive to odors, light, noise, temperature, pressure, and weather changes.
  2. Difficulty driving at night and seeing in low light conditions
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cognitive difficulties

  1. Poor coordination and balance
  2. the difficulties of direction and the recognition of a familiar environment
  3. Zone out often, difficulties concentrating, short-term memory, and differentiating between certain shades of color.
  4. Burning or tingling in the upper extremities
  5. Language disorders and difficulty speaking familiar words

reproductive problems

  1. loss of libido
  2. Impotence
  3. PMS and other menstrual problems

Heart problems

  1. irregular heartbeat
  2. valve problems
  3. heart attack-like pain

Hair, skin and nails

  1. excessively-fluted nails or nails that are curved under
  2. Skin that bruises or scars easily or appears mottled
  3. Hair loss

Mental Health Symptoms

  1. Anxiety, depression, panic attacks
  2. Mood swings and unexplained irritability

other symptoms

  1. Family history
  2. unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  3. Carbohydrates and chocolate cravings
  4. Headaches and migraines
  5. vision changes
  6. the sweats

Remember that all of these signs and symptoms are non-specific, meaning they may be caused by or signify another condition, or they could be coincidental and mean nothing at all. For example, just because you experience PMS, are occasionally moody, have cravings, or experience migraines, does not mean that you have fibromyalgia. Again, talk to your doctor before jumping to any conclusions. (1, 2, 3)

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Unfortunately, fibromyalgia can be confused with other conditions, and there are no specific tests that can give one hundred percent sure diagnoses, making it difficult to diagnose at all. (3)

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First, you have to meet specific criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology to receive a fibromyalgia diagnosis. These criteria are (3):

  • widespread pain that has been present for at least 3 months in all four quadrants of the body
  • 11 of 18 tender points, with pain felt when palpated at those points
  • Negative results for any other disease in any of the diagnostic tests performed

Because there is no single test that can determine if a person has fibromyalgia, doctors use a combination of diagnostic tests to help rule out other conditions and make a strong case for the disease. The tests that can be expected to undergo are (3):

  • Complete blood count
  • rheumatoid factor
  • Antinuclear antibody (ANA)
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
  • thyroid function tests
  • X-rays
  • RM
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