There are a lot of different medical conditions that can mimic the effects of fibromyalgia. The chronic fatigue and pain all over the body are also the signs of other conditions that you might not have considered. And when you keep in mind that getting an accurate diagnosis for fibromyalgia can sometimes be difficult, it’s easy to see why you might want to look into some other possibilities.
So what are some other conditions that can lead to fibromyalgia? Here are seven to consider.
Medical Conditions Like Fibromyalgia
Lupus is an autoimmune condition, which means it’s caused by your body’s immune system attacking your tissue. As a result, lupus causes chronic fatigue and muscle pain. This can produce symptoms very similar to those of fibromyalgia.
The most obvious sign of lupus is the distinctive malar, or “butterfly” rash. It’s a portion of scaly skin that extends from one side of the face to another. But if not everyone has this rash. So it’s possible to have lupus and not be aware of it.
Luckily, you can get a test of your blood to determine if you have it or not.
Arthritis causes painful swelling of the joints. This is slightly different from fibromyalgia which causes pain in 18 specific points of the body. But if you have a specific form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, it can be difficult to distinguish from fibromyalgia.
Like lupus, RA is an autoimmune condition which causes widespread pain and fatigue. And these symptoms can mimic fibromyalgia.
3. Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sjogren’s syndrome is another autoimmune condition. Like lupus, it causes widespread fatigue and pain that can make it difficult to tell apart from fibromyalgia. But it also seems to affect the moisture producing glands in the mouth and eyes. Over time, it damages these tissues resulting in swollen glands, a dry mouth, and chronically dry eyes that can be very painful.
You can get a test for elevated antibodies in the blood to determine if you’re suffering from fibromyalgia or Sjogren’s.
4. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that causes extreme fatigue, regardless of how much sleep you get. It’s different from a condition like narcolepsy, which causes you to fall asleep frequently. It’s more of a constant feeling of exhaustion that you can’t really solve by sleeping.
This is similar to the fatigue caused by fibromyalgia. We don’t know what causes CFS, similar to how we don’t know the cause of fibromyalgia.
Hyperthyroidism is a disorder affecting the thyroid gland. The thyroid produces too much of a certain hormone, which can lead to a variety of health complications. It can cause anxiety, depression, or rapid weight gain. But it can also cause chronic fatigue and sleep problems.
These symptoms are similar to fibromyalgia, which can make it hard to distinguish between the disorders.
6. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition where the airway collapses during sleep. As a result, it affects your ability to breathe. That makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep, which leads to chronic fatigue. In addition, sleep apnea is actually very common among people with fibromyalgia.
So it’s possible that you might actually have both. Either way, if you do suffer from sleep apnea, you should see a doctor. They can arrange a sleep study that will determine how severe it is. And they can provide you with a CPAP machine to help manage it.
7. Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected tick. It’s a bacterial infection, and with an early dose of antibiotics, it is completely curable. But, if the condition isn’t treated soon enough, it can progress to the chronic stage. In the chronic stage, it causes chronic fatigue and muscle pain spread throughout the body. In addition, it can cause mental fog and forgetfulness similar to fibromyalgia.
It’s important to make sure that you practice good tick-safety practices when going outside during the summer. Look out for a distinctive bullseye pattern rash around the bite, which is a tell-tale sign of Lyme disease. Early treatment is vital when it comes to Lyme disease.
For any condition that is similar to fibromyalgia, it’s important to look out for the symptoms and make sure you know the difference between these conditions and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by pain in 18 specific points, which is the easiest way to differentiate it from other conditions.
So, have you ever been misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia? What happened? What disease did you end up finding out you had? What did you do about it? Let us know in the comments.