Fibromyalgia is a common painful medical condition. It causes long-term and wide-spread body pain. Additionally, it causes tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons and soft tissues. The severity of fibromyalgia symptoms, however, varies from person to person. Quite often, symptoms disappear and then return. (1)
Over 6 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia. 90 percent of them are women. Early symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread pain, but long-term sufferers often also see symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and depression. (2)
Here are some other fibromyalgia symptoms you should know about:
Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia have reported headache as a symptom. (3)
2. Sleep Disorders
3. Stomach Pain
This goes beyond mere pain. It’s a myriad of stomach issues. Constipation, diarrhea, frequent abdominal pain and bloating, abdominal gas, and nausea are commonly found in roughly 40 to 70 percent of fibromyalgia patients. (5)
Many people suffering from fibromyalgia also suffer from anxiety. This could be anxiety due to a disease that is difficult to understand or treat or because the body creates anxiety in the brain due to the constant pain a person can experience. No matter the reason, it is important to take this symptom seriously.
5. Fibro Fog
Fibro fog, a commonly used term, refers to the various cognitive issues that come with fibromyalgia. It involves the impairment of memory, ability to focus, and ability to concentrate on mental tasks. (6)
6. Stiffness and Tingling
Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia wake with stiffness. They also experience numbness or tingling in extremities. (7)
7. Sensitivity to External Stimuli
This is another one of the early symptoms of fibromyalgia. It includes allodynia, which is spontaneous pain and discomfort. It’s triggered by such things as bed sheets, a cool breeze, or even a pair of socks. (8) This sensitivity also includes a heightened sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights and temperature. (9)
How to Diagnose Fibromyalgia
If you or someone you love has fibromyalgia, you may have Googled, “Fibromyalgia symptoms tender points.” It’s one of the most iconic indicators of fibromyalgia.
When you see your doctor for fibromyalgia, they may conduct a physical “tender point” examination. This means pressing 18 specific points to measure pain and tenderness. These points include neck, chest, arms, legs near the knee, at the waist and just below the buttocks. (10)
What Causes Fibromyalgia Symptoms
What causes fibromyalgia is unknown. However, research has shown that fibromyalgia may actually amplify pain by affecting the way the brain processes pain signals. (11)
While a definitive cause for fibro is unknown, there are possible factors involved. What causes fibromyalgia might be linked to genetics, allergies, viruses, hormonal imbalances and poor digestion (12). Other factors include candida overgrowth(13), stress, PTSD, spinal misalignments, and neurotransmitter deficiencies. (14)
Fibromyalgia Symptoms in Men
While fibromyalgia is more common in women, men suffer from the condition as well. Certain types of viral infections, traumas, and stress can trigger fibro symptoms in men. However, in some cases, it hits with no warning.
Fibromyalgia treatments include NSAIDS, anti-seizure drugs, and antidepressants. However, these medications don’t cure the disease. Furthermore, them can cause potentially serious side effects. (16) If you prefer a more natural treatments, proper diet and avoiding gluten may also help reduce symptoms. (17)