Fibromyalgia Complications

What are possible complications for fibromyalgia?

A Answers (3)

  • ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    The greatest risk for complications in fibromyalgia is misdiagnosis, not identifying and treating the comorbid conditions in fibromyalgia, or drug interactions that can occur with other medications, and over the counter drugs, herbs and supplements.

    The many comorbid conditions with FM have specific treatments. For instance, there is a higher incidence of hypothyroidism, and the medications used to treat FM will not treat hypothyroidism.

    Thought not considered a comorbid condition with FM, yet, the coexistance of chronic myofascial pain from myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) ooccur frequently, according the extensive research. The treatments for MTrPs require hands on therapy, and when not considered, the pain can be a great complication in the life of a patient with FM. Not only are they a great source of our pain, they are peripheral pain generators that keep the FM brain hyper sensitized.

    Talk with your doctor about known comorbid and coexisting conditions. There are many helpful tools to help you understand the many conditions in chapter two of our book , “Communicating Your Healthcare Needs,” including  Relating Your Symptoms and Health History, Identifying Aggravating and Alleviating Factors, Coexisting Conditions, Communicating with Your Physician and Other Health Care Providers, a Summary Exercise: Clear Expressions , Medication Log, Symptom Inventory Sheet, Anatomical Diagram of Pain, and Health History Log.

    All blogs, posts and answers are based on the work in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD. 2010, Vermont: Healing Arts press

    Available at Inner Traditions Bear and Company, publisher, and all major outlets.;jsessionid=84DFDF90E93A65CE4B1D02D54D979C9E?action=displayDetail&id=3723&searchString=978-1-59477-323-5


  • General: Fibromyalgia is not a progressive disease and generally does not lead to other conditions or diseases. It may, however, lead to pain and lack of sleep. These problems may disrupt family or work relationships and performance, leading to frustration and depression. Other conditions that may occur in fibromyalgia patients include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, recurrent migraine or tension-type headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

    Depression: Many fibromyalgia patients suffer from depression when the condition interferes significantly with the patients' lifestyles, including causing pain. Individuals and members of their family should consult their healthcare providers if they experience feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, loss of pleasure, apathy, and difficulty functioning for two weeks or longer with no known underlying cause. These may be signs of depression.

    Fatigue and sleep disturbances: Fibromyalgia patients often do not feel rested, even after getting sufficient sleep. It is possible that these patients are unable to reach the deep restorative stage of sleep known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Sleep and fatigue disorders associated with fibromyalgia include: restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Other: Other complications of fibromyalgia may include: premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and painful periods, chest pain, morning stiffness, cognitive or memory impairment, numbness and tingling sensations, muscle twitching, difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, swollen hands and feet, skin sensitivities, dry eyes and mouth, palpitations, dizziness, reduced exercise tolerance, and impaired coordination. Fibromyalgia patients are often sensitive to odors, loud noises, bright lights, and sometimes even the medications they are prescribed.

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  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    As if coping with pain and other common fibromyalgia symptoms weren't bad enough, people with fibromyalgia often develop complications, such as:
    • restless leg syndrome, in which you feel pain, tingling, and other unpleasant sensations in the lower limbs, which are only relieved by movement
    • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a gastrointestinal condition that causes abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits (such as alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation)
    The medications your doctor prescribes for pain and other common symptoms of fibromyalgia may not bring relief for complications such as restless leg syndrome or IBS. If you develop these or other complications, tell your doctor soon.
    Helpful? 3 people found this helpful.
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