Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

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    The pain of fibromyalgia (FM) is profound, chronic and widespread. It can migrate to all parts of the body and vary in intensity. FM pain has been described as stabbing and shooting pain, with deep muscular aching, throbbing and twitching. Neurological complaints such as numbness, tingling and burning in the extremities are often present and add to the discomfort of the person with fibromyalgia. The severity of the pain and stiffness is often worse in the morning. Aggravating factors that affect pain include cold/humid weather, non-restorative sleep, physical and mental fatigue, excessive physical activity, physical inactivity, anxiety and stress.
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    If you ask any person with fibromyalgia (FM) what fibromyalgia is, their response would be pain; from the top of their head to the end of their toes. It's pain that "waxes and wanes" from day to day, and persists even with the use of scientifically accepted medical treatments. The pain experience is described as deep muscular aching, shooting, throbbing, stabbing, pounding and at times it is unbearable. People with FM do not sleep well, waking up feeling like they have been hit by a "Mack truck," with morning stiffness or spasticity that makes it difficult to move. Repetitive movement seems to accentuate the pain and forces many people with FM to severely limit their activities, including exercise routines. This lack of exercise results in people becoming physically unfit, causing their FM symptoms to become more severe. The other major complaint is fatigue so severe that people have a difficult time performing everyday tasks, enjoying hobbies, staying employed or taking part in their children's activities. People may feel as though their arms and legs are weighed down by cement and their bodies may feel so drained of energy that every task is a major effort.
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    ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    Muscle pain is the symptom that generally is complaint that fibromyalgia patients initially report to their doctor. However, the three primary symptoms of FM are:

    1. Body-wide pain

    2. Non-restful sleep, regardless of the number of hours

    3. Cognitive decline

    There are symptoms you may have, but they are not primary to fibromyalgia, instead, they can be related to an overlapping condition. So, be sure to discuss all your symptoms with your doctor, particularly if it is something new for you.

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    ADawn Marcus, Neurology, answered
    Be sure your doctor understands your full range of fibromyalgia symptoms. Although many, most, or all of them may be part of your fibromyalgia, many of the same difficulties can occur with other health conditions.

    It's important to discuss each of the symptoms you experience with your doctor, for two reasons. First, although each of these symptoms is common in fibromyalgia, each can also occur as the result of other medical conditions. Your doctor may refer to these symptoms as non-specific, meaning that you can experience them with fibromyalgia, as well as with a wide variety of other health conditions. Therefore, it's important to make sure you don't have another illness before treating your symptoms as part of fibromyalgia. Second, your doctor will want to tailor your individual fibromyalgia treatment to target your most severe symptoms. Some treatments help a broad range of fibromyalgia symptoms; others are more effective for individual symptoms.
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    ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    The short answer is yes. However, it will take some work on your part. 

    Identifying aggravating factors is a must. These can include things such as too much, too little activity, or the wrong kind, identifying and treating other conditions that cluster with fibromyalgia, not managing stress, not managing sleep disorders, and evaluating your medications.

    When we know the exact cause, biomarkers are developed, and more research conducted, then we can pave a way toward a cure. Until then, symptom management is necessary in an effort to decrease the amount of stress put on the brain, which we know is dysfunctional in the way it receives and dispatches messages to other organs and parts of the body. 

    In healing and hope, Celeste

    All blogs, posts and answers are not meant to replace medical advice.

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    ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    Tracking symptoms in general is a good thing to do. It is possible that not all of your symptoms are directly related to fibromyalgia. They could be attributed to one of the conditions that seem to occur more frequently with fibromyalgia than other disorders.  Knowing which symptoms belong to which disorder is something you should discuss with your doctor.

    Conditions that frequently overlap with fibromyalgia are: severe headache, chronic fatigue syndrome, myofascial pain syndrome, Raynaud’s, hypothyroidism, restless leg syndrome, TMJ, teeth grinding, myofascial pain syndrome, allergy, irritable bowel or bladder syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, effects on the autonomic nervous system, and other rheumatological conditions or autoimmune disorders.

    Once you track symptoms, you can start to identify what is aggravating them. 

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    ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered
    The presence of jaw pain is now being considered in the widespread pain index (WPI) for the new proposed diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia.

    Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) most popularly known as TMJ, and bruxism (teeth grinding) are two common sources of jaw pain, and both can be perpetuators of headaches, which is part of the symptoms severity score in the proposed criteria. Both can be attributed to the presence of myofascial trigger points.
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    ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered
    Disordered sleep, meaning that the normal cycles of sleep are not present, not maintaining sleep, and delayed sleep onset have been consistently reported by fibromyalgia (FM) and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

    There are other co-existing sleep-related conditions that seem to cluster with both FM and ME/CFS, such as sleep apnea, teeth grinding (bruxism), periodic limb movement (PLM), TMJ, and sleep starts.
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    The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from one person to another. The hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic, body-wide pain. Many other symptoms are associated with fibromyalgia, and no two patients have precisely the same combination. Other common symptoms include:

    • fatigue
    • insomnia
    • poor concentration and attention span
    • irritable bowel syndrome
    • sensitivity to bright lights, loud noises, and temperature changes
    • restless leg syndrome
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    The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from one person to another. The hallmark   symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic, body-wide pain. Many other symptoms are associated with fibromyalgia, and no two patients have precisely the same combination. Other common symptoms include:

    • fatigue
    • insomnia
    • poor concentration and attention span
    • irritable bowel syndrome
    • sensitivity to bright lights, loud noises, and temperature changes
    • restless leg syndrome
    View All 2 Answers