Can fibromyalgia cause fatigue?

In today's world many people complain of fatigue; however, the fatigue of fibromyalgia (FM) is much more than being tired after a particularly busy day or after a sleepless night. The fatigue of FM is an all-encompassing exhaustion that can interfere with occupational, personal, social or educational activities. Symptoms include profound exhaustion and poor stamina.
Several conditions can cause fatigue. The hallmark of fibromyalgia is pain. The current thinking is that fibromyalgia is a disorder where the brain and spinal cord have lowered the threshold and tolerance for pain. Most experts agree that sleep disturbance plays a significant role in this process.

For example, people without fibromyalgia who pull an "all-nighter" for even one night tend to have body aches the next day. Those symptoms usually get better with sleep. People with fibromyalgia generally have problems with their sleep on a daily basis. This may be a contributing factor to their widespread pain.
Both lack of sleep and chronic pain can lead to fatigue.
Most people with fibromyalgia feel tired or fatigued. Feeling that you are out of energy is in part due to increased levels of pain. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include sleeplessness, which can add to the fatigue.

If you are experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms that are affecting your quality of life or fatigue levels that affect your productivity, talk to your doctor. Treatment options are available to help with your symptoms.

A healthy lifestyle can also reduce the level of fatigue that you feel.Try to eat a balanced diet full of whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables. Combine healthy eating with regular exercise. Exercise is a vital part of fibromyalgia treatment; it gives you energy and lessens fatigue.

Good sleep is another important piece of the puzzle. Establish regular times to go to bed and to wake up. You will find that you are more refreshed and less fatigued.

Besides adopting healthy habits, continue to learn about managing the fatigue that can come with fibromyalgia. Excellent resources are available to help you. If you need help finding additional information, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Fibromyalgia causes fatigue by degrading the quality of your sleep. Sleep studies show that people with fibromyalgia have abnormal sleep patterns. Their brain waves resemble both waking and sleeping states. The fancy term for it is "alpha NREM sleep." This mixed kind of sleep doesn't really restore you. You wake up fatigued.

One patient survey found it is the second-most bothersome symptom, after pain. Medications that treat fibromyalgia pain often reduce fatigue, which helps. Talk to your doctor about ways to improve the quality of your sleep. And practice good sleep hygiene, like going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time each morning (including weekends). Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol after late afternoon and be sure to exercise but not within 3 hours of bedtime. Some researchers are looking at continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, which are used for sleep apnea, to help people with fibromyalgia get better-quality sleep.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.