How does fibromyalgia affect the body?

Fibromyalgia affects the body in various ways. People with fibromyalgia experience chronic, widespread body pain. When diagnosing fibromyalgia, doctors  ask about pain in many different areas, including the neck, shoulders, chest, waist, hips, elbows and knees.

Fibromyalgia can have other significant effects on the body. Headaches are a common complaint. Many patients become sensitive to cold temperatures, bright lights, and loud noises.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Fibromyalgia   can leave you feeling like you had to box a middleweight champ with your   hands tied behind your back -- achy and exhausted. You may feel soreness or pain all over your body. Certain spots are usually tender, including the neck,   shoulders, upper back and chest, around the waistline, the knees, and elbows.   Headaches are common, too.

Fibromyalgia can affect your body in other ways, as well. You will probably feel stiff in the morning, though that wears off as the day goes on. Your hands and feet may feel numb. You may develop gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating or abdominal pain. Women often have painful menstrual periods. Fibromyalgia seems to affect the body from head to toe. Finding a doctor who understands the condition can help you manage these diverse symptoms.

People with fibromyalgia tell of going from doctor to doctor with symptoms of fatigue, even on arising.  They have specific tender points on the body that hurt to touch, or they may have pain all over, as well as disturbances in deep-level, restful sleep, accompanied by sadness or depression.  While people with fibromyalgia may have different manifestations of pain and fatigue, the symptoms are the result of fibromyalgia. It is thought that fibromyalgia may be the most common cause of widespread musculoskeletal pain.

Unlike arthritis, fibromyalgia doesn't cause inflammation, and while it may be painful, it doesn't cause any lasting damage either. The cause of the condition is unknown, and unfortunately, so is its affect on your body. However, researchers are working hard to change that. New studies have begun to shed light on the possibility that people with fibromyalgia may have higher levels of neurotransmitters in their brain that tell them when something is painful. As a result, their body signals pain when it is unnecessary. More research is needed to draw any definite conclusions.

Continue Learning about Physical Effects of Fibromyalgia

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.