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Understanding Fibromyalgia Symptoms

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What are the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Title image for fibromyalgia symptoms.

The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) - Fibro

Fibromyalgia symptoms can cause considerable discomfort.

They can be complex. They change and move. They can come and go.

Fibromyalgia syndrome is still the label for chronic symptoms that affects millions of people worldwide.

Identifying the symptoms is the first stage to finding solutions.

There is still a lot of medical confusion about what it is, what causes it, and what fibromyalgia treatments work best.

It's very different to a broken bone that shows up on scanners.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary between individuals, but there are definite themes.

Here, we look at the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, including:

  1. Physical Pain
  2. Fatigue
  3. Insomnia
  4. Brain Fog
  5. Muscle Stiffness and Tenderness
  6. Mood Disorders
  7. IBS
  8. Secondary Symptoms

Let's find out more.

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Common Fibromyalgia Symptoms

1) Physical Pain

With fibromyalgia, people often experience widespread pain that affects various parts of the body. The medical world is still struggling to identify what causes the pain, why the pain is there, or how to release the pain. This pain is often described as a dull ache that persists for months and may fluctuate in intensity. Individuals with fibromyalgia may experience pain in specific tender points, including the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and knees. Moreover, the pain associated with fibromyalgia tends to be chronic and may worsen with physical activity, stress, or changes in weather.

2) Fatigue

Fatigue is another prevalent symptom of fibromyalgia, often described as an overwhelming and persistent tiredness that interferes with daily functioning. Despite getting adequate rest, individuals with fibromyalgia may wake up feeling unrefreshed and experience fatigue throughout the day. This fatigue can be debilitating and may contribute to difficulties in concentrating, completing tasks, and participating in physical activities.

3) Insomnia

Many individuals with fibromyalgia experience sleep disturbances, including difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or achieving restorative sleep. Sleep disturbances can exacerbate fatigue and pain symptoms, creating a vicious cycle that further impairs overall well-being. Moreover, the lack of restorative sleep can impact mood, cognitive function, and physical health, making it essential to address sleep issues in fibromyalgia management.

4) Brain Fog

More technically, we may call this "Cognitive Dysfunction", although it's also oftern referred to as "fibro fog". This cognitive dysfunction may manifest as memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and impaired decision-making skills. Fibro fog can significantly impact work, school, and social activities, leading to frustration and decreased productivity. While the exact mechanisms underlying fibro fog remain unclear, it is believed to result from a combination of factors, including sleep disturbances, pain, and psychological distress.

5) Muscle Stiffness and Tenderness

Individuals with fibromyalgia often experience muscle stiffness and tenderness, particularly upon waking or after prolonged periods of inactivity. These symptoms may resemble those of arthritis but typically do not involve joint inflammation or damage. Muscle stiffness and tenderness can contribute to reduced flexibility, decreased range of motion, and increased susceptibility to injury, highlighting the importance of gentle stretching and regular physical activity in fibromyalgia management.

6) Mood Disorders

Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. The chronic pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances characteristic of fibromyalgia can take a toll on mental health, leading to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and irritability. Conversely, mood disorders can also exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms, creating a complex interplay between physical and emotional well-being. It is essential for individuals with fibromyalgia to receive comprehensive care that addresses both their physical and mental health needs.

7) IBS

People with fibromyalgia may experience issues going to the toilet to frequently or infreqently, as suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) on top of all the other problems. When this is related to specific events, such as going out, psychological IBS treatments may help came this symptom.

8) Secondary Symptoms

In addition to the primary symptoms mentioned above, fibromyalgia can manifest in various other ways, including headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as light, noise, and temperature changes.

Our Fibromyalgia Support Services

Are you struggling to get help for fibromyalgia?

We use advanced psychological treatments, to help with the symptoms, such as pain, traumatic memories, insomnia and IBS.

Of course, if you no longer have the symptoms, then you will be free from fibro.

We are here to help you make that change.

To learn more, visit our page about therapy for fibromyalgia treatment.

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