10 Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is severe disorder that affects thousands of Americans. This condition is characterized by several symptoms, such as severe muscle pain, spasms, and tenderness. Besides severe symptoms, this disorder affects the way the brain processes pain. Some say that it magnifies the pain and causes debilitating consequences. Patients with Fibromyalgia also complain of fatigue and extreme exhaustion. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Fibromyalgia. However, there are several means of dealing with the symptoms. Doctors recommend stress reduction techniques and personalized medication routines. It is important for patients to be mindful of the triggers of their pain attacks. This chronic condition can be extremely difficult to get under control. However, many patients find the perfect routine for them to live a happy and productive life. How do you know if you are suffering from this chronic condition? You may experience some of these common Fibromyalgia symptoms. From constipation and nausea to muscle spasms and mood swings, Fibromyalgia can affect individuals in different ways. Each patient’s experience is different and the condition can manifest itself in a number of ways. If you find yourself suffering from any number of these signs, you should discuss them with your doctor. As a rule of thumb, most medical professionals wait for patients to experience widespread pain for at least three months before officially diagnosing the condition. Together, you can find a way to manage your health and keep debilitating symptoms at bay.

1. Muscle Pain

Muscle pain is one of the most commonly reported signs of this chronic condition. In fact, it is one of the most well-known symptoms that alert the patient to seek medical advice. While the condition can begin with mild muscle discomfort, it can eventually turn into severe muscle pain that can affect your daily life. Most patients explain that their pain centers around certain trigger points on their bodies. The most commonly reported areas of body pain are the shoulders, back of the head, chest, knees, pelvis, and elbows. Patients also report other sources of muscle pain, such as restless leg syndrome. This means that these areas of the body become extremely sensitive and painful. This unique pain is characterized by extreme tenderness and is usually extremely sensitive to pressure. Any type of slight touch or pressure can cause a patient to experience discomfort. Understandably, this is considered one of the most prominent and harsh signals of this chronic condition. Fortunately, thanks to medical advances, there are medications that can offer relief.

2. Constipation

Besides affecting muscles, patients can experience extreme bouts of constipation. Constipation can cause intestinal discomfort and affect your daily life. Bowel movements can become painful and infrequent. It can also manifest into more than just intestinal discomfort and stomachaches. Some patients report developing irritable bowel syndrome, which is characterized by sporadic intestinal discomfort and movements. While extremely inconvenient, this issue is an easily treated symptom. Doctors can recommend a routine laxative or suppository to help alleviate pain and prevent intestinal blockage. Also, a high fiber diet can also help patients find a bit of comfort to alleviate bowel disturbances.

3. Nausea

As with most intestinal issues, nausea is a commonly associated symptom. Whether the discomfort is caused by severe constipation or being aggravated by pain, this symptom is reported by those living with Fibromyalgia. According to the Mayo clinic, at least seventy percent of patients experience this issue daily. Some even explain that they begin feeling ill after a few minutes of activity. Others experience it after short simple bouts of standing. The nausea can even become extreme enough to cause blurred vision, sweating and other impairments. While some may seem as a common ailment can have devastating effects on sufferers. Avoiding strenuous activity and over the counter nausea medicine can offer a small bit of relief from patients dealing with this issue.

4. Fatigue

Any chronic condition can be exhausting, but patients with this particular condition causes extreme fatigue, even after the most mundane tasks. Standing for a few moments can even be the source of exhaustion. This is why some patients will eventually need a wheelchair or walker to help them get around. Fatigue can also be exacerbated by high levels of stress. While it is impossible to rid life of any and all stress, most patients should find a way to de-stress as much as possible. You may discover that exhaustion levels go up and down, depending on the condition’s flare-ups. Flare-ups cause this condition to be extremely unpredictable and hard to manage.

5. Muscle Spasms

Along with severe muscle discomfort, patients may also experience muscle spasms. These types of spasms can be mild or extremely severe. Tightness, twitching, and knotting can lead to extreme pain. While this symptom has not been medically connected to the development of Fibromyalgia, most sufferers have claimed to suffer from them. These spasms can be associated with differing types of pain, such as a burning sensation or deep stabbing pains. Medical professionals recommend patients to stay hydrated to help reduce the instances of spasms. Light massage or movement can also help alleviate the pain. Many patients also swear by soothing methods, such as warm Epsom salt baths. Not only does the Epsom salt help relax muscles, but warm baths can also be a source of relaxation. Staying relaxed can have great benefits for sufferers of this condition.

6. Sensitivity to Cold

Just like with other musculoskeletal conditions, Fibromyalgia patients can even be affected by the climate of where they live. Sensitivity to cold can be a huge trigger for pain and can worsen symptoms. Abnormal body temperatures are commonly seen in sufferers. After all, their bodies are unable to easily adapt to changes in temperatures. Add in the fact that muscles are extremely susceptible to pain and that equals extreme discomfort in cold conditions. What may feel like a comfortable temperature to others can be too cold for patients. Wearing warmer clothes, staying inside during cold weather, and even moving to a warmer climate can help alleviate some of this discomfort.

7. Anxiety

Anxiety and depression can be associated with a number of health problems. Patients who suffer from high levels of pain or constant problems are more susceptible to stress. These high stress levels are not only the main cause of this condition’s flare ups, but also the main cause of severe anxiety. Those patients that find themselves dealing with anxiety can find some sort of comfort with a prescribed antidepressant or other medication regime. Your doctor can help you find the perfect regime to help combat these issues. It is normal to experience feelings of despair or hopelessness when dealing with a chronic health condition. However, there are several holistic ways to deal with these mind altering chemical imbalances, such as warm baths or writing in a journal. Talking to a therapist can also be beneficial.

8. Mood Swings

Just like anxiety, mood swings can also present itself due to the hormonal imbalance in a Fibromyalgia patient. These chemical imbalances play a role in the development of this condition and can cause changes in your mental state and how you deal with day to day life. Dealing with painful flare-ups and debilitating symptoms can wreak havoc on your mental well-being. It is important to discuss these signals with your doctor, who might be able to prescribe a regime to control mood swings and other mental issues. One of the most important keys to pain management is a healthy mindset. While it may seem like an uphill battle, know that these mental issues can be treated and controlled.

9. Forgetfulness

These aforementioned chemical imbalances in the brain lead to all sorts of cognitive issues, such as memory loss. Some patients complain about forgetting minute details of their day, such as scheduled appointments. This type of forgetfulness is common in chronic pain sufferers. The chemical imbalance in the brain makes it hard for the patient’s memory to remain sharp and focused. In fact, this memory loss issue is so prevalent in Fibromyalgia patients that it has been nicknamed “fibro fog.” Patients explain that the condition causes several cognitive issues with forgetfulness being one of the most severe.

10. Irritability

Irritability is another common cognitive difficulty experienced by patients. Mood swings, violent outbursts, unexplained anger, and short patience are common results of dealing with the chronic pain of this condition. Medical professionals explain that it is extremely important to manage stress, anger, and sadness to combat severe flare-ups. It is important to note that some researchers believe that Fibromyalgia can turn into a psychiatric disorder. It is easy to see how over the span of years, patients can struggle with dealing with the severity of this disorder. Pain management is key to keeping these cognitive issues at bay.