Symptoms of fibromyalgia include the following:
- Widespread pain: The pain is constant and dull and lasts for at least three months. The pain occurs throughout the body, on both sides of the body, and below and above the waist.
- Fatigue: Patients with fibromyalgia are always tired, and they even wake up feeling tired despite sleeping for long periods of time. The pain can even cause sleep disturbance. Patients also have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea (temporary cessation of breathing during sleep).
- Cognitive difficulties: This is also referred to as “fibro fog.” Fibromyalgia affects the ability to focus and pay attention to mental tasks.
- Bladder problem: This includes increased urination.
- Mood swings: Anxiety, depression and mood swings may be severe in fibromyalgia.
Complications of fibromyalgia:
Fibromyalgia is typically not life threatening but can affect day-to-day activities. Pain, fatigue, and lack of sleep that occur in fibromyalgia can impair the ability to function or concentrate. Patients may also feel frustrated due to their condition, and this can lead to anxiety or depression.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread pain in the body accompanied by tiredness, sleep, memory lapses, and mood issues.
Symptoms may start after specific events called triggers. These include physical assault, emotional trauma such as death of a loved one, pregnancy, surgery, or serious illness. Sometimes, there may be no identifiable trigger.
Fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men. Many patients with fibromyalgia may also have other associated conditions such as tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, or depression.
You must discuss the various treatment options for fibromyalgia with your doctor. It is possible improve the symptoms and quality of life with proper management.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but various factors are found to play a role in fibromyalgia. It is thought that chemical imbalance in the brain may cause the person to perceive even “touch” or “poke” as pain. The factors that make you likely for fibromyalgia may include the following:
- Genetics: Fibromyalgia has been found to run in families. There may be certain genetic mutations that increase the risk of this disorder.
- Infections: Certain systemic illnesses may trigger or aggravate fibromyalgia.
- Physical or emotional trauma: Fibromyalgia can sometimes be triggered by acute psychological stress or physical trauma such as an accident.
Risk factors for fibromyalgia are as follows:
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
Your doctor must rely solely on your group of symptoms to make a diagnosis.
- Physical assessment by the physician for “tender points”
- Complete blood analysis to rule out other causes of muscle pain
How is fibromyalgia treated?
Treatment options for fibromyalgia are as follows:
- Pain killers: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (ibuprofen), and prescription painkillers can help reduce symptoms. Narcotics are not usually used because they can lead to dependence and may worsen the pain over time.
- Antidepressants: Antidepressants such as Cymbalta (duloxetine) or Savella (milnacipran) and muscle relaxants may be prescribed to help reduce pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.
- Antiseizure medication: Medications used to treat epilepsy may be useful in reducing certain types of pain, for example, Lyrica (pregabalin).
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises that will improve your strength, flexibility, and stamina. Water-based exercises might be particularly helpful.
- Occupational therapy: An occupational therapist can help you adjust your work area or the way you perform certain tasks that will cause less stress on your body.
- Stress management: Managing physical and emotional stress is essential in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Stress management techniques such as deep-breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation can help. Seeking help from a professional therapist may be required.
- Adequate sleep: Because fatigue is one of the characteristic presentations of fibromyalgia, sufficient rest and practicing good sleep hygiene are essential.
- Exercise and diet: Initially, exercise can increase pain, but exercising regularly reduces pain gradually. Exercises may include walking, swimming, biking, water aerobics, yoga, or dance. A physical therapist can help develop an exercise regimen. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and limiting caffeine intake are important in the management of fibromyalgia.
Top The Most Severe Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Related Articles
17 Early Signs of Arthritis in the BackArthritis in the back arises due to the inflammation of facet joints in the spine or sacroiliac joints between the spine and the pelvis. Some of the early signs of arthritis in the back include back pain, stiffness, swelling, bone grinding, loss of flexibility, fatigue, muscle spasms and other symptoms.
arnicaArnica montana is a homeopathic topical pain relief product used to treat temporary pain from bruising, muscle aches and stiffness, and swelling. Side effects of arnica include cardiac arrest, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Do not use arnica during pregnancy due to the risk of abortion. Pure arnica is considered an unsafe herb by the FDA.
capsicumThe medicinal property of capsicum comes from capsaicin, an oleoresin and the active compound in chili peppers. Capsaicin may be taken orally in food, lozenges, and other products, and applied on the skin as topical creams and lotions, or used as a nasal spray. Capsaicin may be used to treat post-herpetic neuralgia, nerve pain from nerve diseases, joint pain due to osteoarthritis, minor muscle pains, itching (pruritus), post-mastectomy pain syndrome, and others. Common side effects of capsicum include local burning sensation, contact dermatitis, bleeding, hives (urticaria) with topical use, flushing, sweating, cough, nasal discharge (rhinorrhea), mucous membrane irritation, eye irritation, and others.
chlorellaChlorella is a type of green algae that is used as a nutritional and dietary supplement. Chlorella contains many macronutrients, micronutrients, antioxidants, pigments, and other bioactive substances that are beneficial to health. Chlorella is used in the treatment of many ailments including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Do not take chlorella if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Common side effects of chlorella include diarrhea, green color stools, stomach cramping, nausea, gas (flatulence), skin sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity), allergic reactions, asthma, and severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
coenzyme Q10Coenzyme Q10 is a nutrient and dietary supplement used to reduce symptoms and improve outcomes in many cardiovascular conditions including congestive heart failure, heart attack (myocardial infarction), chest pain (angina) and high blood pressure (hypertension), and many other conditions such as mitochondrial diseases, muscular dystrophies and statin-induced muscle pain (myalgia). Side effects of coenzyme Q10 include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, abdominal discomfort, reduced appetite, allergic skin rashes, elevated liver function test results, and lowering of blood pressure. Do not take if breastfeeding.
Fibromyalgia Treatments and Tips to Ease PainWhat is fibromyalgia? Learn about fibromyalgia symptoms such as trigger points (also called tender points), learn what causes fibromyalgia, and get treatment options for the condition like stress relief techniques, exercise tips, diet ideas, and other strategies that don't require medication.
FibromyalgiaFibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points. Stress reduction, exercise, and medication are the standard treatments for fibromyalgia.
Fibro-Friendly ExercisesLiving with fibromyalgia is painful. By making simple exercise modifications, you can boost your energy, decrease pain and stiffness, and start to be more active again -- even with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia PictureA syndrome characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints without detectable inflammation. See a picture of Fibromyalgia and learn more about the health topic.
What Is Fibromyalgia (Fibro)? Symptoms, Causes, Helpful TreatmentsWhat is fibromyalgia? Learn the possible causes of fibro, along with standard and alternative treatments for this chronic condition. Relieve fibro pain and stiffness of the tendons, muscles, and joints. Learn about fibromyalgia symptoms, treatment and tender points.
Fibromyalgia QuizFibromyalgia could be the reason for your constant, deep bodily pain. Learn more about this painful condition with the Fibromyalgia Quiz.
How Do You Know If You're Having a Fibromyalgia Attack?What is a fibromyalgia attack, and what can trigger one? Learn the signs of fibromyalgia and some of the treatment options for this condition.
Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Part of Fibromyalgia?Yes, they are associated with each other. Fibromyalgia is linked with several different conditions, including IBS. IBS is also linked to other conditions that are not fibromyalgia.
pregabalinPregabalin is an anticonvulsant (antiepileptic) and a pain-relieving (analgesic) medication used to treat seizures and nerve pain (neuralgia) caused by diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, and fibromyalgia. Common side effects of pregabalin include dizziness, drowsiness (somnolence), vertigo, headache, balance disorder, constipation, nausea, joint swelling, inflammation of nose and throat (nasopharyngitis), increase in liver enzymes ALT and AST, diarrhea, peripheral edema, difficulty with balance/coordination/speech (ataxia), fatigue, dry mouth (xerostomia), weight gain, tremor, blurred vision, double vision, and others.
LyricaLyrica is a drug prescribed for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy or post neuralgia; partial onset seizures in adults; and fibromyalgia. Side effects include blurred vision, double vision (diplopia), weight gain, fatigue (tiredness), constipation, increased appetite, nausea, and intestinal gas.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. FibromyalgiaThough rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia have similar symptoms, RA is an autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome. RA symptoms include joint redness, swelling, and pain that lasts more than 6 weeks. Fibromyalgia symptoms include widespread pain, tingling feet or hands, depression, and bowel irritability. Home remedies for both include stress reduction, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
turmericTurmeric is a perennial herb (Curcuma longa) used orally and topically in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for multiple ailments. Turmeric may be used to treat fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, headache, fever, bronchitis, indigestion (dyspepsia), diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas (flatulence) and bloating, minor skin irritations, ringworm, leech bites, infected wounds, inflammatory skin conditions, and others. Mild side effects of oral turmeric include stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea. Do not take turmeric if pregnant or breastfeeding.