Fibromyalgia is, unfortunately, a common issue which affects 3-5 million people, or 1 in every five people.
This syndrome is characterized by debilitating pain in the entire body. Yet, chronic muscle pain does not necessarily mean that you suffer from fibromyalgia, as this condition leads to other symptoms as well.
Yet, if your muscles ache all of the time, you need to check the list of fibromyalgia symptoms and see if you need to find a proper treatment or you can rule out fibromyalgia as a potential cause.
Muscle and Body Tissues
- Mild to severe pain in different body parts
- Morning stiffness
- Muscle Twitching
- Tender and lumpy breasts (Fibrocystic breasts, as an overlapping condition)
Stomach and Digestion Issues
- Bloating, nausea, abdominal cramps, and pelvic pain
- Frequent urination
Allergy and Sinus Issues
- Shortness of breath
- Itchy ears and earaches
- Ringing ears
- Thick mucus
- Allergies, sensitivity to molds and yeasts
- A runny nose and post nasal drip
- Valve issues
- Pain similar to the one during a heart attack
- Irregular heartbeat
Sensory Problems and Sensitivity
- Difficulty with night driving and seeing in low lighting
- Sensitive to smells, light, noise, temperature, climate, and pressure changes.
- Feeling like falling while sleeping
- Muscle twitching even while sleeping
- Difficulty sleeping/broken sleeping pattern, feeling tired and lethargic each morning
- Grinding teeth
- Language impairments and difficulty pronouncing familiar words
- Directional difficulties and recognizing familiar surroundings
- Poor coordination and balance
- Zone out often, concentration issues, inability to differentiate color shades, and short-term memory.
- Burning or tingling in the upper limbs
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Hair, Skin, and Nails
- Hair loss
- Overly-ridged nails or curved nails
- Skin that bruises or scars easily or appears mottled
Mental Health issues
- Mood swings, irritability without a reason
- Anxiety, depression, panic attacks
- Loss of libido
- PMS and other menstrual problems
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Headaches and migraines
- Vision changes
- Family history
- The sweats
- Carbohydrate and chocolate cravings
These symptoms are non-specific, meaning that they can result from other health issues too, so you should not jump to any conclusions yet.
This condition is not easy to diagnose either, as it can be mistaken for other issues, and there are no specific fibromyalgia tests that are 100% accurate.
A fibromyalgia diagnosis requires one to meet the following criteria set by The American College of Rheumatology:
- Widespread pain felt for at least 3 months in all four body quadrants
- 11 out of 18 tender points, with pain felt when palpated
- Negative findings for any other diseases on the diagnostic tests
To rule out other conditions and diagnose fibromyalgia, doctors use a set of diagnostic tests, like:
- Complete blood count
- Antinuclear Antibody (ANA)
- Rheumatoid factor
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
- Thyroid tests