Anyone who suffers from fibromyalgia is familiar with the common symptoms — aches and pains, chronic fatigue, brain fog, etc. — but here are some facts about the disease you may not know. We’ve put together this list with help from fibromyalgialiving.today and verywell.com.
1. Fibromyalgia is the most common pain disorder in the U.S.
It’s been estimated that more than five million people suffer from fibromyalgia in the states, of which 80 percent are women. However, many of these people don’t yet know they have the disease. The condition is notoriously difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can mimic many other diseases and many doctors can be dismissive of a patient’s symptoms.
2. Digestive disorders can be a signal of fibromyalgia.
It’s estimated that around 70 percent of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from digestive conditions such as IBS, so paying attention to these early warning signs can help with diagnosis. Changing your diet so you don’t consume food or drinks that upset your stomach can help to ease flares.
3. Fibromyalgia can cause heightened senses.
We know that pain sensitivity in fibromyalgia patients is heightened, but other senses may also be on high alert. You may find yourself very sensitive to sound, smell, and light, and overly sensitive to touch.
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4. Some patients may experience excessive sweating.
Many fibromyalgia patients react to the body heat caused by pain by sweating profusely. This can be countered by certain medications and if the problem is very bad, botox can be useful.
5. Vitamin D deficiency is common.
Vitamin D is vital for health and general well-being, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that around half of fibromyalgia sufferers have a vitamin D deficiency. Speak to your doctor to check your levels and find out if you need to take supplements.
6. It’s a psychological and physical disease.
Most fibromyalgia patients will report psychological symptoms as well as the physical ones such as pain and fatigue. Brain fog is a very common symptom of fibromyalgia, as are depression and anxiety. Brain fog leads to problems with memory, concentration, organizational skills and other cognitive problems.
7. Fibromyalgia is often a secondary condition.
Fibromyalgia can be a primary health condition but many fibromyalgia patients also suffer from other chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
8. Not all fibro patients experience the same symptoms.
There are so many different ways that fibromyalgia can affect a person that patients may suffer a myriad of different symptoms with each having a unique experience of the disease.