Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes fatigue and pronounced musculoskeletal pain all over the body. It's still not well understood. Because there are no laboratory tests that can confirm a diagnosis, medical professionals must rely on a physical exam and a history of symptoms in order to diagnose fibromyalgia. It can be mild and not interfere too much with everyday activities. In other cases, it can be quite severe. If you think you might have a more severe case of fibromyalgia, there are some common symptoms to look for.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
If you have a severe case of fibromyalgia, your sleep quality may be affected. This can leave you feeling extremely fatigued. You feel constantly exhausted and have very little drive to accomplish tasks. Your fatigue may reach a point where it interferes with your ability to work and concentrate on simple tasks. You may notice that you feel fatigued even after getting a good night's sleep. According to the the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, many patients with fibromyalgia have a sleep disorder in which the deep phase of sleep is interrupted 12.
When fibromyalgia becomes more severe, the pain is chronic and widespread throughout the body. Your pain may be stabbing, shooting, a deep muscular ache, or it may feel like a burning or throbbing sensation. The intensity of the pain may vary throughout the day and change due to the temperature, stress, over-exercising, fatigue and too sedentary of a lifestyle. There will be certain tender points in the body that cause severe pain even when touched.
Fibromyalgia can cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling and burning sensations in varyious areas of the body. Your muscles may feel like they're twitching. You may find that you're overly sensitive to cold, light, sounds and smells.
If your fibromyalgia becomes more severe, you may also experience migraines, memory problems and skin rashes. Raynaud's syndrome, restless leg syndrome, severe dizziness, digestive problems and depression can also occur. Some patients experience chest pain, painful periods and irritable bowel syndrome.
With fibromyalgia, every patient is very different, and no two experience the exact same symptoms or get relief from the same treatment program. Keeping a journal of your symptoms--including what triggers them and what makes them better--will hep you and your doctor manage this condition.
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