Fibromyalgia is a disease that mainly affects women and the number one symptom of fibromyalgia is pain throughout the body. The pain often varies and can be felt as a burning, gnawing, sore, tender, dull, sharp, throbbing or aching pain. It tends to be felt deep in the muscles, tendons and ligaments and is centered on the joints of the body. The pain can be constant or it may come and go.
Accompanying the pain will often be very painful tender spots or localized places of tenderness over the joints when light pressure is applied. It is actually the tissue around the joints and not the joints themselves. Even though this soreness feels deep, it is really located just below the skin. These tender points never change location and are always in the same spots.
Second to pain and tender points, people who suffer from fibromyalgia experience fatigue. It causes a continuous tiredness that can interfere with daily activities. It is a feeling of never getting enough rest no matter how much sleep and rest one has had. Some fibromyalgia sufferers compare the fatigue symptoms to the flu or working long hours without any sleep. The fatigue is usually immediately felt when awakening or after mild activity which can prevent individuals from being able to engage in daily activities, exercise, work or even sex.
While the basic signs of fibromyalgia is pain that includes deep muscle and joint pain with tenderness, along with fatigue, there are also many other symptoms that can be associated with Fibromyalgia.
• Morning stiffness is a common complaint in over 75% of fibromyalgia patients. The stiffness can be severe and is felt in the muscles and joints of the back and limbs. It can last for only minutes or as much as the entire day.
• Headaches that are persistent, including chronic migraine or tension-type headaches, are a typical symptom in around 70% of individuals who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
• Menstrual cramps that are extremely painful occur in around 35% of women with fibromyalgia.
• Restless legs syndrome causes discomfort in the legs and the feeling of having to constantly move the legs, which can also interrupt sleep.
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be one of the many fibromyalgia symptoms. It can cause constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, gas, acid reflux and nausea.
• Urinary problems such a constant sensation to have to urinate, frequent and/or painful urination, pain or even incontinence occurs in 25% or even more of individuals with fibromyalgia.
• Sleep disturbances is one of the fibromyalgia symptoms commonly suffered by patients. They don’t usually have a problem falling asleep, but they suffer from sleep disturbances and often wakeup feeling exhausted. Tests in sleep labs have proven that individuals with fibromyalgia have continuous interruptions in the brain, which prevents them from achieving the deep sleep needed to revitalize the body.
• Swelling, numbness and a tingling sensation in limbs, feet and hands is a symptom of fibromyalgia and felt by more than half of patients.
• Depression is one of the fibromyalgia symptoms that patients complain of. In fact, one out of four people who suffer from the condition have major depression, and one out of two patients had suffered from depression throughout their entire life. The relentless pain, fatigue, anxiety and inability to be active are usually the cause of the depression.
• “Fibro fog” is a common Fibromyalgia symptom that results in memory loss, especially short-term memory. It also affects the ability to concentrate.
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