Fibromyalgia: Possible Symptoms To Watch Out For

Most of us know that fibromyalgia is associated with immense pain and tiredness. But given the lack of specificity in the description, the condition can be difficult to spot. Furthermore, some experts are still debating whether it is an actual illness or just a consequence of severe stress.

Blood tests and X-rays cannot help with the diagnosis which means you have to bring up your symptoms to a doctor who will help determine if you have fibromyalgia. Here are the possible signs you should watch out for. 

Pain, fatigue, insomnia

As a classic symptom, patients experience 3 months of widespread, unexplained pain. This is often between the shoulder blades, at the bottom of the neck, and in the form of migraines. Other parts of the body such as the back, hips, and neck are also prone to stiffness and ache. In most cases, the pain is reported to be the worst in the morning.

Sleep disorders are also common as those with fibromyalgia may suffer from insomnia or keep waking up in the middle of the night. It should be noted that energy levels do not improve, even after the patient has slept well, which results in a near-constant state of tiredness. 

Depression and anxiety

"The neurotransmitters that impact depression are also tied to pain," explained Charles Kim, M.D., assistant professor in the department of rehabilitative medicine at NYU School of Medicine. While one can experience depression or anxiety that is not tied to fibromyalgia, it may help to speak to a mental health care provider if you suspect an association.

"We can’t just focus on relieving pain; we want to make sure we’re addressing any psycho-emotional issues in addition to pain," Kim continued. "Some people’s pain might improve but their mood may not — the interplay is very complex, so it’s important to address the physical symptoms and the mental."

Fibro fog and stomach issues

Similar to the aforementioned mood disorders, it is also common for patients to have problems related to concentration and memory. Because of this, their attention span could be affected and they may easily forget simple things on a daily basis.

Kim adds that irritable bowel syndrome tends to be a common problem as well with patients often needing to use the bathroom frequently. According to WebMD, around two-thirds of people who have fibromyalgia also experience nausea, bloating, stomach pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and related issues. 

To deal with these symptoms, it may help to speak to a registered dietitian and figure out, whether changes in eating patterns or addressing deficiencies can help, Kim added. You can find out more about some of the common nutrient deficiencies you may be facing without realizing it.