Unfortunately, fibromyalgia is one of the most common health issues nowadays, affecting about five million people, or 1 in every 5 people. Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition that causes extreme pain in the soft tissues of the body, like the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Since it causes debilitating pain in the entire body, in order not to misdiagnose it with muscle pain, you need to know its other symptoms.
If you are suffering from constant muscle pain, you should check the symptoms below, and see if you need to visit a specialist and find the most suitable treatment.
These are the 43 most common fibromyalgia symptoms:
Body and Muscle Tissues:
Mild to severe pain
Lumpy and tender breasts (Fibrocystic breasts)
Digestion and Stomach issues:
Nausea, bloating, abdominal cramps, pelvic pain
Sinus and Allergy issues:
Shortness of breath
Earaches and itchy ears
Post nasal drip and runny nose
Sensitivity to yeasts and molds
Heart attack- like pain
Lethargy, sleeping issues, and tiredness
Muscle twitching during sleeping
Feel like falling down during your sleep
Nails, Skin, and Hair:
Curved nails or overly-ridged nails
Skin prone to bruises and scars
Poor balance and coordination
Recognizing familiar surroundings and direction difficulties
Concentration issues, short-term memory, zoning out, and inability to differentiate color shades
Tingling or burning in the upper limbs
Sensory Problems and Sensitivity:
Sensitive to noise, light, smells, climate, pressure changes, and temperature
A difficulty with seeing in low lighting and driving at night
PMS or other menstrual problems
Loss of libido
Mental Health issues:
Anxiety, panic attacks, and depression
Irritability and mood swings
Headaches and migraines
Unexplained weight gain or loss
Sweet and carbs cravings
Note that these symptoms are not specific, meaning that they can also appear due to other root causes, so if you experience any of these, do not panic. This is the reason why this syndrome is difficult to diagnose, and there are no specific fibromyalgia tests yet.
The American College of Rheumatology gives the criteria that need to be met for one to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia:
11/18 tender points, with the pain felt when palpated
Pain felt in all 4 body quadrants for at least 3 months
Negative results on any other tests for some other diseases.
To rule out other conditions and diagnose it, experts use various diagnose tests, such as MRI, rheumatoid factor, x-rays, thyroid tests, anti-cellular antibody (ANA), complete blood count, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).
According to Mayo Clinic:
“In general, treatments for fibromyalgia include both medication and self-care. The emphasis is on minimizing symptoms and improving general health. No one treatment works for all symptoms. Self-care is critical in the management of fibromyalgia.
Reduce stress. Develop a plan to avoid or limit overexertion and emotional stress. Allow yourself time each day to relax. stress management techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises or meditation.
Get enough sleep. Practice good sleep habits, such as going to bed and getting up at the same time each day and limiting daytime napping.
Exercise regularly. At first, exercise may increase your pain. But doing it gradually and regularly often decreases symptoms. Appropriate exercises may include walking, swimming, biking and water aerobics. A physical therapist can help you develop a home exercise program. Stretching, good posture and relaxation exercises also are helpful.
Pace yourself. Keep your activity on an even level. Moderation means not overdoing it on your good days, but likewise, it means not self-limiting or doing too little on the days when symptoms flare.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy foods. Limit your caffeine intake.”