Friday, August 23, 2013

What Are the Signs of Fibromyalgia?

What Are the Signs of Fibromyalgia?

There is much that is unknown about fibromyalgia. Its causes are yet to be determined. The syndrome affects middle-aged women and those with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases most often, but anyone, young or old, can get it. As yet, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. It can be managed with medications and proper sleep and exercise, such as yoga. No laboratory test or X-ray or scan can confirm or rule out the existence of fibromyalgia in a patient. It is also extremely difficult to diagnose because the syndrome has symptoms very similar to a range of symptoms associated with other health issues.

Cognitive and Mental Symptoms

    The syndrome may be linked to alterations in the way the brain processes pain signals. Fibromyalgia sufferers have reported what has become known as "Fibro fog," that is, memory and thinking problems. Other related health issues include anxiety, depression and sleeplessness.

Sensitivity to Touch, Light and Temperature Changes

    Muscle and joint pain may increase with active movements or in cold or damp weather.
    Muscle and joint pain may increase with active movements or in cold or damp weather.

    Those diagnosed with fibromyalgia speak of long-term chronic body-wide pain and extreme tenderness to the touch in the joints, muscles, elbows, knees, shins, tendons and soft tissues. Other symptoms include tension and migraine headaches, frequently exacerbated by sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights or temperature changes. Some sufferers report lingering facial muscle pain and aching. Tingling in the arms and legs and restless leg syndrome are also common. Overall muscle and joint pain may increase with more active movements and in cold or damp weather.

Organ-Related and Other Symptoms

    Women who suffer from the syndrome often report painful menstrual periods. Irritable bowel syndrome, bladder issues, difficulty swallowing and heart palpitations have also been reported as symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Lingering Stiffness, Pain and Fatigue

    Many sufferers report early morning stiffness and pain that decreases as the day progresses. Other sufferers report the same continuing pain throughout the day as well as ongoing, daily fatigue. The pain may be mild to severe and be radiating, shooting, burning or gnawing. While fibromyalgia can mimic arthritis pain, the significant swelling, deformity and destruction of the joints seen in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis does not occur with fibromyalgia syndrome alone. Fibromyalgia may develop on its own, but to complicate the diagnosis of fibromyalgia even further, it can develop in tandem with other musculoskeletal conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are broad and widespread, and not all fibromyalgia sufferers experience all symptoms associated with the syndrome.


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