Fibromyalgia SymptomsFibromyalgia is characterized by the presence of multiple tender points and a constellation of fibromyalgia symptoms.
The pain of fibromyalgia is profound, widespread and chronic. It has no boundaries.
Fibromyalgia pain has been described as deep muscular aching, throbbing, twitching, stabbing and shooting pain that defines the very existence of the fibromyalgia patient.
Quite often, the pain and stiffness are worse in the morning and you may hurt more in muscle groups that are used repetitively. Aggravating factors that affect pain include cold/humid weather, non-restorative sleep, physical and mental fatigue, excessive physical activity, physical inactivity, anxiety and stress.
Patients with fibromyalgia have a higher occurrence of psychiatric disorders, including current and lifetime major depression.
Some believe that fibromyalgia is primarily a psychiatric condition and that the related fibromyalgia symptoms are the result of somatization, whereas others believe that psychiatric problems largely occur as a result of the chronic pain, fatigue and disability that these patients have.
This discussion becomes less relevant if the psychiatric disturbances are considered in the same light as physical symptoms in that there is a common neurotransmitter or hormonal imbalance responsible, and thus both occur in increased frequency in patients with fibromyalgia.
This fibromyalgia symptom can be mild in some patients and yet incapacitating in others. The fatigue has been described as "brain fatigue" in which patients feel totally drained of energy.
It is an all-encompassing exhaustion that interferes with even the simplest daily activities. Many patients depict this situation by saying that they feel as though their arms and legs are tied to concrete blocks, and they have difficulty concentrating, e.g., brain fog.
Genitourinary Fibromyalgia Symptoms:
Patients with fibromyalgia have a higher occurrence of dysmenorrhea, urinary frequency and urgency than normal persons. Fibromyalgia may also be associated with other genitourinary conditions such as interstitial cystitis, vulvar vestibulitis or vulvodynia
Many Fibromyalgia patients have an associated sleep disorder that prevents them from getting deep, restful, restorative sleep. Many FMS patients have been found to have other sleep disorders in addition to the alpha-EEG, such as sleep apnea, sleep myoclonus (nighttime jerking of the arms and legs), and restless legs syndrome.
Medical researchers have documented specific and distinctive abnormalities in the stage 4 deep sleep of FM patients. During sleep, individuals with fibro myalgia are constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity, limiting the amount of time they spend in deep sleep.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Constipation, diarrhea, frequent abdominal pain, abdominal gas, and nausea represent symptoms often found in roughly 40 to 70% of FMS patients.
Neurological Fibromyalgia Symptoms:
Patients with fibromyalgia have a higher occurrence of both tension and migraine headaches than normal persons. A number of other neurologic symptoms in this group of patients, however, are not as well recognized.
Numbness or tingling is common and may occur anywhere in the body; it is typically fleeting in nature and does not follow a dermatomal distribution.
Hearing, visual and vestibular abnormalities have also been noted, including a lowered tolerance for painful sound, exaggerated nystagmus and visual dysmotility, and asymptomatic low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss.
Cognitive complaints, especially difficulty with concentration and short-term memory, are also common. Because of the variety of neurologic fibromyalgia symptoms seen in patients with fibromyalgia, once a person is diagnosed it is prudent to use neurodiagnostic tests only when objective abnormalities are apparent on physical examination.
Allergic Fibromyalgia Symptoms:
Patients with fibromyalgia display a wide range of allergic fibromyalgia symptoms. These fibromyalgia symptoms range from adverse reactions to drugs and environmental stimuli to a higher-than-expected incidence of rhinitis, nasal congestion and lower respiratory symptoms.
It is unlikely that all of these fibromyalgia symptoms have a true allergic basis; instead, these fibromyalgia symptoms may be the result of the central nervous system activation seen in fibromyalgia.