istock/brown54486Are you tired all the time? Perhaps you’ve been attributing that to working hard. Maybe you’ve tried getting more sleep and eating better, but nothing is helping? Exhaustion is a symptom of fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder that also causes widespread pain and tenderness. In part, the exhaustion may come from your body’s efforts to combat the fibromyalgia. The common aches and pains associated with fibromyalgia can cause also sleep disturbances, leaving you drowsy the next day. Also be aware of these signs of chronic fatigue syndrome you could be ignoring.
istock/Jan OttoSensory issues can be a symptom of fibromyalgia. Clothing may feel significantly heavier than normal, almost oppressive to the wearer. Bumping into the corner of the table, while usually just a small discomfort, can lead to throbbing pain that lasts hours. (These are types of pain you should never ignore.)
istock/PeopleImagesMany people with fibromyalgia report widespread pain, especially in the joints, and for seemingly no reason. A sign that your joint pain is potentially fibromyalgia is if over-the-counter pain relievers do nothing to alleviate the aches and pains you’re experiencing. Check out the other chronic pain conditions that could mimic fibromyalgia.
istock/elenaleonovaIrritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is closely associated with fibromyalgia. Diarrhea, an urge to evacuate the bowels, and even the inability to empty the bowels because of muscle stiffness, are all potential signs of fibromyalgia. While you may attribute bowel issues to other causes, it’s worth considering fibromyalgia as a possible culprit. These are other things your bowel movements can reveal about your health.
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istock/MaximFesenkoHeadaches so severe that nausea and vomiting result may be caused by fibromyalgia. If you have these debilitating kinds of headaches, see your physician get to root out the cause. (Could it just be a banana hangover? Check out these surprising headache triggers.)
istock/PekicSufferers of fibromyalgia have an increased sensitivity to temperature. When the temperature drops, those with fibromyalgia may feel it more dramatically than others. If you are always colder than those around you, it could be Raynaud’s, a disorder of decreased circulation to the extremities, or it could be a sign of fibromyalgia.
Increased menstrual pain
istock/gpointstudioWomen make up 80 to 90 percent of fibromyalgia diagnoses. While extreme menstrual cramps can be caused by many other factors, they can also be a symptom of fibromyalgia. Muscle stiffness in general is an issue, so when a woman with fibromyalgia is menstruating, her usual muscle cramps may be magnified.
istock/Jacob Ammentorp LundInability to concentrate or feeling like you’ve got cotton muffling your thoughts may be a common symptom of fibromyalgia known as “fibro fog.” Some of this may be caused by lack of good sleep, while other theories suggest that the fog is itself caused by fibromyalgia. See your doctor to discuss any recent memory loss or trouble concentrating that is not explained by other stressors in your life. Watch out for these hidden sources of stress in your life.
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