9 Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and What to Do If You’re Diagnosed

9 Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and What to Do If You're DiagnosedDespite significant research and studies on this disorder, only a little light has been shed on this disorder to fully understand it. Fibromyalgia is a disorder of the muscles and other soft tissues of the body.

Researchers believe that this disorder affects how the brain processes signals of pain therefore amplifying painful sensations. Symptoms usually begin after physical trauma, infection or psychological stress. Here are the nine common symptoms that people with this disorder suffer from.

  1. Widespread chronic pain and muscle spasm

The pain that is commonly described for fibromyalgia is a constant dull ache that can last to at least three months, occurring on both sides of the body, above and below of the waist.

  1. Morning stiffness

Most people diagnosed with this disorder complain of stiffness of the muscles and joints, similar to the stiffness felt with the different types of arthritis, when they get up in the morning. This would usually last for 15 minutes up to a few hours. This can also be felt when they stay in a position for too long.

  1. Brain Fog

This symptom describes the impaired ability to focus and concentrate on different mental tasks. Short –term memory is also impaired. This is also commonly referred to as “Fibro Fog”.

  1. Tension-type headaches and migraines9 Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and What to Do If You're Diagnosed

These may result from pain in the neck or upper back, often caused by tightness and contraction of the muscles.

  1. Decreased energy and fatigue

Despite sleeping for longer periods of time, people with fibromyalgia often wake tired. The fatigue that is felt is more constant and restrictive.

  1. Sleeping difficulties and sleep disturbances.

Sleep is often disturbed by the pain that people with fibromyalgia suffer chronically with. The sleep experienced is light and easily disturbed, preventing people with fibromyalgia from spending time in a deep sleep.

  1. Digestive problems

Bloating, frequent abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea alternating with constipation, and acid reflux commonly occurs with fibromyalgia.

  1. Restless leg syndrome

This is described as a need to move the legs to try to be comfortable because of the discomfort felt in the areas below the knees and the feet. This becomes more troublesome at night as it disrupts sleep to find a comfortable position for rest.

  1. Depression and anxiety disorders

The chronic pain felt can lead to a less active adult, making them more withdrawn. The constant pain and fatigue that these individuals feel 9 Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and What to Do If You're Diagnosedcan be very stressful for them. This can lead to the formation of anxiety disorders and lead to depression.

Once diagnosed with this disorder, treatment is mainly focused on medication and self-care. There is no single treatment that will work for all the symptoms of this disorder.

  • Pain medications

Over-the-counter pain medications may be helpful. Your physician might suggest stronger pain relievers, but narcotics must be avoided as they may lead to dependence and may even aggravate the pain eventually.

  • Antidepressants

Your physician may prescribe these drugs to help ease the anxiety and promote sleep.

  • Lessen stress

Allow time to relax each day and avoid stressful events. Try different stress management techniques and still maintain an active lifestyle. You don’t have to drastically change your lifestyle, just avoid overexertion.

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Start having a healthy diet, limiting caffeine if possible. Exercising regularly also gradually decreases the symptoms felt. Get enough sleep and relaxation time to prevent fatigue.

Fibromyalgia is only a disorder that would debilitate you if you allow it to. Getting educated about these symptoms and what you can do is a big help in fighting this disorder. Know that you are not your illness and you can continue living your life to the fullest despite having this disorder.