How Does Fibromyalgia Affect Speech?

Problems with Speech

By: Jack Claridge –

Fibromyalgia Syndrome

One problem that many Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) sufferers encounter from time to time is problems with their speech. This is something that they find difficult to deal with to begin with but through time the problem is one that occurs and the sufferer and those around them learn to live with.

How Does Fibromyalgia Affect Speech?

One of the main problems with Fibromyalgia is that it is a condition that more often than not has no visual symptoms. There are no bandages or plasters to be seen and the problem is one that affects the internal workings of the body.

As sufferers of Fibromyalgia can suffer from chronic pain – just as suffers of M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) do – so sometimes the brain struggles to process all of the information that is being sent to it. This is often the case when the individual is suffering from what is known as a ‘flare up’.

A ‘flare up’ is a bout of pain or discomfort associated with the condition which may last a few hours, a few days, a few weeks or even a few months, depending entirely on how severe the nature of the individual’s Fibromyalgia is.

As the brain struggles to deal with the signals coming from the myriad of pain receptors which are being bombarded by the Fibromyalgia so to the brain struggles to process cognitive tasks such as memory recall and speech.

What Was It I Was Going to Say?

This is often a thought that runs through a Fibromyalgia sufferer’s mind. It is not uncommon for a sufferer to forget what they were saying in mid-sentence and indeed it is not uncommon for them to jumble up words whilst they are speaking or to forget names and events that they could remember only a short time before.

This is, as we have already touched up, due to the fact that the brain is struggling to cope with the amount of information being sent to it by the pain receptors located in and around what are known as the ‘trigger points’. These trigger points are the areas of the body which are most susceptible to Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) alike.

Struggling to Find the Right Words

If someone is talking to you and they seem to be struggling to speak, or if they are talking and the words are jumbled then they may be a Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) sufferer. As we have already indicated these two conditions have similarities and are also difficult to recognise in an individual as they often show no physical symptoms.

It is important to remember that if you are in the company of someone with either of these conditions they may well be in a lot of pain. Another common quality between Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) sufferers alike is their ability to carry on as normal where possible.

Even though they may be engaged in conversation with you the trigger points throughout their body – and other overlapping conditions associated with Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) – may well be at work.

Take Your Time

If you are a sufferer of Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) then it is important to relax and go at your own pace. This not only applies to walking, sitting, standing or other everyday tasks but speaking as well. If you feel you are having difficulty speaking then slow down, take deep breaths and relax.

Likewise it is important to explain to those around you the nature of your condition and also the fact that it can sometimes – not necessarily all the time – but sometimes have a knock on effect to your short term memory and also your speech.



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