Fibromyalgia (FM) is a medical condition in which the sufferer experiences widespread chronic pain and an unusually heightened and painful response to pressure. It is a disease that can present challenges when it comes to diagnosis because most FM symptoms including tenderness of muscles, fatigue and pain are quite difficult to diagnose.
In addition to that, FM symptoms are also common to other medical conditions; this means that finding the correct diagnosis and treatment may take time. While FM isn’t fatal, it can have prolonged detrimental effects that may last a lifetime.
Here are a few warning signs that point to the possibility that you or any other person may have fibromyalgia.
A major distinguishing characteristic of FM on the body is the so-called tender points. When firm pressure is applied on these tender points, the sufferer feels sore. These tender points are located on various body parts including elbows, knees, shoulders, hips and the back of the head.
All in all, there are 18 tender points. Sufferers of FM may experience discomfort in some or all of these locations. Physicians use tender points as part of FM diagnostics.
People who suffer from FM often describe that they feel a constant pain. The pain may feel as though it emanates from the muscles but there are hardly any visible signs of tissue damage. FM patients tend to be abnormally more sensitive to pain stimuli than regular people.
The feeling of discomfort is usually widespread i.e. distributed over the entire body. There are a number of factors that can worsen the pain among them stress and lack of sleep.
Any person who is in pain will definitely find difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep the entire night. This is what sufferers of FM experience. On top of that, people who have FM have other conditions that interrupt sleep e.g. restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.
Even when they manage to get some sleep, they still end up getting less of the deep Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep that helps rejuvenate the body. Many a long night of sleeplessness, constant turning and tossing eventually leads to morning fatigue.
According to the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, 50-70% of people with FM get headaches. The most commonly reported type of headache amongst sufferers of FM is migraine.
When you suffer from a migraine, you experiencea throbbing in your head, nausea which can eventually lead to vomiting or sensitivity to sound and light. Some people have to turn off the lights and lie down in a dark room until the migraine subsides.
Apart from the pain associated with FM, sleeplessness can be caused by other conditions. Most of the people who suffer from FM complain about creepy crawly feelings in their arms and legs at night. Others report that they feel tingling sensations in the joints of their fingers.
Such feelings are very uncomfortable and unbearable to the point where one fells like moving which always wakes you from deep slumber. Lack of good quality sleep can impact your functioning ability the following day.
There are some reported cases of temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) among people who suffer fibromyalgia. TMJ causes one to feel pain in their jaws. People who have TMJ will notice that their jaws make popping/snapping noises when they open and close their mouths.
They may also experience trouble chewing, speaking or fully opening their mouths. TMJ has been known to cause headaches and pain around the ears.
People who suffer from FM suffer from cognitive dysfunctions. It impairs one’s ability to concentrate, focus or pay attention while carrying out mental tasks. The condition was named fibro fog because FM patients tend to experience fogginess including: trouble clearing the head and issues with short and long term memory consolidation.
The causes of fibro fog are not yet clear but it is possible it has to do with a lack of adequate oxygen supply to the brain or the effects of pain on the brain.
People with FM tend to suffer from gastric complications in the form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). If you suffer from IBS, locating the nearest bathroom becomes an emergency.
IBS affects the colon (large intestines) and causes bloating, diarrhoea, gas and pain and more often than not the symptoms occur unexpectedly. If IBS is not diagnosed and treated early, it can affect your daily life tremendously.
If you are experiencing FM, you sense may be heightened. This means that you can walk on the streets and feel an amplified sense of noise, brightness, and pain. A small touch to your skin may feel like a hard slap. And normal ambient noises may feel like loud concert music.
There’s also a chance that you may feel an amplified sense of the temperature. It may either feel very hot or very cold.
About Author : Paula Adams is a writer who focuses on writing useful content. She firmly believes that the individuals should know enough about their health to take good care of themselves. During her time off, she likes to tend to her garden.