Fibromyalgia is a chronic health condition characterized by widespread pain and tenderness throughout the body. In spite of its long history being studied by medical professionals, it took over a century for this condition to be recognized as a physical — and not a mental — illness. Today, doctors are much more willing to diagnose patients with fibromyalgia. Though the cause of this chronic disease is unknown, there are many helpful, if flawed, treatment paths available to those who’ve been diagnosed. But what are the symptoms of fibromyalgia and how do you go about obtaining an official diagnosis?
As we’ve mentioned above (and as any sufferer of this condition knows) pain in the muscles, abdomen, back, or neck is the most common symptom of fibromyalgia. These generalized aches are so widespread that it can be difficult for some medical professionals to recognize what’s going on, especially with some of the mysteries behind the cause of fibromyalgia.
- Stomach Issues
Unfortunately, the gastrointestinal issues that can accompany fibromyalgia are about as widespread as the pain symptoms. They include constipation, persistent nausea, and bloating from gas.
It can really suck to have sensitivity to touch when you might otherwise want to be comforted, but people who suffer from fibromyalgia can have that pins and needles sensation in various body parts. They can also be especially sensitive to cold temperatures, regularly needing extra layers to feel warm enough. And if they experience another physically painful event unrelated to their illness, such as something as simple as stubbing their toe, they’ll often feel the resulting pain much more acutely.
As if things weren’t difficult enough, right? Fatigue is really a very common symptom in people who suffer from a chronic illness. Their condition may disturb their sleep, or make falling asleep at night much more difficult. As a result, they may be constantly tired. Fibromyalgia itself may also be the root cause of this fatigue, though it’s difficult to say what causes what there.
- Poor Mood
Again, it’s easy to see how all of these symptoms could add up to a difficult time for a sufferer. Depression, anxiety, and irritability all regularly go hand in hand with fibromyalgia.
If you think you may be suffering from fibromyalgia, it’s important to reach out to a medical professional for a diagnosis and help. Though it may be difficult to feel like you’re being heard, there are many wonderful physicians out there who take this condition — and those who suffer from it — seriously.