Fibromyalgia is an often misunderstood condition. For years, there were many medical professionals who claimed it didn’t even exist. Though it’s grown to be much more accepted as a chronic illness in the field, there are still so many struggles when it comes to being accurately diagnosed. Part of this is the nature of the disease and its symptoms that can be difficult to tie to fibromyalgia. Another part is that patients may not know what to look for and could just be assuming that this is just ‘how their body works.’ Making sure people are informed about the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia is a big step toward ensuring everyone has the medical, emotional and even legal support that they need.
When you go to the doctor and point to an area that hurts, they will often come up with a series of solutions to help the affected area. With fibromyalgia, it’s not so simple. The entire musculoskeletal system can be affected with painful symptoms. This can lead to full-body stiffness that makes movement uncomfortable and difficult.
Fatigue & Sleep Problems
When you’re plagued with body aches and pains, it’s not uncommon to also have trouble falling or staying asleep. This often is followed by morning stiffness and difficulty throughout the day. Poor sleep quality is often a self-perpetuating cycle. It’s tough to make good decisions about your health during the day — such as the types of foods you eat or the amount of caffeine you consume — when you’re not firing on all cylinders.
Beyond general sleepiness is what’s commonly referred to as fibro fog. Your cognitive abilities are lower than they would be otherwise, making your forgetful. Concentrating on a task or thought process can be particularly difficult. This can be an especially scary symptom for many people. Our faculties are often a place where we can retreat when physical pain sets in. Reading books or focusing on a project can get difficult with fibro fog, though.
Awareness about the symptoms of fibromyalgia is crucial for getting a diagnosis and the support you need to live well with this chronic condition.