By: Dr. John Regan
Fibromyalgia is a common chronic disorder that is characterized by generalized pain, among other symptoms. It can cause significant pain and fatigue, which interferes with a person’s ability to carry out their daily activities. Although the causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, it is estimated that it affects 5 million Americans over 18 years of age.
Research has shown that patients with fibromyalgia often see several different doctors before receiving their diagnosis. The symptoms of fibromyalgia often mimic other health problems, which can make diagnosis difficult. Understanding the symptoms can help the patient identify his diagnosis earlier, so he can find a way to control his pain.
Here are eight signs of fibromyalgia that you should never ignore:
1. Rigidity of the body
The majority of patients suffering from fibromyalgia experience rigidity in the body. This usually happens in the morning. The hard feeling is similar to those who suffer from arthritis. It can disappear in 10-15 minutes or it can last most of the day.
2. Abnormal digestion
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can include constipation, diarrhea and swelling. About 40-70% of patients suffering from fibromyalgia experience symptoms similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Acid Reflux and GERD.
3. Numbness, swelling or tingling
Many patients with fibromyalgia experience a tingling sensation. This often occurs in the arms, feet, hands and legs, a condition known as paresthesia. For some patients, these sensations can only last a few minutes. For other patients, the sensations may last much longer.
4. Headache to the feet
Approximately 97% of patients who suffer from fibromyalgia experience pain throughout the body. The pain of fibromyalgia is often described as “deep, sharp, throbbing or painful.” This type of pain is often constant and indifferent to over-the-counter pain medications.
5. finger spasms and spasms
Arterial spasms of the hands or feet are a fairly common symptom of fibromyalgia. It can be the result of exposure to cold or stress. The affected areas will develop with a blue or pale tinge. Arterial spasms are also accompanied by pain.
6. Poor quality of sleep
Fibromyalgia can make it difficult for a patient to have quality sleep. Studies have shown erratic brain activity in patients with fibromyalgia during rest. This irregular brain activity, along with pain or stiffness, can cause poor quality sleep.
7. Fibromyalgia Fog
Patients with fibromyalgia may experience a mental fog. Problems concentrating and difficulty with short-term memory can be symptoms of fibromyalgia. General feelings of confusion, forgetfulness and lack of mental clarity may also arise.
8. Sensitivity to temperature
Patients with fibromyalgia often have difficulty regulating their body temperature. They may feel extreme heat or extreme cold when the temperature has not changed drastically.