Many people have never heard of fibromyalgia. The condition is often confused with other illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, and arthritis. However, there are many warning signs that can help you distinguish between the two ailments and know when to see a doctor.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, stiffness, and tenderness in the muscles. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it’s often linked to stress or other emotional issues. In addition, fibromyalgia has been associated with genetic abnormalities and hormonal imbalances. People who suffer from this illness often suffer from anxiety and depression, making life even more difficult.
1) Widespread Pain
Widespread pain is perhaps the most common warning sign of fibromyalgia. One of the main symptoms of this illness is chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, which accounts for one or more anatomical sites. This pain can often be described as aching, throbbing, tenderness, and stiffness at specific points on the body. However, the pain can also come from specific areas such as the neck, shoulders, hips, arms, and legs. This pain can be experienced at the same time or separately.
2) Chronic Fatigue
Another warning sign of fibromyalgia is that it often comes with intense fatigue. Many times, people who suffer from this illness cannot get out of bed due to extreme exhaustion. These feelings are often made worse by physical activity and may even prevent sleep. However, there have been cases where people with fibromyalgia have been completely healed from the illness without significantly changing their energy levels.
3) Insomnia and Other Sleep-Related Problems
It goes without saying that fatigue is one of the toughest symptoms to handle because it’s so widespread. One warning sign of fibromyalgia is insomnia and other sleep-related problems. Many people who suffer from this illness experience trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and even getting the rest they need to begin with. This makes fibromyalgia one of the most difficult illnesses because it’s so unpredictable and can come at any hour of the night or day.
4) Joint and Muscle Pain
One of the main warning signs of fibromyalgia is joint and muscle pain. This type of pain typically occurs in the shoulders, hips, arms, and legs but can also come from other areas such as the neck and upper back. In addition to feeling aching pain in these joints, they may be swollen or stiff. Therefore, it’s important to recognize when you need help and know when to speak with your doctor.
Other early signs include cognitive difficulties such as trouble thinking, memory problems, inability to focus, and even speech issues. These warning signs of fibromyalgia are often associated with anxiety and depression as well. However, many times a person will not realize they have this illness until it has gone on for too long without being properly diagnosed.
In conclusion, remember that the severity of your symptoms can vary from day to day and even from moment to moment. Therefore, it’s important to learn all you can learn about fibromyalgia to be your advocate for your health. If you feel something isn’t right, go ahead and speak with a doctor or a specialist right away!