While everything may look normal for an individual suffering from fibromyalgia, the pain and all the associated symptoms with the syndrome is never normal or even near normal. It is way beyond the ordinary pain of a certain disorder and so debilitating that it could disrupt the quality of life of the individual, hampering him from doing normal day-to-day activities and preventing him from achieving the goals he has set.
But, what is fibromyalgia and what are the symptoms of fibromyalgia that make it one of the deadliest conditions ever to plague an individual? Next to osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia is the most frequent mucoskeletal condition. Since it is characterized by a set of symptoms that exist together it is considered a syndrome.
Of the myriad symptoms of fibromyalgia, the most prominent is pain. Throbbing, burning, debilitating, shooting, and stabbing sensations are felt by fibromyalgia patients with varying degrees. At times, the pain is so intense that it seems every fiber of the individual’s being is shouting with pain. And because of this intense pain, twitching and cramping muscles are experienced too.
No two fibromyalgia patients are the same in that one may actually feel a numbing and throbbing sensation and the other one may feel a sharp stabbing pain. When it comes to the pain intensity, some patients complain that the pain is at its worst in the evening especially in very cold weather, while some also say that it is worse in the early part of the morning. Regardless the time of day, one thing remains clear: fibromyalgia leaves an individual exhausted, depressed, and fighting to win the constant battle with pain.
Aside from the intense and widespread pain, here are other symptoms that go together when an individual has fibromyalgia:
Fatigue – regardless whether the pain felt by the fibromyalgia patient is mild or severe, fatigue always comes with it. Extreme tiredness may be felt that the patient feels so exhausted so much like the symptoms of flu or it can be a mild feeling of exhaustion. However, there are some extreme cases when fatigue sets in that the patient becomes immobile and won’t be able to do anything.
Concentration/memory impairment – for fibromyalgia patients, this condition is called fibro-fog. When an individual has fibromyalgia, he encounters difficulty in mental processing. Here are some of the impairments that the condition brings:
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Trouble hanging on to new information
- Attention problems
- Difficulty in remembering memories
- Slurred speech
This symptom could be a great disadvantage to the individual especially if he is looking to get hired or work.
Excessive sensitivity – When an individual is afflicted with fibromyalgia, his sensitivity to pain is compounded several times that it comes to the point where even a slight bump can cause so much pain. And then, there are times that even if the pain is only brief, you feel as if the pain takes forever to go away. And since there are other symptoms involved in this condition, you may feel sensitive to other things too like the food you are eating due to nausea and jaw dysfunction or even bright lights due to vision problems in fibromyalgia.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – one other prominent symptom of fibromyalgia is this digestive condition that includes diarrhea, constipation, abdominal gas, bloating of the stomach, and abdominal pain. This condition is seen to manifest in more than half of fibromyalgia patients.
Headaches – pain in the neck and shoulders due to fibromyalgia will eventually lead to headaches, at times even becoming as severe as migraines. These headaches also become very severe that the onset of nausea is unavoidable. To date, more than 50% of fibromyalgia patients have attested that they are suffering from headaches as frequently as twice a week.
Sleep problems – when fibromyalgia patients go to bed at night, there is no welcome respite for them. They still suffer the symptoms even when they go to sleep and it is with dread that they wake up because there is no refreshed feeling whatsoever. If anything else, their condition even worsens than before they went to sleep.
Stiffness – this is another symptom that plagues fibromyalgia patients. They cannot stand any kind of position for a long period of time because their muscles scream in protest, causing spasms and twitches that could aggravate their condition. Take for example, when a person stays in the same position when he sleeps, he will suffer from stiffness.
There are other prominent symptoms of fibromyalgia that could affect an individual. Eventually, because of these symptoms, a fibromyalgia patient may eventually feel depressed and lethargic. This is because the disorder can be hard to deal with all its symptoms and at times, the individual may be subject to immobility. If and when the individual always feels low and down, he does not exhibit an interest on things that he usually love to do and he feels like crying all the time, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional.