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9 Signs You May Have Fibromyalgia

  • Category: LiveSmart
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Fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose, but these are some of the most common symptoms.

Do you have pain throughout your body? Do you feel fatigued no matter what you do? If you have these and other symptoms, and you haven't found another reason for your pain and fatigue, you may have fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects about 4 million people in the U.S. It is a chronic disorder that causes widespread pain, stiffness and tenderness throughout the body. People with the condition often experience fatigue and have trouble sleeping. They may also have emotional and mental health issues as a result of their chronic symptoms.

If you suspect you have fibromyalgia or have any of the symptoms listed below, it is best to see a doctor. Although there is no specific test that can definitively tell if a person has fibromyalgia, tests can be done to check for other possible causes of symptoms. Often a diagnosis is made based on the symptoms a person is having after having ruled out other medical causes.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Think you might have fibromyalgia? Here are common symptoms of the condition:

  1. Widespread pain and stiffness throughout the body – the pain is often described as aching, throbbing or burning
  2. Extreme fatigue
  3. Trouble sleeping
  4. Depression and anxiety
  5. Headaches
  6. Brain fog, including problems with thinking, memory and concentration
  7. Sensitivity to light, noise, temperature and odors
  8. Numbness or tingling in the arms and legs
  9. Digestive issues

Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia

It is not known what causes fibromyalgia, but people who have the disorder often exhibit a heightened sensitivity to pain. The most common risk factors include:

  • Sex – Women are twice as likely as men to have the condition.
  • Age – Although people can be diagnosed at any age (even children), most people are diagnosed during middle age.
  • Autoimmune disorders – People who have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
  • Family history – There may be a tendency for this condition to run in families.
  • Other risk factors – There may be a link between other factors and fibromyalgia, but more research needs to be done to confirm the association. These include having viral infections, repetitive stress injuries or experiencing a stressful or traumatic event, such as a car accident. Obesity may also possibly increase your risk.

Fibromyalgia Treatment

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but many symptoms of the condition can be treated with medication and self-management strategies. In addition to taking medication to manage pain and inflammation, some of these lifestyle habits may help:

  • Exercising
  • Reducing stress, by doing activities such as yoga or meditation
  • Developing good sleep habits
  • Attending self-management education classes to learn how to manage the condition and improve quality of life
  • Getting help from a mental health professional to treat depression or anxiety

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Date Last Reviewed: March 20, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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