Most Common Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Risk Factors

Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder that causes widespread pain all over the body. Cases of fibromyalgia can range from mild to severe. Thus, recognizing and treating this condition early is very important.

According to CDC, about 4 million adults in the US are living with fibromyalgia, making it a common disease. Here are some of the most common fibromyalgia symptoms and risk factors to pay attention.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

1. Pain and stiffness

Fibromyalgia can cause pain and stiffness in joints and muscles throughout the body. These include:

  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back

The symptoms can be very similar to RA. For instance:

  • Pain and stiffness occur in various parts of the body
  • Pain affects both sides of the body
  • Morning stiffness and stiffness from long periods of rest
  • The symptoms come along with chronic exhaustion, depression and anxiety

Fibromyalgia does not cause joint and muscle damage like RA. Also, movement can worsen rather than relieve the symptoms.

Read more: 10 Common Causes of Muscle Pain and Solutions

Pain and stiffness are symptoms of fibromyalgia

2. Fatigue and tiredness

Many people with fibromyalgia experience chronic fatigue and tiredness. Doctors believe there are two reasons for this. First, fatigue and tiredness are core symptoms of the condition. Thus, they can occur without a reason. And second, fibromyalgia itself can drain your energy even if you sleep for long periods of time. Many people who do not physically or mentally overexert themselves may also get this.

In fibromyalgia, fatigue and tiredness can trigger some sleep problems. These include restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.

Read more: You Are Tired All the Time. Here’s Why?

fatigue and tiredness are common symptoms of fibromyalgia

3. Depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety also occur in a large number of fibromyalgia patients. This is due to a patient has to deal with a lot of symptoms at the same time like:

  • Constant pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of sleep
  • Being forced to give up activities they once enjoyed

To calm down the symptoms, you can use antidepressants.

Depression is a common symptom of fibromyalgia

4. Sleep problems

Sleep problems are common in people with fibromyalgia. These include:

  • Insomnia
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Poor quality sleep
  • Unrefreshing sleep

The combination of pain and depression are known to contribute to the problems. To deal with these, you can engage in regular exercise. Add more vitamin D. And try meditation.

Read more: Vitamin D Deficiency Can Be Linked to Kidney Failure

5. Thinking and memory problems

Fibromyalgia can cause memory and thinking problems. The exact causes are still unknown. But researchers think that chronic fatigue and exhaustion can contribute to it.

Patients have trouble retaining information and remembering things. Also, they find it difficult to sustain concentration for a longer, or extended period of time.

To improve your memory with fibromyalgia:

  • Practice meditation
  • Exercise regularly
  • Do puzzles
  • Improve sleep hygiene
  • Learn memory tricks
  • Don’t multitasks

Trouble concentrating in fibromyalgia

6. Chronic headaches

Persistent headaches or migraines is also common in fibromyalgia patients. It can be very severe and debilitating. Usually, the symptom is triggered by environmental sensitivities, such as:

  • Bright lights
  • Strong smells
  • Loud sounds   

In fibromyalgia, headaches may not go away for hours or days. Even after you stay away from the triggers, the symptoms are still there.

Read more: Types of Headaches and How to Get Rid of Them

Fibromyalgia Risk Factors

Here are some causes and risk factors of fibromyalgia you may not know.

1. Age

Fibromyalgia can strike people of all ages. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. But as you get older, your chances will increase.

2. Sex

Fibromyalgia tends to affect more women than men. The exact reason for this is still unknown.

3. Stressful or traumatic events

Physical and emotional trauma can put you at risk for developing fibromyalgia. These may include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Lack of love and affection in the household
  • Bad relationship with parents
  • Alcoholic or drug-addicted parents
  • Divorce or separation of parents

Physical and emotional trauma can put you at risk for developing fibromyalgia

4. Repetitive strain injury

This is the pain or injury in the muscles or joints due to repeatedly engaging in physical activity. If you overwork or maintain a stressful position for long periods, you can also get the condition.

5. Family history

Fibromyalgia is hereditary, which means it can run in families. If you have a family history of the condition, you’re likely to get it, too.

6. Other illnesses and diseases

Lupus. Rheumatoid arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis. Sjögren’s syndrome. Depression. Obesity.

These diseases can trigger fibromyalgia.

If you think you have risks and experience symptoms, talk to your doctor.

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