Fibromyalgia is, unfortunately, a common issue that affects 3-5 million people, or 1 out of five people.
This syndrome is characterized by debilitating pain throughout the body. Yet, chronic muscle pain does not necessarily mean that you suffer from Fibromyalgia, as this condition leads to other symptoms as well.
Still, if your muscles ache all the time, you need to check the list of symptoms of Fibromyalgia and see if you need to find appropriate treatment or you can exclude fibromyalgia as a potential cause.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia:
Muscle and body tissues
Mild to severe pain in different parts of the body
Tender and lumpy breasts (fibrocystic breasts, as a condition of overlap)
Stomach and digestion problems
Bloating, nausea, abdominal cramps and pelvic pain
Allergy and sinus Problems
Itchy ears and ear aches
Allergies, susceptibility to mold and yeast
A runny nose and post nasal drip
Pain similar to heart attack
Sensory Problems and sensitivity
Difficulty with night driving and seeing in low lighting
Sensitive to odours, light, noise, temperature, climate and pressure changes.
Want to fall asleep
Muscle shaking even while sleeping
Sleep difficulty/broken sleep pattern, feeling tired and lethargic every morning
Language deficiencies and difficulty in pronouncing familiar words
Directional difficulties and recognize a familiar environment
Poor coordination and balance
The area often, issues of concentration, inability to differentiate color shades, and short-term memory.
Burns or tingling in the upper limbs
Hair, skin and nails
Nails too ridged or bent nails
Skin that bruises or scars easily or appears spotted
Mental health problems
Mood swings, irritability for no reason
Anxiety, depression, panic attacks
Loss of Libido
PMS and other menstrual problems
Unexplained weight Gain or weight loss
Headaches and migraines
Carbohydrate and chocolate cravings
Yet these symptoms are non-specific, which means they may result in other health problems too, so you should not jump to conclusions yet.
This condition is not easy to diagnose either, as it can be confused with other questions, and there are no specific fibromyalgia tests that are 100% accurate.
A diagnosis of Fibromyalgia requires that the following criteria be met by the American College of Rheumatology:
Generalized pain felt for at least 3 months in the four quadrants of the body
11 out of 18 tender stitches, with pain felt when palpated
Negative results for other diseases on diagnostic tests
To exclude other conditions and diagnose fibromyalgia, physicians use a set of diagnostic tests, such as:
Complete blood count
Anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA)
erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)