Fibromyalgia: the symptoms
Tuesday 9th September
In Fibromyalgia: key facts we took our first steps in trying to understand Fibromyalgia (FM), and the impact it has on the lives of those suffering from it.
Read on as we explore the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
As we have mentioned, the symptoms of FM are wide and varied, and are often shared by other conditions, helping the illness remain undetected in many sufferers. Adding to the confusion is the fact that many FM sufferers display different symptoms to each other; no two sufferers are likely to experience the condition in exactly the same way.
Yet there are some symptoms that are more prevalent than others, and some which most, if not all, Fibromyalgia sufferers will recognise. We’ll explore some of these symptoms below.
Chronic, widespread pain- This is a symptom common to all people who struggle with Fibromyalgia, and is perhaps the most debilitating one. Pain is experienced in many parts of the body, and ranges in severity from a dull ache, through a burning sensation, to intense agony.
Chronic fatigue- As with widespread pain, differing levels of fatigue can be experienced by the FM sufferer. They may feel a general tiredness or sluggishness throughout the day, whereas in other cases they may feel completely exhausted.
Hypersensitivity to touch/ pressure- Whereas most people would feel only mild discomfort if someone were to pinch their arm or squeeze their hand, the Fibromyalgia sufferer might find themselves in considerable pain under the same touch or pressure. Even the slightest touch, which would usually cause no pain or discomfort at all to a non-sufferer, could be unbearable to someone with the condition.
Cognitive disturbances- Known as “Fibro-Fog”, these disturbances to ordinary mental functions can have a major impact on the sufferer. Concentration and memory can be impaired, as can basic understanding and speech-for example, words are frequently mixed up.
Other symptoms common to Fibromyalgia are disturbed sleep, frequent headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and muscle stiffness. All of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia can vary in severity, and some people are able to manage the condition well enough to live their day-to-day lives. Others, however, are unable to function properly with the illness, and find it difficult to hold down a job, or even to lead a social life.
Check back for our final article in this series, where we will take a look at some of the ways in which Fibromyalgia is diagnosed, and explore some of the available methods of treatment of the condition.
If you feel that you are suffering from the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, please contact your GP.
If you are already a member of benenden health, and have any concerns regarding Fibromyalgia or its’ symptoms, you could call our 24/7 GP advice line on 0800 414 8247.
If you are a benenden health member you are always welcome to ask us for help in getting a diagnosis or treatment, when you feel you need it most. You can speak to our member services team about how we may be able to help you, on 0800 414 8100.