What are the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Web MD lists the following thirty- nine Signs And Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia. Not every person experiencing fibromyalgia will manifest every symptom. However, the most common Signs And Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia include:
Muscle- Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Constant or chronic pain in muscles all over the body, especially in the shoulders, neck, lower back, and hips
Muscle spasms or cramps, including heart palpitations
Muscle and joint stiffness upon waking or after sitting in one place for an extended period of time
Muscle aches and tenderness in the face, particularly the jaw
Temporo mandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
Poor recovery after exercise, or avoiding exercise altogether due to pain
Muscle weakness in the arms or legs
Energy- Related Signs And Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
Moderate to severely debilitating fatigue
Complete lack of energy, feeling “wiped out” most of the time
Insomnia due to constant pain at night
Feeling exhausted, even after a decent night’s sleep
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levelsMental Concentration Signs And Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
Brain fog, often referred to as “fibro fog”
Difficulty remembering simple things
Difficulty with mental math or other simple mental tasks; “can’t think”
Short or long term memory loss
Inability to multi- task
Attention deficit disorderGastro- intestinal Signs And Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Alternating between diarrhea and constipation
Neurological Symptoms Related to Fibromyalgia
Numbness or tingling sensations in the face, hands, feet, arms or legs
Feeling as if the hands or feet are swelling, but without evidence of edema
High sensitivity of any of the following: bright lights, noise, cold temperatures, certain odors or foods
Urinary urgency- feeling as if the bladder constantly needs to be emptied
Psychological Signs And Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
Anxiety and panic
Chronic clinical depression
Post traumatic stress disorder
Hormonal- Endocrine Signs And Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
Adrenal gland dysfunction
Pituitary gland dysfunction
Thyroid gland dysfunction
Low insulin levels
Growth hormone dysfunction in some cases
There is strong evidence that fibromyalgia sufferers perceive common stimuli such as noise levels, odors and normal pain thresholds completely differently than healthy individuals.The neurotransmitters, the parts of the cell which transmit signals to the brain, send very low- level messages to the brain for peace, safety, happiness, and a sense of calm. These neurotransmitters also send very high levels of pain messages to the brain.This particular study suggested that the alterations in the brain seen in fibromyalgia did not originate in the brain.Instead, the scientists believe that fibromyalgia is due to psychological trauma which occurred either during childhood or either prolonged or severe stress during adulthood.
Primary signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia
Not ever getting a good night’s rest.Electroencephalogram (EEG) tests have shown that fibromyalgia sufferers do not get enough “deep sleep,” where the brain emits slow delta wave patterns. Without “delta” sleep, a person never wakes up feeling refreshed.
“Wound up”:Although fibromyalgia patients complain of widespread pain, doctors cannot find a source of the pain on medical examination.
This often causes doctors and uninformed loved ones to state that the disease is “all in the head.”Actually, there are central nervous system abnormalities present in the body and brain of people with fibromyalgia.Every person experiences a feeling of anxiety and tension when he knows he is about to experience pain. This anticipation, fear, or “flinching” is called “wind up.”In a fibromyalgia patient, “wind up” goes to extreme levels. Then when the fibromyalgia patient does feel the pain, he experiences the pain in his mind with twice to three times the intensity of a healthy person.
Endocrine system dysfunction:Problems with low blood sugar levels, adrenal fatigue, thyroid malfunction, and other issues with the endocrine system may all be fibromyalgia symptoms.Scientists in the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Giessen in Bad Nauheim, Germany believe these symptoms are due to long term chronic stress.The “fight or flight” signal is left “on” constantly, which disrupts the normal function of the pituitary and adrenal glands. This eventually inhibits the normal function of other glands and hormones.
Hyperactive nervous system:Another definitive sign of fibromyalgia is a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system. The adrenals are so fatigued from hyperactivity that they barely respond to stressors like physical exercise and mental stress.Although physically exhausted, people with fibromyalgia have a difficult time “turning their brains off” at night.
Abnormalities in cerebrospinal fluid:When a sample of spinal fluid is taken from patients with fibromyalgia, a very common result is low levels of the brain chemicals serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, and high levels of endorphins and enkephalins.The “fibro fog,” insomnia, and severe fatigue experienced in fibromyalgia are all related to the lower levels of these three neurotransmitters.There are also increases in excitatory amino acids, which show up in the body as pain signals.
Abnormalities in the brain:Brain images of patients with fibromyalgia have shown decreased blood flow to the brain, abnormal responses to pain, abnormal levels of neurotransmitters, and an acceleration and progression of brain atrophy. The brain in a person with fibromyalgia ages faster and grows smaller at ten times the rate of a healthy individual.