Fibromyalgia is a disease that’s recognized by all medical organizations (and the World Health Organization since 1992). Its prevalence is without a doubt higher in women.
Today fibromyalgia presents a challenge for both science and medicine because the clinical profile and symptoms can be very broad, ranging from chronic musculoskeletal pain, to irritable bowel syndrome, to overactive bladder disorders, sleep disorders, bruxism…
Hypersensitivity to pain and disturbances in the mood that this chronic condition causes are two of the common realities – as well as limitations in their daily life – that patients face.
Their suffering can paralyze them, which is why it’s difficult to provide a complete and functional treatment regimen for patients to recover their quality of life.
As always when dealing with chronic diseases, it’s important to have as much information as possible and to be part of a support group that will help you try various treatments until you achieve the best results.
In today’s article we invite you to learn about five early warning signs of fibromyalgia to keep in mind.
Fibromyalgia: the early symptoms
Let’s start out by considering something important. On average, a person who has fibromyalgia takes a long time to receive the proper diagnosis, due to the variety of symptoms they may have.
It’s common to go through a series of different doctors and specialists until you finally arrive at the correct diagnosis. You might, for example, hear more about rheumatic or arthritic diseases.
Fibromyalgia, however, is much broader than that.
Also read “6 alternative treatments for arthritis pain“
Neurologists have found that fibromyalgia in fact is not a rheumatic disease, but a problem that originates in your central nervous system.
That’s why you need to keep any eye out for the following symptoms, and if they’re persistent or combined with other problems it’s time to visit a good specialist.
Ossification, or the sensation of losing mobility in the joints, is very painful.
- This feeling of paralysis usually appears in the mornings and is one of the earliest symptoms of fibromyalgia.
- When you’ve been seated or lying down for long periods of time your body and the joints don’t react the same.
- You might also experience this symptom when you undergo changes in temperature or relative humidity.
An example could be when you’re in a room that’s air conditioned. When you go outside and notice the difference in temperature, you’ll experience a headache and stiffness in the muscles of the neck or shoulders.
In spite of getting plenty of sleep, patients who suffer from fibromyalgia may wake up and still feel tired, as if they’d only slept a few hours.
See also how to alleviate arthritis symptoms
Several studies on this subject indicate that during the deepest phase of sleep (the delta stage) you may experience disruptions in the brain waves that induce calm.
This means, therefore, that in spite of being asleep you’re not resting.
Small cognitive failuresPeople with fibromyalgia often report that the first symptoms they noticed was some difficulty concentrating, or a slow ability to focus on certain tasks.
- These issues are known as the “fibro fog” and are characterized by small failures in the memory or difficulty taking on several things at once.
- It’s important to note that these symptoms may also be associated with stress, so if you’re trying to determine whether or not it could be fibromyalgia it’s best to take into account other more definitive symptoms (joint pain, fatigue, etc.).
Many people who have fibromyalgia experience various digestive problems that manifest early on with the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Difficulty digesting or swallowing food. Experts say that sometimes fibromyalgia can cause problems in the muscles of the esophagus
Myofascial pain syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is a neuromuscular condition in which very painful spots (known as trigger points) are formed and distributed around the muscles or connective tissues.
- If you experience painful repetitive movements that are in unexpected places, it could be an indication of this condition.
- Sometimes just carrying a heavy shoulder bag can cause sharp pain in the neck, shoulder, and even elbow. This is something to keep in mind.
Remember that fibromyalgia can affect each person differently with a broad array of symptoms.
We recommend you read the relationship between chronic back pain and depression
There are some more common symptoms, however, and we encourage you to seek help if any of the ones we described today are becoming persistent and affecting your quality of life.