5 Early Warning Signs of Fibromyalgia

While the symptoms of fibromyalgia can resemble those associated with other illnesses, if you notice more than one of these early signs of fibromyalgia, it’s a good idea to go to your doctor for early diagnosis.
5 Early Warning Signs of Fibromyalgia
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

According to the Foundation FF of the affected by Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, f ibromyalgia is a disease that’s recognized by all medical organizations, including the World Health Organization, since 1992. It is without a doubt more prevalent in women.

Today, fibromyalgia presents a challenge for both science and medicine because the clinical profile and symptoms can be very broad.

Symptoms can include chronic musculoskeletal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, overactive bladder disorders, or sleep disorders etc.

However, if you’re suffering from recurrent pain or symptoms, it’s essential that you consult with a professional.

According to this study by the Hospital 12 de octubre in Madrid, the main symptoms experienced by patients with fibromyalgia include the following:

  • Hypersensitivity to pain.
  • Mood disturbances, as the person often faces limitations in their daily life due to the chronic pain.
  • Difficulty regaining their quality of life, due to how complex it is to provide a complete and functional treatment regime.

As always, when dealing with chronic diseases, it’s important to consult with a medical professional, have as much information as possible and to be part of a support group. This will help give you access to various treatments and support until you achieve the best results.

In today’s article, we want to invite you to learn about five early warning signs of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia: early warning signs

Let’s start out by considering something important.

Patients with fibromyalgia normally tend to wait a long time to receive the proper diagnosis.
Doctors will often discuss the possibility of rheumatic or arthritic diseases. However, fibromyalgia is a much broader disease.

Neurologists have found that fibromyalgia is a problem that originates in the central nervous system. This was highlighted in a study carried out by the National Social Security Institute, which focuses on assessing the type of disorder that can cause this dysfunction.

Therefore, it’s worth keeping an eye out for the following symptoms. If they’re persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, it’s time to visit a specialist.

Points of pain in woman with early warning signs of fibromyalgia

1. Ossification

The term ossification refers to the sensation of losing mobility in the joints and is very painful.

  • This sensation of stiffness usually appears in the morning and is one of the early warning signs of fibromyalgia.
  • When you’ve been seated, lying down or standing for long periods of time, your body and the joints don’t respond in the same way.

You might also experience this symptom when you undergo changes in temperature or relative humidity, as confirmed in this study carried out by the Amalia Simoni Provincial Teaching Hospital in Cuba.

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 may experience a headache and stiffness in the muscles of the neck or shoulders.

2. Sleep disorders

In spite of getting plenty of sleep, patients suffering from this disease may wake up and still feel tired, as if they’d only slept a few hours, according to this information from the Mayo Clinic.

3. Small cognitive failures

Woman with headache warning signs of fibromyalgia

According to this study conducted by the Cayetano Heredia National Hospital (Peru), patients with fibromyalgia often report that one of the early warning signs of fibromyalgia is difficulty concentrating. This is known as the “fibro fog”.

It’s characterized by small failures in memory, such as difficulty remembering dates, or feeling overwhelmed when trying to do several things as once.

It’s important to note that these symptoms may also be associated with stress.

However, when it comes to determining whether or not a person has fibromyalgia, there are many more symptoms that have to be taken into account, including joint pain and fatigue.

An assessment should be carried out by a health professional, so don’t hesitate to book an appointment.

4. Abdominal discomfort

Many people who have fibromyalgia experience various digestive problems that manifest early on with the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea.
  • They may also present with symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Difficulty digesting or even swallowing food.

Experts say that sometimes fibromyalgia can cause problems in the muscles of the esophagus. It’s important to keep an eye out for these symptoms, and be sure to talk to a trusted doctor.

This study carried out by the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital (Madrid) focuses on this specific issue, and links it with somatization disorders, rather than specific diseases.

5. Myofascial pain syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome is a neuromuscular condition in which very painful spots (known as trigger points) form, as confirmed in this investigation by the Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital in Madrid. 

These hypersensitive points are distributed throughout the muscles or other connective tissues.

Each time the person attempts to perform repetitive movements, they may experience unpredictable bouts of pain.

This pain can appear in unexpected places, and when they least expect it.

Sometimes just carrying a heavy shoulder bag can cause sharp pain in the neck, shoulder, and even elbow.

Woman with shoulder pain

Remember, fibromyalgia can affect each person differently with a broad array of symptoms.

You can use the signs and symptoms discussed here as a rough guide. 

If your symptoms become persistent and start to affect your quality of life, be sure to seek help from a professional.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.