3 Symptoms of Severe Fibromyalgia Nobody Talks About

Lorna Effy talks about some of the symptoms she’s experienced with fibromyalgia that aren’t often associated with the disease.

Nine possible causes of fibromyalgia to discuss with your doctor.

Lorna explains that she has three ongoing issues that she attributes to fibromyalgia, but can find no online information about any connection between them despite talking to other fibromyalgia patients who also have the same symptoms.

Lorna describes the ever-present problems she has with her throat, where she feels her throat muscles are not strong enough for her to be able to eat enough food and she often experiences pain after talking for a while. She also goes on to share how her nose always tends to be blocked and the congestion was making it difficult for her to sleep. Finally, Lorna says that since she’s had fibromyalgia she had also started suffering from acute panic attacks.

Eight facts you probably didn’t know about fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


  1. HJ says:

    I’d see an ENT. I’m getting checked for vocal cord dysfunction. I read about trouble swallowing with vocal cord dysfunction and am not sure if this is what you’re describing but no matter what the issue, a good Ear, Nose and Throat doctor (also known as an otolarygnologist) can examine you.

    Also, to folks who experience new symptoms, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if any of your meds could be causing symptoms. I was having dry eyes and was about to go on a new med to treat the problem because it was interfering with my job (all day at the computer!). I came off a medication and I no longer have the issue. We’ve chosen an alternate medicine that so far doesn’t seem to be causing me side effects. (fingers crossed)

    Please do NOT assume all symptoms are fibromyalgia. I wouldn’t have gotten my sleep apnea diagnosis if I dismissed some of my symptoms.

    • Nancy says:

      In addition to severe fibromyalgia, I have chronic congestion and have been diagnosed with Vocal Cord Dysfunctuon which seems to mostly be a problem when stressed. The VCD appeared about five years before my fibromyalgia got to the state it is now. I agree there is a relationship. I did professional speech therapy, relaxation exercises and basically don’t worry about it.

      • Christine Kerkhof says:

        I have been seeing a endocrinologist about my throat as I have a lot of trouble swallowing food, seems to always be congested with phlegm. My nose blocks up when I’m sleeping, I wake with a dry mouth. My eyes itch, dry as well. I’ve just gone through a medication change but now I’m in a great deal of pain but my moods are better, I’m not so down, angry as I was. Thank you for helping us understand more about ourselves. Regards CGK

    • dorothy dawson says:

      I HAVE THE THROAT PROBLEM AS WELL as many of the regular things that go with fibro i am a senior now i choke when swallowing even saliva will do it and if i talk steady too long throat becomes raw feeling i went to the throat eyes and ear dr in peterborough and she was not good i thought but found nothing wrong…. so problem continues

  2. Sinead says:

    I love recieving these emails, and your top 10 tips are amazing most have already been told to me by my Husband, but now that I read them, they do make sense and the resting bit is something I don’t do, and then when I over do it, I spent 1/1.5 days in bed…. Thank you again for these emails….:-)

    • Adrianna says:

      This sounds exactly like my life. 😕 The second I feel a bit stronger I just want to do and make up for what FM is robbing me of. My life! I just spent the last day and a half resting laying around trying to get over this fibro flare up. Seems to be getting worse and worse for me on a month to month basis. This sucks so bad! 😩

  3. Marilynne Rowland says:

    Thank you for this! I have struggled with the nighttime stuffiness many years. Was told I had to use a CPAP machine which gave me panic attacks through the night. I have given up dairy which has helped a bit and take supplements and acupuncture as well. Went to bed and awoke last night just as bad as ever. Had thought prior to your posting, might be allergies in Ohio Valley.

    • Tanya says:

      I also are in the Ohio Valley and have put my stuffiness to allergies. Just wanted to let you know, you are not alone.

  4. James milne says:

    Yep in fibro there symptoms upon symptoms for all sorts of stuff going on with the body toothache is the worst for me, I have now came to an understanding that the symptoms will come and go from one to another etc, and being in acceptance has helped me a lot in coping along with meditation

  5. Karen says:

    Lorna, Please get tested for Sjogrens Syndrome. I have Sjogrens, FMS and the Epstein Barr Virus. For almost 50 years I’ve experienced these same symptoms which are very common with Sjogrens. Good luck!

    • Lynnr says:

      Lorna, I agree with Karen. Your symptoms sound Autoimmume. You really need to be tested to identify if it’s an Autoimmune Disease causing it. Ask for a referral to a rhematologist if you don’t currently see one. Hope you feel better.

    • Mary says:

      I have sjrogrens as well. My doctor said they are doing studies now to show that auto immune disorders go hand in hand with fibromyalgia. It is the cause of my trouble swallowing my stuffiness and my eyes. Amazing advice!!

  6. Vanessa says:

    I have the swallowing problem also, I thought it was just me…sometimes I have to think about swallowing, before I can swallow…it’s so weird and scary..

    • Kathy says:

      Several years ago when all this fibro crap started with me, I had my throat stretched. It was wonderful for awhile. I think I need to have it done again. I suck spit and choke all the time. Food gets stuck in middle of my chest and I have to get a sip of liquid to get it down. It hurts like crazy. I am thinking that fibro is a blanket diagnosis because of all the stuff that doctors cannot or don’t want to deal with!

    • Karen says:

      I am experiencing the same throat problems. And sometimes it will feel like food clumps up in my esophagus, I have to take smaller bites and drink with each bite. But I have problems chewing because of dental problems that I cannot afford to do anything about. I just read up on Sjogrens yesterday and laid here crying. I have every single symptom listed. The severe dry eyes, skin, as well as others… I get eye drops, use them and five minutes later my eyes are so dry and feel almost as if there is grit in them…

  7. Julie says:

    The congestion, I have a lot of that too for years now. I use a version of the neti pot, and that helps a lot, and I use antihistamines if it gets too bad. The panic attacks have been an issue for me since the FMS started, and as far as I know that is part of it due to the high anxiety. I get a sore throat when talking to much and sometimes I get a sore tongue from that as well, plus the jaw stiffness.

  8. Maureen Dowdell says:

    Lorna, I had similar symptons. You might read Dr. Jamie Koufman’s works on acid reflux Her books are searchable on Amazon.com.

  9. StevefromMA says:

    Lorna, I have throat constriction and swallowing problems assocated with fibro, thoroughly checked out. Congestion also, has led to severe scary sinusitis. No panic attacks though, infrequently, out of nowhere, I have a day where my whole body feels “wired.” Get checked out but good chance all fibro IMO.

  10. open4thot says:

    I hope you have had a full panel Thyroid test (TSH test isn’t as thorough). The link between Fibromyalgia and Thyroid dysfunction is often overlooked.

  11. Helen Gardiner says:

    I have just been diagnosed with FM after many years of being told my symptoms were all in my head. In addition to the chronic pain and insomnia I also have lost a lot of my voice over the past 5 years. I don’t have difficulty swallowing but talking is a strain and I loose my voice completely for several weeks a couple of times a year. I am not congested but my nose runs significantly every morning for an hour or so. I started having panic attacks in October/16. I was managing with my symptoms very well until I had an avalanche of stress I could do nothing about (job eliminated, father dying, new relationship, moving, etc.) in July of last year. Since then I feel like I’ve aged 10 years. I have found a solution that works extremely well for me: Ayervadic medicine. I spent 2 months in India at a certified Ayervadic hospital and the change in me was nothing short of miraculous. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to keep up in North America…but you can do some parts like yoga, meditation, mindfulness and keeping to a healthy routine. I still have a lot to learn about this. I’m 58 and thought I was heading into the best time of my life. It’s hard to still think of it that way.

  12. Glen says:

    I’ve never had throat problems, but the other 2 symptoms very often; recently started taking Cipralex & it seems to be helping with the anxiety and panic attacks

  13. Jane says:

    I am glad you have posted about your nasal problems, throat problems and your anxiety attacks. I too am experiencing them. I have found a wonderful message therapist who has been a tremendous help with the neuromuscular issue. I see him for one hour every other week. It might also be helpful for you.

  14. Jane says:

    Lorna, I went to an ENT for the sinus/ ear problems. He did a CAT scan and said it was an abscessed tooth. I then went to the dentist who took another X-ray and he said there is no abscess. Round and round we go! I also started having anxiety attacks after this past election. Friends are attacking friends over politics. I have never seen anything like it. I just have to remove myself or I will “shatter”. It is a horrible feeling. Thank you again for your testimony! It helps to know others are dealing with the same kind of issues.

  15. Mo says:

    I’ve experienced similar symptoms at various points in my own illness. It’s true I think that there are many symptoms not listed, but I also believe often times there are overlapping conditions so I agree it’s important to look for individual causes but not to become too hyper-focused on a diagnosis and often times medication side effects are often to blame. These three symptoms together sound a lot like histamine intolerance (mast cell disorder) with a persistent nasal drainage you could get a very sore hoarse throat, and histamine intolerance often coincides with gerd or acid reflux type disorders that could cause a sore throat and trouble swallowing, mast cells also cause an anaphylaxis like reaction that could feel like a panic attack. However, autoimmunes disorders like sjogrens or myasthenia gravis fits these symptoms too, even a thyroid imbalance could cause this. The thing for me was to recognize my body was asking for attention and balance and I had to really learn to listen, I’ve let go of the hunt for the perfect diagnosis, there isn’t one that will be satisfying because the answer is always change.

  16. I wonder if she has had a heavy metal challenge. Many with FM actually have infections and can’t detox heavy metals. They also are very acidic and need to akalize the body! Remove the stumbling blocks like metals, toxins and parasites and give the body organic whole live food and nutrition and you can get well! Some people are dealing with Lymes infections that haven’t been diagnosed!

  17. Amanda M says:

    I have the same thing. It just doesn’t affect my sleeping, but yes I have blockage in my nose and swallowing its hard at times or I feel like something is stuck in my throat. I also vibrate like internally and nobody can tell me why……. Any suggestions as to how to stop the vibrating would be great.

  18. Van says:

    I have the same thing with my throat. It’ll feel like I have a sore throat, but I’m not actually sick. Then, the muscles there will be so sore and achy, making swallowing difficult. This happens on and off for me, plus congestion and feeling like my chest is tight. I have fibro + Sjogrens, and we’re looking at RA as well. But I would encourage you to be tested for Sjogrens, as they can be very similar. Thank you for speaking out about this, I am so glad not to be the only one with these issues and diagnosis.

  19. Storm styles says:

    When I’m in bed it feels like my. Bed is shaking trembling I can feel it and times I’ve been laid there and it’s like something or someone is there it’s an object moving closer to me I wake and scream for my 11 year old boy it’s like a light I sweat like crazy in bed my whole body aches I have restless leg syndrome I can have one good day and have to be bed ridden for three days I choke on my own slather and have trouble swallowing I often loose my. Voice which requires steroids it feels like someone has smashed me over the head with a brick I had perfect eyes now I’m
    Blind in both sides with sever bilateral tunnel vision I’m a single mum with two kids with disabilities and have no auppport at All I. Relieve I have autoimmune disease to I’m at ot specialist Friday sow will be requiring a neck brace when my neck goes into spasms and leg braces it’s like when your laid with your legs down straight they turn in right o have to kind of turn them outwards it feels like there twisted and they have to be on a cold spot I’m hoping this will be familiar with some of you xx

  20. BONNIE SPOON says:

    I have fibromyalgia and just found this website. It is amazing to read.
    I have problems with swallowing and choking. Plus, oft times wake up with a sore throat. Yes, part of it is GERD, but there are times when I am so careful what I eat and my throat/voice/vocal cords are a big mess! Interesting to hear that it could be connected to fibro.

    Amanda…I also vibrate internally….I tell my husband I feel like electricity is running through my body, especially on days when I push myself. Do you have the time to lie down? I know that when I lie down the vibrating gets worse, but I think that is because, the only thing I am doing is lying down and not doing any other movements. I try to take naps (not often). It takes me about 45/50 minutes to try to fall asleep, and I don’t fall asleep a lot of time, but the lying down, gives my inflammed body a chance to go….aaahhhhh.

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