A lot of issues and conditions can be linked to fibromyalgia. You may experience some of the following, as well as others that I don’t cover. Suffice it to say that it’s more than just pain and fatigue. If you experience one or more of these, you may want to discuss it with your healthcare provider and see what therapies are available to lessen their severity.
Autoimmune diseases: Although FM has not been established as an autoimmune disorder, it has been shown to be prevalent in people diagnosed with autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. According to the National Institutes of Health, FM is theorized to be an autoimmune disorder and may include dysfunction of purine nucleotide metabolism and nociception. I’m interested in seeing what further scientific studies reveal.
Restless leg syndrome: According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, this condition is a neurological sensory disorder with symptoms originating in the brain. It’s typically worse at night and has been classified as a sleep disorder. Those with RLS are forced to move their legs to relieve symptoms including aching, pulling, itching, crawling, or creeping. It can be painful or just very irritating.
Irritable bowel syndrome: IBS is characterized by painful cramping, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas. It’s a chronic condition with no current cure, but I find if I eliminate the foods that trigger my symptoms, I no longer experience the horrible ones.
Depression and anxiety: A deficiency in serotonin and norepinephrine causes these issues as well as pain in FM. I believe that’s why the medical community prescribes antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications that also help with pain for some people. I’m not sure if I experienced depression first or fibro. I’ve been on an antidepressant for years and I believe I had symptoms of fibro since I was a child.
Obesity: I’m guessing this is in part due to our more sedentary lifestyle, but also the side effects of some medications. I think if we move a little more and adjust our diets to include more fresh foods, we will see some improvement in this area. At least that has proven to be true for me.
I’m sure there are other conditions related to fibromyalgia that I have not listed. It’s a complicated, crazy compilation of symptoms that keep us on our toes and in a doctor’s office on a pretty regular basis. Are you experiencing any that I didn’t cover? As always, I look forward to your comments.
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