Other Fibromyalgia-related Conditions You May Experience

Other Fibromyalgia-related Conditions You May Experience

Through the Fog
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.

Headaches: They may be clustertension, or migraine headaches. Either way, headaches are painful and can be debilitating.

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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Note: 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 other 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. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

58 comments

  1. Brenda says:

    Robin – Through the years and currently, I have and do experience all of the above. In addition, I would like to share increased sensitivities to cleaning, laundry and personal hygiene products. At MAJOR Flares, I am extremely sensitive to bright lights, odors (kind and unkind), loss of comprehensive/cognitive abilities, directional functions and memory. Thank you for allowing me to share and for your sharing.

    • Rachael Kelly Cohen says:

      I have Fibromyalgia, CFS,Migraine headaches,Asthma,psoriasis and Aggresive Endometriosis. I find I get light sensitive,
      I am very sensitive to good/bad odors,perfumes etc
      My hearing is highly sensative.

  2. Julie Shenk says:

    Well-written and precise with a delightful tone as well, Robin. Let’s see, a LOT of people with Fibromyalgia also have Celiac Sprue and thyroid issues. Me thinks where one autoimmune parties, more like to join in! Been the case for me. I have Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Disease and just not thyroid shortage. As Celiac is an autoimmune disease, that makes two. Then I developed Dupuytren’s Disease after finger/hand surgery years ago–another autoimmune. I had so hoped a gluten-free diet alone would eradicate FM. Nope. I so hoped being on a drug replacement for my thyroid would eradicate FM. Nope. But what is helping me is movement/exercise/and a careful diet. For me, as I address autoimmune changes, it is somewhat helping FM which started six months after a whiplash. FM is multifaceted but the autoimmune connection and central nervous systems do play heavy roles, I’d say. So boosting and learning about how autoimmune affect our bodies, is helping my struggles with FM.

  3. Marita Mitchell says:

    I regularly experience a crawling sensation all over my body. It is quite different from RLS, and can last for hours. I have not found anything that eases it.
    Secondly, my feet burn to the point where I submerge them in cold water in midwinter, just for some relief.
    A cream with a peppermint component helps somewhat.
    Finally, I have saved my worst for last: my heart attack symptoms. My chest, back, neck and jaw ache terribly. It is like a cape of pain over my upper body and into the jaw. Even my ears ache. It usually comes at bedtime and brings on crying and anxiety. It honestly feels like I might die. I have just, in the past four days had relief from the Morphine patch.
    That’s all I have to offer today.

    • Grace from Australia says:

      Re hot burning legs in winter as soon as I go to bed, I have that too. However, I have found relief by buying a pillow cooling pad. It goes under my feet when they start to get hot and it saves me from having to go out of bed to put my feet in a tub of cold water in the bathroom. Maybe that is helpful for others as well.

    • Tammy says:

      I have experienced this same feeling . I actually went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. Just wondering if you have tmj as well. I Do and have found that sleeping with a mouth gaurd I bought over the counter has really alleviated the tightness in my jaw and the muscles under my ears in my neck. Worth a try

  4. Grace from Australia says:

    Re restless legs syndrome: again I have that as well and tried many things. However, I find that if I don’t eat anything after 7.30 in the evening, especially sweet food, I don’t have as many problems with it. Eating after that time can also make my sleeping worse than it is already.
    Robin you are right about diet; I am 66 now and have, through all the problems with health, taking much care not to get overweight. The heaviest I’ve been is 62 kilos and I brought that back to 56.5 kg. Yes, it took lots of discipline but denying myself the foods that are not good for me anyway helped lots. I replace bad stuff but healthy stuff and…I do ‘sin’ once in awhile but make sure it’s worth it. 🙂

  5. Mandy says:

    Along with the headaches and irritable bowel syndrome, I have also started getting symptoms of Reynaud’s in some of my fingers in colder weather. I’m not sure if I actually have the syndrome or not, but it’s very frustrating when two or three fingers on each hand lose circulation and go completely numb! Sometimes it’s just the tips of the fingers, sometimes the whole thing and it goes white and can take several hours to go back to normal after being in warmth.

  6. Stacy says:

    Hi Robin! I’m about to have a sleep study done, as I wake up during the night and also tend to not feel rested after sleep. Apparently, new(ish?) studies are showing strong connections between fibro and sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, which can elevate fibro pain (and, of course, fatigue). Just thought I’d share!

  7. j.michael carney says:

    Things I researched or had that may have trigger this illness ….MRI s a contrast dye GADOLINIUM this web may help http://www.gadoliniumtoxicity.com
    I think antibiotics can trigger this too ,especially cipro but most have rare earth minerals simular to Gadolinium. Most of these meds are under a black box warning …..so it may have a connection . I think Harvard university had a research study showing this connection but I can’t find it now …it would have a disastrous monetary effect .I switched to all organic foods , no cows milk ,grass fed beef ,gluten free and no sugar and many other hygiene changes …I seem to be allergic to many things now

  8. Maureen T Doran says:

    24 years ago when I was diagnosed with Cl. depression and inattentive ADD I read, that a condition called fibromyalgia should also be considered as an accompaniment. SAMe was recommended.
    During the intervening years I just considered I had total body inflammation.
    I have always used OTC analgesics to get me through, since I could reach the aspirin bottle.
    Now with the information websites I can identify with the pain, overwhelming fatigue, legs and arms feeling like lead weights but also the complete disappearance of the above for a short time, then thinking I’m nuts.
    At night I have a sensation in my legs that reaches a “jump(?)” Applying a cold pack does help me get to sleep.
    I’m so grateful for your info. maureen

    • Robin Dix says:

      Maureen, do you think you might have restless legs syndrome? It’s weird isn’t it how we question whether we really have it on our good days? I appreciate your sharing

  9. Rose says:

    I don’t know what’s happening, but when i go to bed, my feet and thr palms of my hands itch so bad, this started about s month ago, anyone else with this problem??

    • Marie says:

      I have the same issue. It started in my feet and palms of my hands also. Lately, it encompasses my whole body, mostly at night. Some nights I just feel like I am going to go crazy and the tears come. No rash involved and if I scratch, it only gets worse and then pain comes along with it. Fortunately, I am retired and can sleep when I can get it. Unfortunately, nothing I have tried completely helps. Benadryl tabs help some.

    • Marita Mitchell says:

      It’s definitely common, Rose. I get it on my ankles and feet often. Again, it responds to frequent creaming. If it becomes a rash or starts looking raw, please see your doctor, otherwise, I find that it comes and goes, without it being too distressing.

      • Grace from Australia says:

        For the itch (sometimes without seeing any rash etc.) I’ve started using a creme that is a mix of zinc and castor oil. Very cheap – is usually used for babies but it works for me. It’s also a healing cream so when I have, due to dry skin, a bit of eczema it also helps. The brand I get from Chemist Warehouse (Australia) is Skin Basics. I also use of often as a night creme for my face.

      • Debbie says:

        I sweat really badly , just my head . I get soaked and sweat driipping down my face and my hair looks as though I have just come out of the shower. Does any on else have this symptom?

        • Sandra Masson says:

          Yes, my head sweats profusely. The slightest exertion gets it going, even when drying off from the shower. As soon as I dry my hair, it is dripping. So annoying.
          Usually if I can just sit and breath, it will slowly clear up.

          My body thermometer is out of wack as well, but I think that is common to all FMers.

  10. Traci Ann Bandy says:

    Very interesting reading article and comments. My feet also burn at night. Relieved to know it’s “just” a new symptom of my fibromyalgia. My biggest problem is lack of energy. And depression. My Mom lives with us and has later stage Alzheimer’s, my husband has early onset dementia from radiation after haveing brain cancer. I feel that I live in the Twilight zone.

  11. Colin Green says:

    Marita.I had your heart attack symtoms for many years as well as FM…My GP dismissed it.One night it was so bad my wife called an ambulance,and I spent 2 nights in hospital where they decided there was nothing wrong with my heart,BUT did not refer me on or further to investigate…It took a further 8 years until I was diagnosed with a Hiatus Hernia,which can give you the exact symptoms you describe…This causes acid reflux from the stomach,and can be worse when lying flat in bed….You need to have a Barium meal x ray video.This will show whether your stomach is pushing back acid up oesophogus causing your symptoms.Easily cured with a couple of Omeprezole pills per day.

    • Marita Mitchell says:

      Hi Colin, thanks for your concern. I have had the barium x ray, a very unpleasant gastrostomy, and although they were negative, I still take omeprazole on prescription. So, there is nothing wrong with me but I am still given medication! The treatment of all things Fibro is a joke. I am very grateful to all on this blessing g who have commented on my peculiar symptoms.

  12. Rachael Kelly Cohen says:

    Brenda,
    This is a great article.
    I have Fibromyalgia, CFS,Asthma,Psoriasis, Migraine headaches & aggressive Endometriosis.
    I do find I am light sensitive. I have a increased sense of smell and my hearing is highly acute. I hear and smell things my husband cannot !!
    Gentle hugs to all
    🦋💜🦋

  13. Irma Trujillo says:

    I suffer from brain fog, sometimes I am unable to remember a word that I am thinking of, spelling basic words also is an issue. I am physically exhausted, even after sleeping! I was on so much medication Lyrica, Cymbalta, Leflumide, plus 3 others. I didn’t feel like the meds were helping me so I took myself off all the medications! I suppose I was angry, cause I felt my Rheumatologist was not listening to me. I don’t feel any worse than when I was on the meds. I decided I needed to change Rheumatologist, so I have an appointment with a new, highly regarded Dr. I understand I will never feel like I did before the illness, but I need some answers.

    • Rose says:

      Hi Irma, u r right, my Rhemo didn’t take me serious, he had the nerve to mention how much i had spent on test, like it was coming out of his pocket,i worked n 27yrs.b4 i got sick,so now i feel I’m getting my money back, but i left him,and got a Physical Med Pain Specialist, and he is great, i to cant spell so i have a spell device on my cell i just say the word and it spells it a great app, and alot of the time i forget in mid sentence,or can’t remember at all,it is so fruastrating i will never b the same person i was,and i try to explain that to my family,but they don’t see nothing physically wrong with me, so they don’t get it, so i get tired of trying to explain, so i just say no, or i can’t and leave it at that.I have no control over this illness, it has taken away my freedom

      • Irma Trujillo says:

        Rose, I know, trying to tell the family I’m actually sick, it’s like talking to a brick wall…..I’m so frustrated that I feel I don’t have to be around them, I don’t care anymore what they think! I only know I hurt, I’m exhausted all the time!
        I don’t want nor do I need their sympathy, I only want them to know what I feel, how I feel is real.

        • Mish says:

          It is real and anybody who hasn’t endured chronic illness can never understand. Good to see you have boundaries to manage as best you can. We can only keep hoping for more research and belief ♥

        • Getting a doctor or any body to really listen to you is always a big problem so I finnialy found this little booklet call I hurt like hell and gave it to my doctor..!!!!the good thing now she listen and try to find new things to help me. Buy the book (i hurt like hell). Let them read it hope it helps

      • Brenda Goodwin says:

        Rrobin,Rose,Irma as all others. Reading all your comments along with Robin’s column had comforted me trameandously, for I suffer from so many of these symptoms and knowing that I’m not the only one. The hardest of all is when your Familt, friends, and medical staff male you feel as if your making this up. I know it must be confusing for them seeing that I can ride a paddle board one day and be bed ridden for the next 3 weeks. I have had this condition for more than 25 yrs. The symptoms even subsided enough that I reopened to work foe 7 yrs., but reopened to the point that I can no Looney work due to the inconsistency of how I meaty feel on any given day. Robin I commend you for warning a living from home. Robin what do you think of thoughts of Einstein barr being linked to fibromyalgia?
        Hugs to all! Brenda

    • Getting a doctor or any body to really listen to you is always a big problem so I finnialy found this little booklet call I hurt like hell and gave it to my doctor..!!!!the good thing now she listen and try to find new things to help me

    • I look so forward to the one day that I almost feel like my old self and on that day I always over do just to get things done then I’m in really bad shape till my body can rest some its such a sad life if it was not for my husband I could not make soft hugs to all of you praying someday we will get help

  14. Terri says:

    J.michael, I had Gadolinium twice and lots of Amoxicillin also 2002 through 2005. In 2007, I developed Fibromyalgia. You have made me stop and pay more attention to this. TU!

  15. Brenda K. says:

    I know what it’s like to suffer horribly with restless leg. 3am is the loneliness time when it seems like the whole world is asleep except you. Mine was worse in my legs but my whole body would jerk frequently just at the edge of sleep. I don’t like taking meds anymore than anyone but my Dr. tried to help by having me take sleeping pills. They literally made me sick so we ended up trying Trazodone. I’ve been taking it for years now. It puts me out & I stay out all night. As with every med there are side effects; I have to sleep at least a little propped up & take fluicasone every night because it makes my sinuses run. When I first started it I had some pretty significant dizzy issues & some nausea that went away but it took quite awhile. Also when I say it puts me out I’m not kidding, almost nothing will wake me & that can be a concern sometimes. Guess the drug company won’t be hiring me to be a spokesperson 🙂 For me it’s worth the downsides because I sleep. What I’ve read is that it is an old time antidepressant but now is off label rx for severe insomnia. Thought maybe this info could be of some help to someone.

  16. Kathy says:

    Sensory overload is horrible! I have fibro and am just so exhausted! People don’t understand.I have the headaches, burning feet, IBS, joint pain and even the heart attack symptoms. I wish someone would find a cure for this. I quit the neurontin and all meds like it and seem to be getting my mind back. My grandchildren don’t understand why I’m always lying down and can’t comprehend why I don’t look sick. This is not how I saw my life, but it’s the life I have. I just keep plodding along. Slowly, but surely!

  17. Terri White says:

    Does anyone have severe shaking? Not all the time but when it starts it can last for days. At first I was diagnosed with essential tremors, but a second neurologist said there was nothing wrong with me. But then he never saw. My head looking like a bobblehead.

  18. Meggin says:

    Hi everyone,
    I am new to following this website and so far I really appreciate the content! This article was wonderfully written, I can relate to most of the symptoms in it. I do not have RLS but I do have a functional movement disorder where my arms jerk suddenly when it happens I have involuntarily chucked my phone across the room or I hit myself in the face. It a strong jerking motion and it always scares me half to death! It is one big jerk and then it will happen every few minutes for a few hours, it usually happens at night but always when I’m exhausted. I have a different thing with my legs, it happens when I’m really stressed where they shake or bounce kind of like the nervous tick some people have. But I can’t stop them from bouncing they usually go for 15-20 minutes and then stop for a bit. It comes back if I don’t find a way to distract myself if I start freaking out it stresses me out more and it gets worse.
    I also have the itchy legs, arms, and feet like many others that commented. When it does spread to my whole body it feels like I’m going to lose my mind. For this my doctor prescribes me Xanax I only take it for this reason as it calms my mind so I’m not so hyper focused on it. When I get itchy the area gets hot itching doesn’t help it seems to make it spread. I have found that if the area is manageable that placing ice packs on the area helps to both numb and cool the area. It’s the only thing that I have found that helps almost instantly. I hope that helps someone.
    Again I really appreciated and related to this article.
    Gentle hugs to everyone 💖💕💖💕💖💕💖💕💖💕

      • Meggin says:

        I mostly just see my GP, but I also have a neurologist, cardiologist, and a pain management doctor that I just started seeing. My main diagnosis are fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome as well as depression and anxiety. So far every test that has ever been done has come back normal… which is beyond aggravating! My symptoms started back in 2007 but I didn’t get a diagnosis until 2014 which is when my symptoms escalated. By early 2016 I had to quit working which has made it difficult to get some of the therapies I would like to try. More of a natural path than what I’m doing now. I take a lot of medication (34 pills per day) just to feel only a bit better. It’s crazy how much we do to try and even feel better even if it only takes the edge of or degree by degree. (I hope that makes sense.)
        My doctor has tried just about all he knows how to to help me feel better, but he has always believed me which is a true blessing. My husband and my two children (20 & 16) are very supportive as well. I am so grateful to have them in my life. I’m glad I found this group the info and support and comments are wonderful!

  19. Anna says:

    Hi Robin, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in March 2017. I do not take prescription medicine, because of the side effects, but do take good supplements and also go for therapy twice a week. what is your opinion of LDN?

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