8 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Fibromyalgia

Anyone who suffers from fibromyalgia is familiar with the common symptoms — aches and pains, chronic fatigue, brain fog, etc. — but here are some facts about the disease you may not know. We’ve put together this list with help from fibromyalgialiving.today and verywell.com.

1. Fibromyalgia is the most common pain disorder in the U.S.
It’s been estimated that more than five million people suffer from fibromyalgia in the states, of which 80 percent are women. However, many of these people don’t yet know they have the disease. The condition is notoriously difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can mimic many other diseases and many doctors can be dismissive of a patient’s symptoms.

2. Digestive disorders can be a signal of fibromyalgia. 
It’s estimated that around 70 percent of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from digestive conditions such as IBS, so paying attention to these early warning signs can help with diagnosis. Changing your diet so you don’t consume food or drinks that upset your stomach can help to ease flares.

MORE: 11 tips on how to improve your life with fibromyalgia

3. Fibromyalgia can cause heightened senses.
We know that pain sensitivity in fibromyalgia patients is heightened, but other senses may also be on high alert. You may find yourself very sensitive to sound, smell, and light, and overly sensitive to touch.

4. Some patients may experience excessive sweating. 
Many fibromyalgia patients react to the body heat caused by pain by sweating profusely. This can be countered by certain medications and if the problem is very bad, botox can be useful.

5. Vitamin D deficiency is common.
Vitamin D is vital for health and general well-being, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that around half of fibromyalgia sufferers have a vitamin D deficiency. Speak to your doctor to check your levels and find out if you need to take supplements.

MORE: Our resident columnist, Robin Dix, talks about living with fibromyalgia-related brain fog.

6. It’s a psychological and physical disease. 
Most fibromyalgia patients will report psychological symptoms as well as the physical ones such as pain and fatigue. Brain fog is a very common symptom of fibromyalgia, as are depression and anxiety. Brain fog leads to problems with memory, concentration, organizational skills and other cognitive problems.

7. Fibromyalgia is often a secondary condition. 
Fibromyalgia can be a primary health condition but many fibromyalgia patients also suffer from other chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

8. Not all fibro patients experience the same symptoms. 
There are so many different ways that fibromyalgia can affect a person that patients may suffer a myriad of different symptoms with each having a unique experience of the disease.

MORE: Eight ways to alleviate morning stiffness

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.

7 comments

  1. Patricia Sylvester says:

    I have been living with Fibromyalgia for 8 years. Just in the past year I have had more pain than I have ever had. Migraines included. I cannot take Lyrica like many others… My doctors have tried so many other medicines that are non narcotic… N. To no evale. I want it all to end.. It’s so hard for me to even walk on my own two feet… I need help.

    • Tami says:

      I am so very sorry for you. I can completely understand. Everyday I’d a challenge just to get out of bed. Cymbalta has helped me a little. I can’t take Lyrica or the others either.

      Stay strong. Fibromyalgia is not for the weak. 🙂

  2. Dawn Gilbert says:

    Patricia… Don’t give up ! I also have had a 27 year affair with fibromyalgia… I was first told it was Lupus.
    Thank goodness it wasn’t. But, the symptoms never went away. I don’t have the answer to take away the pain and the depression ANYONE dealing with a chronic illness will experience.
    Just keep moving ! Look into some natural remedies…such as tart cherry juice and spice’s that have been around for hundreds of years…. research and getting close and personal with this disease…is the best way to understand and becoming in control is the best way to live with it.
    Become your best advocate… good luck !

  3. Diane says:

    Wow. I did not know that sweating was related to fibro. I have reported excessive sweating to both my primary and rheumatologist and neither connected it. I travel for work and I start sweating if I have to stand in a line too long. Usually after 5 mins tops, I’m sweating. And this means my whole head is drenched. It’s awful and not attractive! I have degenerative disc disease which adds to the pain which also kicks off the sweating. Good article!

    • Cindy Brown says:

      I also suffer with the sweating. I’ve had my hair cut, hoping that would help, it hasn’t. Can anyone send me info on Botox? It was mentioned in one article. I spoke to dr about it, he’s not heard it. I’d like to get more info to him. Please email me direct if possible.

  4. I’ve been living with fibro for over 40 years. It didn’t have a name back then. Mine started with migraines at the beginning of my menstrual periods. The all over pain started after the birth of my 3 children about age 30. The migraines continued until my periods ceased about early 50s. The fibro pain has increased with age and other age related symptoms. I am 78 yrs. old now and have been diagnosed with beginning stage Alzheimers. I wonder if the brain fog early on contributed to this. So, I have had a life long battle with this. And still, there are few treatments and understanding of fibromyalgia by physicians.

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