Conditions with Similar Symptoms as Fibromyalgia

Conditions with Similar Symptoms as Fibromyalgia

Through the Fog
Some fibromyalgia symptoms, such as difficulty thinking and remembering, headaches, light/noise sensitivity, IBS, stiffness upon rising in the morning, urinary issues, numbing/tingling in extremities, and sleep problems can all overlap with other conditions. I was surprised to learn that there are a few serious conditions that can have the same symptoms as fibromyalgia.

Below is a list of several conditions that have shared symptoms with fibromyalgia:

Hypothyroidism

This is when your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, causing your metabolism to become sluggish. Based on information from the Mayo Clinic, some of the symptoms experienced with hypothyroidism are weight gain or loss; coarse, dry hair and dry skin; hair loss; sensitivity to the cold; memory loss; and decreased libido.

Sleep apnea

If your breathing is disrupted during your sleep, you could have sleep apnea. A sleep study would need to be done to determine a definite diagnosis. Those who are at greater risk are men, people who are overweight, and people over the age of 40. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in serious health problems such as heart attack and stroke.

Rheumatoid arthritis

This type of arthritis is different from other types of arthritis, as it is an autoimmune condition. Your immune system attacks the lining in your joints. It affects both sides of your body; for example, both hands, both wrists, both knees. Unfortunately, it can also adversely affect your heart, skin, eyes, lungs, blood, or nerves. You can find more information at the Arthritis Foundation.

Lupus

Lupus is also an autoimmune disease. This disease causes your immune system to attack your tissues, causing widespread inflammation. One of the defining indicators is a butterfly rash across the nose and cheeks. Lupus can also affect your organs, skin, and joints. Lupus can cause chronic pain, damage organs, and destroy healthy tissue. You can find more information by visiting the Lupus Foundation of America.

All of these diseases can have similar symptoms as fibromyalgia. Only medical professionals can rule out any other diseases. Many of these conditions can be tested for via blood samples and through sleep studies. Even if you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, keep in mind that some symptoms could be caused by another condition. These are known as comorbidities, diseases that coexist with fibromyalgia.

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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.

14 comments

  1. I have had Fibromyalgia for over 40 years now, even before it had a name. My latest health issue is onset Alzheimer. I believe there is a connection between fibro fog and this, a progression with age. Have you seen any claim to this? I am 78 years old.

  2. Umaima Baqer says:

    Are there any others? less common ones?
    I have very similar symptoms but the nerves are not involved so it eliminates the Fibro diagnosis.
    I have tested negative for all the other ones listed.

  3. Nancy says:

    Said thing is that fibromyalgia has become a catch all illiness. My husband went to specialest and 10 to 15 minutes later of just talking, he got this diagnosis. No testing for anything else. Giving them the permission to ignore the problem. Reminds me of the VA catch all for Gulf War Illness, its in your head or PTSD. In my opinion its all to push tbe pills and not look for something else going on.

    • Robin Dix says:

      Nancy, I think that is beginning to become less of a catch all diagnosis as more things are found out by researchers. If I felt unheard or blown off by a doctor, I would find a new one

  4. Paula Shurtz says:

    I was diagnosed with FM at age 24 . The pain, fibro fog, bladder issues IBSD, Memory and many others. I had a MRI laser January and surprisingly found out that I had MS and had it for a long time but I had never had a MRI before. I’m 54yrs old and divorced because my husband never believed in fibro . If you’ve never had a MRI ask for one, don’t wait until you have 21 lesions on your brain and spinal cord. The earlier you catch MS the better off you’ll be. Myself , my balance is almost gone along with my eye sight.

    • Maureen Roland says:

      Your comment is very interesting. I was diagnosed with fibro by a Physiatrist, but since then, no health care professional has actually examined my trigger points to determine if fibromyalgia is present. In addition,in an effort to find out whether my shoulder was compromised due to an examination where my arms were pulled at a pain clinic, I underwent an x-ray which indicated that six of seven cervical vertebrae were compressed. This can also cause the numbness and tingling I experience in my hands and fingers. I’m sure I have fibro, but had no idea there was anything wrong with my neck. It radiated to my shoulders, which is where I experience most of my fibro pain. An MRI has been done, but the appointment for the results isn’t until next month. I am sorry it took so long for your diagnosis. I think some misdiagnosis is due to the fact that so much of our health care is fragmented. If your primary, or the doctor you think you need to see, doesn’t catch the root cause or doesn’t refer you to the appropriate physician, problems can be missed.

  5. Sam says:

    Read Kelly Brogan’s ‘A Mind of your own’ to understand connection to many of these things and more including our polluted environment & how what we eat plays a massive role – also linked to our minds.

  6. I’m 40 years old I got diagnosed with fibro 2016, I started with lower back pain in 2014 then again in 2015 I went for an mri in late 2015 got my results had a bulging disc’s with it pressing on my nerves, when for physio, then in july 2016 had a brain anurisum then got diagnosis of fibro which I suffer with every single day and I have no life no job and I hate it,i spilt from my husband nearly 4 yrs ago in feb 2014 then my life has just gone down hill since.

  7. Marilyn Hill says:

    Has anyone else heard of polymyalgia rheumatica as a similar condition to fibromyalgia or had the two diagnoses confused?

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