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:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.