Fibromyalgia is considered a syndrome – a collections of related symptoms and problems without an identifiable cause – rather than a disease. These related symptoms include:
Signs and symptoms
- Chronic widespread pain, often accompanied by numbness, tingling and burning
- Multiple tender points throughout that body
- Severe fatigue
- Sleep disturbance
Researchers have found that patients with fibromyalgia have what’s called “hyperexcitable” nervous system. In other words, pain networks in their brains are more easily activated than people that do not have fibromyalgia. Other researchers have also found impairments in a specific brain region that helps to inhibit the body’s response to pain among people with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to take care of and diagnose. There are a number of comorbidities associated with fibromyalgia including: depression, anxiety, headache, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Because new research suggests that fibromyalgia involves the nervous systems, many rheumatologists are now working closer with neurologists in providing patient care. Today we have available novel treatment options for fibromyalgia and its comorbid conditions.
Tell your healthcare professional if you experience any of these or any related symptoms. Do not attempt to diagnose and self treat.