Do I Have Fibromyalgia?

Woman suffering from stress or a headache grimacing in pain as she holds the back of her neck with her other hand to her temple, with copyspace

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Are you asking yourself, “Do I have fibromyalgia?” This troublesome condition can cause a wide range of symptoms. If you are suffering from one or a multitude of fibromyalgia symptoms, it is worthwhile to at least consider the possibility that fibromyalgia might be the cause. If you do suspect fibromyalgia, the next step would be to contact your physician for a formal diagnosis and treatment plan.

There are many symptoms of fibromyalgia to be aware of. It’s also important to know that the symptoms of fibromyalgia are often the same as symptoms of other conditions. Just because you may have one or more of the following symptoms isn’t proof that you have fibromyalgia, or that you don’t. Having said that, here are some of the most common indicators of fibromyalgia to look out for in the event that you’re worried about your symptoms, and are asking, “Do I have fibromyalgia?”

Fatigue

Fatigue is more than just normal tiredness. Almost everyone has what can be called fatigue every now and again. It may have been caused as a side effect of the flu, or from overexertion, or have been brought on by a particularly long spell of hard work coupled with a lack of sleep.

Fatigue associated with fibromyalgia, however, is much worse. Fibromyalgia fatigue is a lingering condition that persists no matter how much rest you get or how many hours of sleep you had. It persists even when you’re presented with an activity that you really want to partake in. Fibromyalgia fatigue is a feeling that you can’t combat; it doesn’t respond to caffeine, or trying to have a “cheery” attitude, or listening to peppy music. It’s a heavy feeling that prevents you from doing what you want.

If your fatigue is keeping you from engaging with your family and friends or causing you to miss days from school or work, that could be a sign of fibromyalgia. If your fatigue prevents you from having the energy to do even small tasks like packing a lunch, taking a shower or getting out of bed, it’s definitely time to contact a physician.

Brain Fog

Most women who have gone through a pregnancy have experienced the quintessential “brain fog” that inhibits logical thinking. Brain fog might keep you from figuring out the tip on the restaurant bill, remembering where you put your glasses, or worse, forgetting to take your medication.

Brain fog can even happen after a heavy night of drinking or as a side effect of taking a sleep aid. These infrequent bouts of brain fog aren’t something that you should probably need to be concerned about.

Fibromyalgia brain fog, though, is something that lasts all day or longer, without any apparent cause. This type of brain fog is so troubling that it may make you not only ask, “Do I have fibromyalgia?” but it may make you think you’re completely losing your mental capacity. If you have this kind of brain fog that is causing you to doubt yourself or your ability to function, or it’s a lingering brain fog with no apparent cause, it’s recommended that you mention it to your doctor along with any other fibromyalgia symptoms you may have.

Skin Sensitivity

One of the most pervasive and commonly reported signs of fibromyalgia is skin sensitivity or skin pain. Fibromyalgia is thought to be at least partially caused by the nerve endings in the body being hypersensitive. This presents itself as ultra sensitivity, including painful skin. This shouldn’t be confused with mild skin sensitivity after an injury. You may have bruised skin with little or no discoloration. This will cause pain upon touch at the localized site. That’s not the kind of skin sensitivity that fibromyalgia sufferers experience.

Fibromyalgia skin sensitivity or skin pain is characterized, according to the American College of Rheumatology, as being a whole body pain, on both sides of the body, and on the upper portion of the body above the waist, as well as below. If you’ve been asking yourself, “Do I have fibromyalgia?” and you have whole body skin sensitivity or whole body pain, it’s time to consult with your physician.

Intestinal Discomfort

Everyone suffers from intestinal discomfort at one time or another. You may even have chronic intestinal discomfort, exacerbated by some food or another. Usually this is put down to indigestion or acid reflux, and is relieved with an over the counter medication, sitting up while sleeping or avoiding the food culprit.

But if you suspect that you have fibromyalgia and have been asking, “Do I have fibromyalgia?” it’s likely that you’ve been experiencing the kind of severe intestinal discomfort that many fibromyalgia sufferers report. According to research, between 50% and 75% of people who have been officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia have symptoms that mimic IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome. These symptoms include:

  • Cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating

In those who suffer with fibromyalgia, these symptoms frequently interfere with normal daily activity, and can keep people from going to work, playing sports, or leaving the house. IBS symptoms by themselves do not necessarily mean you have fibromyalgia; but coupled with some of the other symptoms mentioned above, there might be a chance that the answer to your question, “Do I have fibromyalgia?” could be “yes.”

The symptoms mentioned are not the only ones associated with fibromyalgia. You may have one or more signs of fibromyalgia that are not mentioned here. Only your doctor and you, working together, can determine if you have the condition known as fibromyalgia. Self-diagnosis is not possible, and there are no over the counter tests that you can self-administer to diagnose fibromyalgia. If you are asking yourself if you have fibromyalgia, and you have one or more of the symptoms listed, it’s worth it to consult with a physician about your experience. Your doctor can then ask further questions to determine the likelihood of a fibromyalgia diagnosis. If warranted, tests can be done that will rule out other possible causes for your symptoms. Don’t keep wondering if you have fibromyalgia. Talk to your doctor soon.

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