Fibromyalgia is, unfortunately, a common issue which affects 3-5 million people, or 1 in every five people.
This syndrome is characterized by debilitating pain in the entire body. Yet, chronic muscle pain does not necessarily mean that you suffer from fibromyalgia, as this condition leads to other symptoms as well.
Yet, if your muscles ache all of the time, you need to check the list of fibromyalgia symptoms and see if you need to find a proper treatment or you can rule out fibromyalgia as a potential cause.
Muscle and Body Tissues
Mild to severe pain in different body parts
Tender and lumpy breasts (Fibrocystic breasts, as an overlapping condition)
Stomach and Digestion Issues
Bloating, nausea, abdominal cramps, and pelvic pain
Allergy and Sinus Issues
Shortness of breath
Itchy ears and earaches
Allergies, sensitivity to molds and yeasts
A runny nose and post nasal drip
Pain similar to the one during a heart attack
Sensory Problems and Sensitivity
Difficulty with night driving and seeing in low lighting
Sensitive to smells, light, noise, temperature, climate, and pressure changes.
Feeling like falling while sleeping
Muscle twitching even while sleeping
Difficulty sleeping/broken sleeping pattern, feeling tired and lethargic each morning
Language impairments and difficulty pronouncing familiar words
Directional difficulties and recognizing familiar surroundings
Poor coordination and balance
Zone out often, concentration issues, inability to differentiate color shades, and short-term memory.
Burning or tingling in the upper limbs
Hair, Skin, and Nails
Overly-ridged nails or curved nails
Skin that bruises or scars easily or appears mottled
Mental Health issues
Mood swings, irritability without a reason
Anxiety, depression, panic attacks
Loss of libido
PMS and other menstrual problems
Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
Headaches and migraines
Carbohydrate and chocolate cravings
Yet, these symptoms are non-specific, meaning that they can result from other health issues too, so you should not jump to any conclusions yet.
This condition is not easy to diagnose either, as it can be mistaken for other issues, and there are no specific fibromyalgia tests that are 100% accurate.
A fibromyalgia diagnosis requires one to meet the following criteria set by The American College of Rheumatology:
Widespread pain felt for at least 3 months in all four body quadrants
11 out of 18 tender points, with pain felt when palpated
Negative findings for any other diseases on the diagnostic tests
To rule out other conditions and diagnose fibromyalgia, doctors use a set of diagnostic tests, like:
Complete blood count
Antinuclear Antibody (ANA)
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)