This is a painful illness, causing pain and stiffness, tender spots in soft muscle tissue, muscle and skeletal (musculo-skeletal) aches and pains, fatigue and trouble sleeping. The pain can be significant enough for some to make it hard to function, whether it be at work or home. Women seem to suffer from this disorder more than men, but men and even children are not immune.
Some notice that their pain or stiffness is more significant in the morning. I have read the pain described as "deep muscular aching, throbbing, twitching, stabbing and shooting". There can be numbness and tingling. The fatigue is more debilitating than just feeling tired, and includes a real drop in energy.
Other problems that can be associated with Fibromyalgia are headaches, trouble with memory, rashes, anxiety, depression, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), dizziness, ear ringing, trouble with vision, various neurological symptoms, and more.
Fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose from a medical perspective, something that seems common to those with this illness is tender spots located in specific areas of the body, as indicated on the chart on this page. The symptoms can be similar to Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Fibromyalgia can be present with either of these disorders. It can literally take years to accurately diagnose Fibromyalgia, but to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia the following criteria must be present:
- For approximately 3 months you have suffered pain throughout the four quadrants of the body.
- 11 of the 18 tender spots indicated on the chart below must feel painful when pressure is applied.
My sister finds that stress aggravates her condition. In the past, she also has found relief by taking Fibralgia (*use the moderated comment form below to request a "fact sheet" about any of the "bold" items on this page).
St John's Wort is used by some in place of the anti-depressants doctors often prescribe and may positively affect those with Fibromyalgia. It is also available in a time-release form. Please be sure to read any cautions in the product descriptions, and my disclaimer (link below).