What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is an extremely painful condition that involves fatigue, and muscle pain throughout the body. Approximately five million Americans, mostly women, suffer from fibromyalgia, but some doctors still believe it is simply a psychological disorder. This belief is dead wrong. We now know that people with fibromyalgia experience an increased sensitivity to pain—it seems there is some dysfunction in their pain processing centers. We do not know what causes fibromyalgia, but it’s believed to be a combination of genetics and environmental triggers, like stress, trauma, major surgery, or infection.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia has a number of symptoms, most notably aching all over. Other symptoms include:
- Chronic, diffuse muscle pain
- Tender spots, body wide. These spots are typically small, and noticeably more sensitive than the surrounding tissue. However, many people with fibromyalgia have pain body-wide, and no tender points
- Muscle soreness
- Sleep disorders
- Digestive problems, including irritable bowel syndrome
- Headaches and migraines
- Debilitating fatigue and brain fog (sometimes called fibro fog).
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome frequently co-exists with fibromyalgia, and shares many of the same symptoms. Learn more about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism
A significant number of people with fibromyalgia also have hypothyroidism. Some experts believe that like many instances of hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disorder. Others believe that fibromyalgia is a form of hypothyroidism. Whatever the reason, many patients with fibromyalgia have untreated hypothyroidism, and the two disorders have overlapping symptoms, including:
- Brain fog
- Weight gain
- Muscle pain
Learn more about Fibromyalgia Treatment