So what are Fibromyalgia Symptoms? Is it all
about pain? Does fibromyalgia cause a specific type of pain? I am going to answer these questions
for you and in the process share a really vital, potentially life-saving fact with you,
that anyone experiencing fibromyalgia or pain must keep front of mind. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are often thought of as being solely pain. A bit like saying,
‘my arthritis is flaring up’ and wincing in reference to pain. However, not only is
Fibromyalgia not a rheumatic disorder, but it’s actually about much more than pain
alone. There is in fact a long list of fibromyalgia symptoms involving various bodily systems.
So Fibromyalgia is not a symptom. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, an illness that has multiple
symptoms with pain being only one of them. So let’s start talking about the fibromyalgia
symptom of chronic pain. You may have heard about the existence of
fibromyalgia tender points. These can often be confused with trigger points.
Tender points are used as part of the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and are sensitive areas that
become painful when pressure is applied. Trigger points on the other hand, are when
pressure refers pain to another part of the body. And these can also occur in Fibromyalgia.
So whilst tender and trigger points can result in pain from applied pressure, pain in fibromyalgia
is usually widespread and varied. It can be like the pain you experience when you have
the flu, the aches, or it can be a deep muscle pain, it can be shooting pain, a burning pain
or a stabbing pain, and the pain can even throb. In fact some people can be so sensitive
that even the lightest touch on your skin can cause pain, a bit like when you have a
severe sunburn. So as you can see, there isn’t really such
a thing as ‘Fibromyalgia pain’. The symptom of pain in Fibromyalgia syndrome can be varied
and people have quite different experiences. But you may be surprised to learn that pain
is actually only one of many many symptoms of this syndrome. Now the core fibromyalgia
symptoms include fatigue, sleep dysfunction and cognitive disturbance.
Now many people experience fatigue in life, but fatigue in fibromyalgia is on a completely
different level. It’s often described as being profound, profound fatigue. People often
wake up fatigued and this fatigue interferes with most daily activities of living. Even
if people with fibromyalgia can get to sleep, they often don’t get deep sleep or they
wake up late in the night unable to return to sleep.
The cognitive disturbance is often called fibro fog or brain fog and its made up of
a range of problems including confusion, inability to concentrate and problems with memory. However,
it also includes other neurological manifestations such as sensitivities to stimulus like bright
lights, smells, noise and even touch. All these core symptoms of fibromyalgia can
vary in severity and they can change over time. So not only do symptoms vary amongst
people with fibromyalgia, but they also vary for the individual, as time goes by.
As you can see, Fibromyalgia is about more than pain. And when we look at all the other
symptoms of fibromyalgia that people tend to experience, the list is staggering as you
can see now. I am going to share with you an important,
potentially lifesaving caution in a moment, but let’s understand the issues that leads
up to that first, including the fact that there are symptoms or conditions connected
to Fibromyalgia that go even beyond this list over here. Understanding this is really key
for some people. Now please realise that people don’t usually
have all of these fibro symptoms. They may only have some of these symptoms for a period
of time whilst the core symptoms remain. In fact, many people have many of the symptoms
for years, often quite severely, and often go undiagnosed until the pain sets in. What
they don’t realise, is that they often could have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
ME/CFS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia syndrome knows as POTS or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities,
depending on what their specific symptoms were. More and more members of the medical
community are now starting to realise the connection between these syndromes.
There is also a large range of other concurrent conditions that are usually diagnosed separately.
These include things like gut dysbiosis, SIBO, hypothyroidism, auto-immune disease, endometriosis,
adrenal fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome. As we understand more about the nervous system
and the endocrine dysfunctions of fibromyalgia, we can make more connections about how all
these conditions are actually linked. With the list of fibromyalgia symptoms being
so long, it’s easy to see why many people feel judged as hypochondriacs and sadly are
often accused of making the symptoms up, something I hope you will help change at the end of
this video. But here is my word of caution, so please
listen carefully! Most people experiencing fibromyalgia keep going back to their doctor
with new symptoms, and have more tests, many many more tests and it results in no additional
diagnosis or treatments. And all of this can take a lot of effort for a person that’s
chronically ill. So, people experiencing fibromyalgia syndrome, they often eventually just give
up, chasing answers on new symptoms. They conclude “it’s just another fibro symptom”.
Now look, whilst this is understandable, the danger of this, is that the symptoms could
be due to something else, like food poisoning, some severe infection or some other serious
disease. So if symptoms are left unchecked, you may be foregoing effective or even life-saving
treatment for another serious condition. So please don’t let negative feelings due to
past experiences stop you getting help. Make sure that you always report a change in symptoms,
or any new symptoms, to your doctor! It is unfortunate that fibromyalgia falls
under the umbrella of ‘invisible illness’. Sadly, many people suffer the injustice of
having it suggested that their symptoms of fibromyalgia may not be real, and that really
adds to the difficulties that patients experience. Please let me assure you, the symptoms of
fibromyalgia are absolutely very real and they can be quite severe. You can help change
how the illness is perceived, by letting others know about the symptoms of fibromyalgia and
by simply sharing this webpage or video on social media or posting a link or embedding
the video on your blog or website. Because fibromyalgia can be so confusing, people are often left wondering what fibromyalgia is, how it is diagnosed, what are effective treatments
and many more questions. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified of important new videos that answer these and other questions. Please also give us a thumbs up below and
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see you in the next video.