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Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Obviously fibromyalgia presents with severe muscle pain. This is often associated with a whole range of other symptoms that include sleep disturbance, excessive tiredness and irritable bowel. Sleep disturbance usually takes the form of insomnia, people simply can’t get to sleep and increasingly develop muscle pains as they become more and more tired. Even when they are able to rest properly they awake unrefreshed, and simple tasks like walking from the house to the car may be absolutely exhausting. The irritable bowel can involve a whole range of symptoms from wind and distension to alternating diarrhoea and constipation. Fibromyalgia has considerable overlap with chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME, the main difference being the very severe nature of the muscular pains in fibromyalgia.

Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

Diagnosis is usually a matter of excluding other serious problems. There isn’t a single blood test or x-ray that will tell you that you have fibromyalgia. Very often fibromyalgia begins with some trauma, such as a car accident or a fall, and someone who is generally a bit stiff and achy and is at the same time experiencing a lot of stress may suddenly find that they fail to recover from the injury, and that their muscle pain goes on getting increasingly worse. All the blood tests done by various doctors and specialists will tend to be normal, though very often both the doctors and patients are confused. The diagnosis is, therefore, exclusively made on the basis of the way the symptoms present. Are there enough tender points in the muscles of all four limbs? Are all the investigations normal? Is the clinical history consistent with increasing, unexplained and very severe muscle pain? The diagnosis is therefore based on listening carefully to the person’s history, while conducting a careful examination of their muscles, bones and joints.