Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that causes you to suffer pain, stiffness and fatigue for no apparent reason.
Symptoms often occur when people are between 25 and 40 years old, and especially women who suffer from this disease.
About two percent of adults have this disease, which can affect a person’s life quite intensely. This is a guide to how you recognize the symptoms.
Fibromyalgia literally means “pain in connective tissue and muscles”.
Fibromyalgia consists of a combination of health problems. Therefore, two people who suffer from this disease can experience very different symptoms. The severity of symptoms can also vary. Temporary pain can subside or get worse. But there must be some obvious similarities in fibromyalgia patients. These are the most common symptoms:
Almost everyone who has fibromyalgia suffers from muscle pain or joint pain. This can be a pain that is annoying, piercing or burning. This often starts on the back, shoulders or neck. The pain can gradually spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of fatigue occur in almost every fibromyalgia patient.
The common symptom of fibromyalgia is feeling very stiff, when you have spent a long time in a certain position. Especially in the morning, when you wake up, you might experience this. During the day, you might have trouble getting up from a chair.
- Sleep problems
Pain may wake you up at night, which causes you to sleep less. You may also wake up worrying about your body’s decline.
- Sensitivity to temperature changes
For many people, the problem gets worse when there is a change in temperature. Cold weather is often considered a cause, but there are also people who experience more pain when the weather warms up.
- Concentration problems
Many people with fibromyalgia get concentration problems. This is partly a result of fatigue.
- Intestinal problems
Some patients experience intestinal problems that are very similar to symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). You can suffer from diarrhea one day and experience problems with constipation and subsequent cramps. Often it’s not at all clear why your intestines act like this, or when you will experience problems.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease which means it is not something missing anymore. There is no cure for this disease, so you have to reduce the symptoms in different ways. It’s important to find a good balance between rest and exercise. There are several types of therapies that can help with this, such as ergotherapy, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy. Even though you will never be able to cure fibromyalgia, it is possible to reduce symptoms or even cause it temporarily.