Fibromyalgia is typically characterized by a few specific symptoms: chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, memory challenges, brain fog and sleep issues. However, fibro can be connected to a large assortment of symptoms that go beyond body pain and fatigue. People with fibro may often find themselves noticing a brand-new symptom and not realizing it’s related to their fibro — until they realize other fibro warriors are experiencing the same thing! (Always check with a doctor to confirm your symptoms are due to fibro and not a separate medical issue or comorbid condition.)
We wanted to bring awareness to some of the lesser-known symptoms of fibromyalgia that don’t get talked about as much. So we asked our fibromyalgia community on Facebook to share a photo of a little-known symptom of fibromyalgia they experience. Perhaps you’ll recognize your own fibro experience among these warriors.
Here’s what our community shared with us:
1. Ear, Nose and Throat Issues
“Increased allergies, thick mucus/phlegm and other ENT issues. Here’s a photo of me post-surgery following a turbinectomy after spending years with a permanently blocked nose! Within two months it was back to blocked again and I’ve been told this has been linked to a number of fibro cases!” — Nae W.
2. Easy Bruising
“I remember hitting my other leg because I fell into furniture, but the bruise appeared in a totally different place. This happens all the time: unknown bruising, or bruises showing up in a different spot than the place I was bumped. Sometimes I can have 10 or more unknown bruises. I have talked to others with fibro who have complained of the same weird symptom!” — Tracy B.
3. Scalp Pain
“My love for head scarves. I’m always in pain having more than one illness. So not being able do my super thick hair they are a lifesaver, not to mention it hurts to do my hair also because my scalp hurts as well. So this is me happy I got this wrapped right.” — Tasha S.
4. Frequent Sweating
“Sweating, sweating, sweating.” — Lex F.
“Having to wear sweat bands even in winter because I always run hot and have hot flashes. I also wear wrist compression gloves to help with hand and wrist pain. It’s not cute but what can ya do.” — Bryan M.
“Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, and migraine is ever-ready to crash the party. Even the stress of severe pain can trigger it, or sunshine, or lack of sleep, or perfume, or fatigue, or a million other things. I spend a lot of time in the dark with the curtains drawn. It adds to the general misery. In this picture I either have a migraine or I’m fending one off. Light hurts. It happens so frequently that I don’t remember attacks, they can go on days, then you are ‘hungover’ and need to recover.” — Lola C.
6. Flushed Face
“Whenever I’m about to flare up, my cheeks turn bright red.” — Tori B.
7. Anxiety and/or Depression
“The anxiety and depression that come with the pain and isolation.” — Melanie C.
8. Difficulty Wearing Jewelry
“Not able to wear my plugs (for stretched lobes), nose ring or any jewelry for that matter because it’s too uncomfortable now. Just the touch of jewelry on my skin makes it painful.” — Megan M.
9. Pain Affected by Weather
“Being able to predict the weather because my wrists hurt when it’s going to rain. I bought some wrist braces (pictured) to help relieve the pain. I may be smiling, but I was still hurting.” — Jess N.
“This is what finally broke me and made me decide to stop working. Too many times I came home with everything swollen and so much pain.” — Suzanne M.
11. Sensitivity to Light
“Spending the majority of my life in bed with my head under covers because the light burns.” — Shay-Leigh M.
12. Hives/Urticaria and Rashes
“This is my chest. I break out in hives and rashes, sometimes seemingly at random.” — Chauntanya M.
13. Cardiac Issues
“The cardiac issues that come with fibromyalgia or related conditions or sometimes from medications.” — Melanie C.
MORE ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA:
Fibromyalgia, a chronic illness with three main symptoms — widespread pain, chronic fatigue and cognitive trouble. Fibromyalgia is a complicated illness that’s not well understood. In the past, it was mischaracterized as a mental health disorder. Even today, some doctors wave off fibro symptoms as being “all in your head.” This isn’t the case.