You have probably read about the symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as pain, fatigue and haze, but the list of possible symptoms is powerful and throughout the body. Those little lists do not even begin to describe our experience! I mounted this “monster list” of more than 60 symptoms to let you know that you are not alone! The list is adapted from a compilation of the author of fibromyalgia Devin Starlanyl along with other research.
Knowing the full range of symptoms can help you track them, either to help your doctor arrive at a diagnosis or to help you identify the triggers. It also helps to know that you are not the only person experiencing this! Some of the following are mentioned as overlapping conditions, which means that they commonly occur with fibromyalgia, but in reality they are conditions that must be diagnosed and treated separately.
We may have any combination of the following symptoms and to varying degrees of severity.
- Late reactions to physical exertion or stressful events
- Other members of the family with fibromyalgia (genetic predisposition)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Cravings for carbohydrates and chocolate.
- Headaches and migraines.
- Changes in vision, including a rapid worsening
Muscle and tissue symptoms
- Pain that varies from mild to severe and can move around the body (see The 7 types of fibromyalgia pain)
- Morning stiffness
- Muscle contractions
- Diffuse swelling
- Fibrocystic breasts (lumpy, soft) (as a superimposed condition)
Symptoms of sinusitis and allergy
- Postnasal drip
- Runny nose
- Sensitivity to mold and yeast
- Short of breath
- Earaches and ears that itch
- Ringing in the ears (tinitis)
- Thick secretions
Symptoms related to sleep
- Light sleep pattern and / or broken sleep with no restful sleep
- Beginning of the dream (feelings of falling).
- Nervous muscles at night
- Grinding of teeth (bruxism)
- Menstrual problems
- PMS (as a superimposed condition)
- Loss of libido
Abdominal and digestive symptoms
- Swelling and nausea
- Abdominal cramps
- Pelvic pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome (as a superimposed condition)
- Urinary frequency
Cognitive / neurological symptoms
- Difficulty speaking well-known words, other language deficiencies (dysphasia)
- Directional disorientation
- Poor balance and coordination.
- Paresthesias in the upper extremities (tingling or burning sensation)
- Loss of ability to distinguish some shades of colors.
- Impairment of short-term memory
- Problems to concentrate
- Looking at space before the brain “starts”
- Inability to recognize familiar surroundings.
- Sensitivity to odors
- Sensitivity to changes in pressure, temperature and humidity.
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise.
- Difficulty driving at night
- Sensory overload
- Panic attacks
- Depression (as a superimposed condition)
- Tendency to cry easily.
- Free floating anxiety (not associated with the situation or object)
- Humor changes
- Irresponsible irritability
Symptoms related to the heart
- Prolapse of the mitral valve (as a condition of overlap)
- Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (as a superimposed condition)
- Pain that simulates a heart attack, often due to costochondritis (as a superimposed condition)
Symptoms on the skin, hair and nails
- Pronounced nail ridges
- Nails that curve under
- Mottled skin
- Bruises or scars easily
- Hair loss (temporary)
- Excessive tissue growth (noncancerous tumors called lipomas, ingrown hairs, heavy and divided cuticles, adhesions)