There are many roads to chronic pain, which affects an incredible 20% of adults in the United States. Fibromyalgia is one such road. About 4 million people in the U.S. have this debilitating and frustrating condition. Making matters more complex, not only does fibromyalgia lead to pain, it also leads to other, less obvious, signs.
To help you better identify fibromyalgia (fibro), Dr. Sachida Manocha and the team here at Interventional Pain Center present four of the more common hallmarks of this chronic condition.
Fibro at a glance
Fibromyalgia is considered a syndrome, which means there are a number of symptoms that occur together. While there’s a good deal we still don't know about fibro, we do understand that it’s an issue with the brain and nervous system. In general, the nerves and brain don’t process certain signals properly — such as pain — which makes the sufferer more sensitive.
About 4 million American adults are diagnosed with fibro, and women are more vulnerable to the condition than men.
Main signs of fibro
Now let’s get into some of the primary characteristics of fibromyalgia, which is important, because we don’t have a single test that can identify this illness.
As we mentioned, the real headliner with fibromyalgia is chronic pain. The pain is often described as aching, burning, or throbbing, and it can develop just about anywhere in the body. We wish we could be more specific about the pain that comes with fibro, but it manifests in different ways for different people. Some sufferers feel it everywhere, while others experience pain in areas that they use more, such as in their legs.
2. Fatigue and sleep issues
Another hallmark of fibro is fatigue. This extreme tiredness doesn't improve with sleep, and it leaves you sluggish during the day.
One reason for the extreme fatigue might stem from the fact that fibro can disrupt your sleep. You may struggle with falling asleep, staying asleep, or keeping healthy sleeping patterns in place.
3. Gastrointestinal issues
Many people with fibro also experience gastrointestinal issues, namely irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and/or acid reflux. Women tend to be more susceptible to IBS than men who have fibro.
4. Cognitive issues
Many people with fibromyalgia complain of fibro fog. Trouble concentrating, issues with memory, and a general dullness surrounding cognitive functioning aren’t uncommon for people with fibro.
Of course, there are more possible symptoms, but these are a good start. As we already explained, fibro is a syndrome, so we look for a combination of symptoms that all point toward this one medical issue.
If you’d like for us to check you out for fibromyalgia and, more importantly, get you on the road to relief, please schedule an appointment online or over the phone with the Interventional Pain Center today. We have offices in Worthington and Newark, Ohio.