Fibromyalgia (often referred to as Fibro) is a complicated syndrome. It comprises some core symptoms that everyone who lives with the condition experiences. However, on top of these, there are those symptoms that affect a certain percentage of us. In this post, I will focus on Fibromyalgia and its Associated Symptoms.
The widely recognized key symptoms are:
- Widespread Pain
- Extreme Sensitivity
- Poor Sleep Quality
- Cognitive Problem (widely referred to as Fibro Fog)
If you would like to know more about Fibromyalgia, I suggest you start with the post What is Fibromyalgia? Who are Spoonies? to understand the basics. After that, to understand the significance of living with Fibro on a day-to-day basis, the post Companions, Introducing and Appraising them would be my next suggestion.
To begin with, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the partner symptoms that can affect you if you have Fibromyalgia. In my experience, the IBS first arrived in my teenage years, long before I even heard of Fibro. However, for many people, it comes after the onset of Fibromyalgia.
It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. These tend to come and go over time and can last for days, weeks, or months at a time.
To find out more about living with the two conditions I refer you to post-Fibromyalgia and IBS. Where you hear from myself and others how the two syndromes affect our daily lives.
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is another of the symptoms that go hand in hand with Fibromyalgia. How much sweat is too much?
It’s normal to sweat if you get hot or do exercise, but you may be sweating excessively if you’re sweating when your body doesn’t need to cool down.
When you live with Fibromyalgia, Hyperhidrosis can be a daily occurrence. When mine began, I thought it was the beginning stages of Menopause. I had a blood test which confirmed this was not the case. On one hand, it was a relief (at that stage I still hoped to have a family) however, knowing that wasn’t the case means that I may live with Hyperhidrosis for many years to come. To understand more about life with both conditions I suggest you check out Fibromyalgia and Hyperhidrosis.
The next associated symptom I focus on is Sinusitis. Again, it is not a given that you will experience Sinusitis if you have Fibro but members of the Fibromyalgia community report experiencing both these conditions together. Sinusitis, if you are unfamiliar with it, is:
Sinusitis is swelling of the sinuses, usually caused by an infection. It’s common and usually clears up on its own within 2 to 3 weeks. But medicines can help if it’s taking a long time to go away.
Interestingly, as the NHS reports, infection usually causes Sinusitis. However, since Fibromyalgia entered my life, I have frequently had the symptoms of Sinusitis without an infection. It is as if my cavities congest and cause me pain because they can! You can read more on the living with Fibromyalgia alongside Sinusitis post.
For the females with Fibro, therefore 90% of people live with the condition. Fibromyalgia can change the menstruation experience.
The part of your nervous system responsible for regulating your periods is sensitive to any changes that your body experiences, including symptoms associated with fibromyalgia and other conditions.
Fibro has altered my experience of the monthly cycle in some obvious and less expected ways. You can read more about it in my post-Fibromyalgia & Menstruation.
When considering Fibromyalgia and Associated Symptoms, of all symptoms, headaches just slip into this category. After all, what is a headache if not a pain? However, there are degrees of headaches. Along with the Fibro comes something more akin to a migraine, involving nausea and vomiting for example. Headaches are so bad that all you can do is sleep to escape them.
Headaches and migraines are common in people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). In fact, headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity are one of the diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS.
The most recent post in the series concerns Itching. It is difficult to describe itching as a comorbid condition, yet the sheer scale of the itching problem warrants some attention. Research suggests it may be a relatively rare side effect and yet I have heard from a few people out of a small group who have this sensation. A suggested reason for it is:
Itching may occur in fibromyalgia due to certain nerve fibers being activated and causing an itching sensation. Itching and pain share a common pathway positioned in the spinal cord. Pain and itchiness also activate the same sensory brain areas. Someone who is sensitive to pain may also be sensitive to itchiness.
In my experience, Fibro Itching can be so bad that there becomes a fine line between the itching sensation and pain. Much like, for example, when somebody tickles you and at first you laugh but ultimately end up hurting. I go into more detail about living with and managing Fibro Itching in post-Fibromyalgia and Itching.
Are you struggling with a comorbid condition or symptom I have not covered yet? After all, no two people with Fibromyalgia seem to have the same experience. I would love to hear from you! If you are a writer, a fellow Fibro blogger, for instance, I would be happy to have a guest post in this series. If you don’t want to contribute directly but would like to see another subject covered, let me know I am happy to do some research and reach out to find someone with experience. After all, there are so many associated symptoms, someone will have coped with this before. Above all, don’t suffer in silence.
Fibro Women Blogs
Chronic Woman Blogs
Chronic Illness Blogs
Official Fibromyalgia Blogs