It’s estimated that 5 million Americans, mostly women, suffer from fibromyalgia.[i] Most are not diagnosed until middle age, although symptoms often begin earlier, and many are not correctly diagnosed at all.
Often considered an arthritis-related condition, fibromyalgia is not actually a form of arthritis. However, it is considered a rheumatic condition that causes impairment to your joints and soft tissues, along with chronic pain and fatigue.
Part of what makes fibromyalgia so challenging to diagnosis is that its main symptoms – pain and fatigue – resemble those caused by many other conditions. It’s not unusual for sufferers to visit multiple doctors multiple times before fibromyalgia is mentioned.
Further, there are no diagnostic tests for this condition, and many physicians write it off as “all in your head.” If you’ve struggled with fibromyalgia, however, you know the pain is all too real and can be quite debilitating. If you’re not sure whether your pain is fibromyalgia-related, consider whether you experience any of these other top fibromyalgia symptoms.[ii]
The Top 9 Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Muscle Aches: You may feel a deep aching or burning sensation, or experience the feeling of a pulled muscle that don’t go away.
- Headaches: Chronic headaches or migraines occur in about half of fibromyalgia sufferers, possibly due to a chemical imbalance in your brain.
- Tender Points: Pain tends to occur in 18 specific “tender points” in people with fibromyalgia. This includes the back of your head, between your shoulders, front of your neck, top of your chest, elbows, tops of your hips and inside of your knees. You may have pain in a few or many of these spots (most fibro sufferers have multiple tender points that can be identified by applying pressure to the area).
- Symmetrical Pain: The pain of fibromyalgia occurs in different areas of the body, on both sides and in the upper and lower areas (although this symmetrical pain won’t necessarily occur at the same time or constantly).
- Fatigue: Chronic daily fatigue is common and debilitating in those with fibromyalgia. This is partly due to difficulty sleeping, which may be caused by restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea, which often occur along with fibromyalgia.
- Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, and frequent nighttime waking are common symptoms of fibromyalgia.
- Brain Fog: “Fibro fog” may make it difficult for fibromyalgia patients to think clearly. The brain fog may be worsened by lack of sleep and physical pain.
- Lasting Pain: The pain of fibromyalgia tends to be chronic, lasting for three months or more, and is not able to be explained by another illness or injury.
- Other Chronic Disease (Especially Rheumatic or Pain Conditions): Fibromyalgia is more likely to occur if you have another rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, and it may also occur alongside other pain conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and vulvodynia.[iii]
How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed and Treated?
Not all physicians will recognize the symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, if yours is familiar with it he or she should be able to make an accurate diagnosis. This is done based on criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology and includes:[iv]
“ … a history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months, and other general physical symptoms including fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive (memory or thought) problems. In making the diagnosis, doctors consider the number of areas throughout the body in which the patient has had pain in the past week.”
Unfortunately, the first-line treatment for fibromyalgia is often pain relievers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are intended not as a cure but as a form of symptom relief. Antidepressants and anti-seizure medications, for pain relief, may also be recommended, although the benefits of such treatments are questionable.
In one analysis of 10 high-quality studies comprising more than 6,000 adults who received either duloxetine (Cymbalta, an antidepressant), milnacipran (Savella, for fibromyalgia pain), or a placebo to treat fibromyalgia for up to six months, the majority of those taking medications did not experience substantial improvement.[v]
Only 22 percent of those on the drug regiment improved significantly while 21 percent quit taking the medications because the side effects were too severe. The most common medication side effects that lead patients to stop taking the drugs were nausea, dry mouth, constipation, headache, somnolence/dizziness and insomnia, and, rarely, both drugs were associated with suicidality, liver damage, abnormal bleeding, elevated blood pressure and urinary hesitation.
The researchers concluded that drug treatment alone for fibromyalgia “should be discouraged,” and instead suggested a more holistic approach that included exercise to improve mobility and psychological counseling to improve coping skills. Study co-author Brian Walitt, M.D., M.P.H. added:[vi]
“The medical field does poorly with the treatment of fibromyalgia in general … Chasing [a cure] with medicine doesn’t seem to work. The people who seem to me to do best sort of figure it out on their own by thinking about things, getting to know themselves, and making changes in their lives to accommodate who they’ve become.”
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases:[vii]
“Many people with fibromyalgia also report varying degrees of success with complementary and alternative therapies, including massage, movement therapies (such as Pilates and the Feldenkrais method), chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and various herbs and dietary supplements for different fibromyalgia symptoms.”
Proteolytic Enzymes May Help Remedy a Buildup of Fibrin in Fibromyalgia…
The word fibromyalgia comes from the Latin term “fibro,” for fibrous tissue, and the Greek words “myo” (muscle) and “algia” (pain), [viii] and this gives a great clue to one of the most preferred, safe and natural treatments for this condition. According to Dr. William Wong, ND, PhD.:[ix]
“ … in FMS [fibromyalgia syndrome] we have a build up of fibrin (the fibro of Fibromyalgia) through and across striated muscle around the body. There is also the growth of fibrin in the micro-circulation essentially plugging these tiny blood vessels in the effected areas. The combo of decreased blood supply, with the strangulating effect of the fibrin on muscle tissue … creates the environment of ischemia [(the lack of oxygen or Adenosine Tri Phosphate for the cells to breathe, leading to pain)].
What can be done to decrease the fibrosis? Until recently, nothing. There has been really nothing in either the allopathic or naturopathic armamentum that was capable of lysing away scar tissue or fibrosis … [but] with the advent of oral systemic enzyme research and application all branches of the healing arts now have a powerful and effective tool for the safe lysing away of fibrosis.”
In short, the pain and suffering of fibromyalgia have been linked to an excess of fibrin in your muscle tissues. Known as fibrosis, this condition can spread to affect every muscle and organ in your body. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to reverse fibrin overgrowth. The key is re-activating your body’s natural fibrin clean-up crew, which is made of proteolytic enzymes, a group of systemic enzymes responsible for breaking down protein molecules.
To learn more, and discover the best proteolytic enzyme supplement on the market, click the box below. Sound too good to be true? More than 150,000 people in 85 countries have already become pain free using all-natural proteolytic enzyme therapy.
[i] National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Fibromyalgia August 2012
[ii] Fibromyalgia Living Today June 2015
[iii] National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Fibromyalgia August 2012
[iv] National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Fibromyalgia August 2012
[v] Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;1:CD010292.
[vi] Center for Advancing Health January 31, 2013
[vii] National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Fibromyalgia August 2012
[viii] National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Fibromyalgia August 2012
[ix] SystemicEnzymes.net Fibromyalgia
Written By: Updated: August 24,2015
3 thoughts on “The 9 Top Symptoms of Fibromyalgia (most don’t know they have this disease!)”
Hi there. Love the post. Just wanted to say that I have had fibromyalgia for many years. Two years ago I was chopping and stacking wood and my left shoulder felt like I tore it. It began to get stiffer until it was so painful and could not move it that I finally went to the doctor. It was frozen shoulder. I did physical therapy for a year and was put on Cyclobenzaprine for the pain. I had an MRA done and it was also torn. I chose to not have surgery but to only do PT and it healed. I went off Cyclobenzaprine but all the Fibromyalgia points began to hurt worse than before. They put me back on it and I have had no more pain of the fibromyalgia.I have had no side effects from this medicine either. Just wanted others to know it helps, but if you come up with something natural that would be grand.
Well thank you for your products I suffered with fibromyalgia for the last 20 years can’t sleep back pain and all the rest I have use pain and relief for the last 4mts I have seen improvement on my body and olso taking Heal-n-soothe pain is not my issue I am so blessed that I desire to dry because help me a lot thank you so much now I recommend it to my friends who complain about pain .
Anyone try the supplement mentioned in the article?