15 Common Fibromyalgia Comorbidities Probably You are not Aware

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Comorbid Conditions in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome As If One Illness Isn’t Enough!. Ailments that often occur together are comorbid conditions.  The two overlapping conditions usually considered are Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS. FMS and ME/CFS also have a host of other overlapping conditions associated with them. Pain disorders, sleep issues, major depression, nervous system disorders, digestive problems and menstrual problems are included in them.

Fibromyalgia presents an exclusive medical mystery: Its symptoms are so universal; it’s both under diagnosed and misdiagnosed for comparable problems. “Fibromyalgia is a disorder of the central nervous system that causes widespread pain,” “Most frequently people with this long-term sickness are exhausted, have sleep problems, and are overwhelmed with tenderness throughout the body, particularly in the neck, shoulders, arms, back, hips, and legs.”

While the cause of fibromyalgia is unclear, doctors believe the condition may run in families. It’s also roughly seven times more common in women than men. In as many as three out of four victims fibromyalgia goes undiagnosed. Since there are no blood tests or scans to effortlessly diagnose it, a lot of physicians have problem detecting the disorder.

People with fibromyalgia are more liable than others in the common population to have other chronic conditions. Why fibromyalgia frequently coexists with other diseases what’s known as “comorbidity” is still need to be understood by the doctors. Fibromyalgia sufferers often have migraines, autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances.

Having several overlapping conditions isn’t simple, and increases bodily pain and misery. Being well-informed about them will aid us and our therapeutic providers better manage our symptoms, ache and in general health. 

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Here are several common medical conditions faced by people who also have fibromyalgia:

1. Arthritis

Although both conditions are indicative of widespread pain and constant fatigue, the two have their differences. Many people have a propensity to think that fibromyalgia is a real form of arthritis, but that is not the reality. As it is characterized by pain, FM does not cause tissue swelling nor does it actually damages the body’s muscles and joints like arthritis are recognized to do.

” In the premature stages of arthritis, this physical injury has not taken its course up till now, so a patient only experiences the excruciating sensations, muscle rigidity, and fatigue that are more in line with FM. Afterward when arthritic symptoms have more developed only then a doctor can exclude fibromyalgia by taking an X-ray. Read More on Arthritis and Fibromyalgia Here

2. Periodic limb movement disorder

Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is similar to RLS. While they’re asleep people with PLMD involuntarily contract their leg muscles about every 30 seconds. Even if this doesn’t wake you up completely, it can disrupt sleep both for you and for your sleeping partner.

The hormonal malfunctions in the brain that come with fibromyalgia could explain why so many sufferers also struggle with digestive issues. Since recent research shows just how closely the brain and the gut are linked, it’s no surprise that abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and chronic nausea the main elements of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) show up so often.

Any syndrome that causes acute pain or stress in the body will almost certainly exacerbate your fibromyalgia, so don’t ignore IBS symptoms. If you notice changes in your bathroom habits or new and uncomfortable bowel sensations that continue for weeks, it’s time to speak with your doctor.

3. Myofascial pain syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome is often confused with fibromyalgia, but they are dissimilar conditions. Muscles and connective tissues (which make up the fascia) build up what are called trigger points in MPS. A trigger point is mainly a tiny, firm knot, about the size of a pencil eraser that you may be able to feel beneath your skin. Occasionally the knot itself is tender, especially when you compress it, but it frequently causes pain in another area. Read More Here.

 

4. Nervous system disorders

Chest pain, Heart palpitations, and possible connection with mitral valve prolapse (heart valves not closing appropriately and sudden drop in blood pressure and other symptoms that sometimes show up alongside FMS.

5. Headache and migraine

Over half of fibromyalgia patients complain of frequent headaches or migraines. Studies show that those who suffer with both fibromyalgia and headaches also experience more severe pain and depression than patients with headache alone. Experts suspect that abnormalities in specific chemical messengers in the brain are to blame for both headache pain and widespread muscle pain (namely, serotonin and epinephrine).

In effect, the body responds to stimulation that’s not normally painful with pain sensations. Sharp sensitivity to light and sound, vomiting, vision problems such as auras or tunnel vision, problem in speaking, and extreme pain that’s stronger on one side of the head are main migraine symptoms.  Click Here to Read Daith Piercing relieves Chronic Migraine.

6. Digestive and menstrual problems

Whereas the connection between FMS/ME/CFS and digestive problems isn’t well understood, one theory is that it’s because they’re both connected with serotonin. Click here to read the management of menstrual pain in fibro.

 

 

7. Gulf war syndrome

Gulf War syndrome (GWS) symptoms are markedly similar to those of FMS and ME/CFS, including tiredness, musculoskeletal pain, and cognitive problems. Also similar is that symptoms and their severity vary widely from person to person. Read More Here.

 

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8. Sleep disturbances

Sleep disturbances and fibromyalgia go hand-in-hand. Undoubtedly, the pain of fibromyalgia can make it difficult to fall asleep, but the way the pain manifests during the night can also make it nearly impossible to get a restful, rejuvenating sleep.

Some of the most common sleep problems that occur alongside fibromyalgia include Sleep apnea (when your breathing periodically stops during sleep), Insomnia (the inability to get to sleep and stay asleep), Restless leg syndrome (uncomfortable and uneasy tension in your legs that makes you want to move them around) and Periodic limb movement disorder (when muscles involuntarily contract every 30 seconds or so while you’re asleep). Click Here to read and Try these tips to cope up with sleep challenges

9. Restless Leg Syndrome(RLS)

It is movement disorder that is the cause of uneasiness, unease, and weariness that gets worse when you rest and feels better when you move. It can keep you awake because it’s hard to get comfortable, and the movements can wake you up as well. RLS is not well understood. Read More on RLS and its connection with fibro Here

10. Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

MCS causes the same symptoms as ME/CFS and FMS, but with the trigger being contact to certain chemicals, such as those found in perfumes, adhesives, and cleaning products. Because everyone is exposed to a huge variety of chemicals every day, it can be extremely difficult to identify which ones are causing the problem, or even that the problem is, in fact, MCS.

11. Depression

Unfortunately, depression is incredibly common among fibromyalgia patients up to 70 percent of fibro patients also have depressive periods, and up to a third will experience major depression. Many experts agree that the same central nervous system and neurochemical problems are present in both conditions.

However, depression and fibromyalgia are two separate conditions, and it’s important to separately diagnose each one for better treatment. Although both conditions alter the pain pathways in the brain, neuroimaging shows that the patterns of altered pain processing are different in depression and fibromyalgia. In turn, different treatment might be necessary to alleviate each problem.

Anyone who’s ever battled even a temporary bout of this mentally exhausting and deteriorating disorder knows it’s serious. But for those suffering from melancholy on a constant basis, they may question if there may be a bit more to their diagnosis.

“One of fibromyalgia’s key symptoms is depression, so it’s not uncommon for a person to think they may have FM after months or years of experiencing the debilitating effects of depression. So it’s still more perplexing for patients to know that the two diseases can occur together.” Read More on the Link Between Fibromyalgia and Anxiety and depression here.

In fact, about 20 percent of patients suffering from FM also suffer from an anxiety disorder or depression, reports the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. If you are sure you’re suffering from despair, but are not certain FM could also be at play, speak to your doctor about monitoring your symptoms. Do these 10 things on 1st Jan to Ease Your Depression for rest of year.

 

 

12. Primary dysmenorrhea

More issues with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and dysmenorrhea (especially painful periods) are often reported by women suffering from FMS or ME/CFS. PMS symptoms can include swollen ankles, feet and hands, Mood swings, Bloating and gas, abdominal cramps and Headache.

In about the time when your period starts with dysmenorrhea  painful cramps kick in and usually last 1 to 3 days. Cramps can be either sharp and intermittent or dull and achy. Typically, you’ll have PMS during the week before a period.

13. General anxiety disorder

Anxiety is an ongoing problem for many fibromyalgia patients. There are plenty of things about the syndrome that can lead to anxiety. For example, if fibromyalgia costs a person his or her job, economic stress can lead to anxiety. Even if you are able to maintain your work, you may constantly live in anticipation of whether you will be able to wake up and make it to the office tomorrow.

Social anxiety is also common with fibromyalgia. Many fear they will be judged for their illness. Some worry about not being able to keep plans. Even planning vacations can be stressful because you don’t want to lose out on nonrefundable plane tickets or hotel rooms. Thus, what was once fun now seems like a giant to slay?

14. Hypothyroidism

This is a condition caused by a strangely low amount of activity in the thyroid, the gland in your neck accountable for controlling your body’s metabolism. Due to decreased production of hormones, a person experiences low energy, mysterious weight gain, increased sensitivity to cold, slow heart rate, and melancholy, along with other symptoms.

It can be hard to distinguish the two just by analyzing symptoms as countless symptoms of hypothyroidism overlap with those of FM.  Your doctor can do a blood test to see if your thyroid hormone levels are healthy. 

15. Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is caused by inflammation of the bladder wall. It can be painful and frequently is misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection. Before they’re diagnosed correctly most people have IC for about 4 years. Women are 10 times more likely than men to develop IC. Urinary frequency, urgency and discomfort, pain during sex and pelvic pain are the major symptoms.

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References:

  • 5 Severe Diseases Associated With Fibromyalgia. Probably You are not Aware by M G Rana,MD via Fibromyalgia Resources
  • Understanding Fibromyalgia and Its Related Disorders via NCBI
  • 5 Condition Related to Fibromyalgia via Health Guides
  • Comorbid Conditions in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome By Adrienne Dellwo via Very Well

 

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