Do you experience constant pain and fatigue all over your body for months at a time? Does this feeling of exhaustion cause you to lose sleep, develop headaches or suffer cognitive problems1 (like mixing up or forgetting names) all the time? Beware: These could be symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Characterized by musculoskeletal pain and tenderness all over the body, along with fatigue,2 fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that’s said to be caused by an abnormal response to stress.3 As many as 4 million American adults are now suffering from this illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).4
Fibromyalgia primarily affects women (80 to 90 percent of those who get fibromyalgia are females 30 to 50 years old5), but men and children can be diagnosed with it as well.6
The most common signs of fibromyalgia are widespread pain and tiredness, but you may also experience restless sleep, numbness, heightened sensitivity, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and muscle spasms. Another alarming symptom is “fibro fog” — cognitive impairment that causes you to lose your ability to focus on mental tasks, leading to disorientation and short-term memory loss.7
Fibromyalgia is no laughing matter and should not be taken lightly, because it can be extremely debilitating. Many people who have been diagnosed with it have difficulty or are completely unable to perform their daily activities, and have to stop working or change their jobs.8 Hospitalization is also possible, with most patients being hospitalized once every three years.9
If you are struggling or know someone with fibromyalgia, don’t worry because you don’t have to keep suffering from its devastating effects. Although there is still no known cure for it,10 there are ways to reduce the symptoms and manage the flare-ups without resorting to dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. All it takes is a few lifestyle changes to get fibromyalgia under control.
Keep on reading to learn the possible causes, risk factors and how you can determine whether you truly have fibromyalgia, or if it is some other illness. Don’t wait until it’s too late — start reading and learn everything you need to know about this ailment.