Fibromyalgia is one of the most misunderstood chronic pain disorders in existence, and that’s because it can come with so many different symptoms. It is believed that approximately ten million American adults are affected by fibromyalgia, with more than 75% being women. If you have fibromyalgia, then you’ve probably experienced some of the common symptoms of fibromyalgia in women. Knowing what these symptoms are may help you manage your condition better, and help you get the treatment that you need to start feeling better.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia in Women
People with fibromyalgia often have digestive problems, including diarrhea and constipation. That’s because their muscles aren’t functioning properly, so digestion is disrupted. As a result, you might experience abdominal pain or discomfort that keeps you from eating normally or feeling full after meals. In some cases, there may be no digestive symptoms at all. However, if you do notice any of these issues, talk to your doctor about them. there are plenty of treatments available for people who suffer from digestive problems as a result of fibromyalgia. For example, A doctor can also prescribe anti-diarrheal medications, which can help reduce nausea and prevent dehydration. If you’re experiencing more severe digestive problems that cause frequent vomiting or bloody stools, your physician will likely recommend some over-the-counter remedies. You should never mix certain medications without talking to your doctor first.
Joint And Muscle Pain
You don’t have to suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms such as joint and muscle pain, headaches, insomnia, and irritable bowel syndrome alone. If you think you might have fibromyalgia, start by seeing your family doctor. He or she can confirm a diagnosis of primary fibromyalgia syndrome through physical examination and blood tests. The two most common conditions that can cause similar symptoms are rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (autoimmune disorders). If your doctor suspects one of these two disorders is causing your pain, he or she may recommend an autoimmune disease panel test to help get a better sense of what’s going on with your body.
In some cases, fibromyalgia headaches are so bad that they prevent people from working or performing daily activities. But overall, fibromyalgia is a disorder that tends to sap your energy and leave you feeling exhausted and lethargic. Some patients even sleep for up to 20 hours per day because their bodies have lost all desire to move around. This doesn’t just make it hard to get out of bed-it also makes it extremely tough to function at work or school if you have a part-time job or go to school on a full-time basis. Many people living with fibromyalgia report sleeping difficulties like insomnia and sleep apnea.
Cognitive impairment is a very common symptom of fibromyalgia. Research shows that many patients experience changes in memory, mood, attention, and concentration as a result of chronic pain. This is often referred to as fibro fog an inability to concentrate and multi-task. The good news is that treatment with certain medications or supplements can help improve cognitive function for some patients. If you have fibro fog, it may be helpful to go over a list of daily tasks with your doctor so you know what needs improvement. Due to its autoimmune nature, fibromyalgia also has links to other autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions may occur together more frequently than they would separately. If you suffer from one of these conditions along with fibromyalgia, there are treatments available to address both illnesses at once.
Fatigue is perhaps one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia in women. It makes it hard to get out of bed, stay awake during meetings, or complete projects at work. But it’s not just physical fatigue that affects your daily life; you may experience emotional and mental fatigue, too. Depression is also a common symptom for women with fibromyalgia. You may feel down or hopeless about your condition and your future, and even guilty about how much you rely on others for help with day-to-day tasks like cooking, cleaning, and shopping. In some cases, people who have fibromyalgia may be diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. This means their immune system is attacking healthy cells instead of fighting off viruses and bacteria. The good news is there are treatments available to manage these conditions, including medications and lifestyle changes. If you suspect you have an autoimmune disorder, talk to your doctor right away so he can determine if additional testing is necessary.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic condition characterized by abdominal pain and alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation. Stress often makes symptoms worse, so stress management is an important part of managing IBS. People with IBS should follow a diet that avoids known triggers like certain high-fiber foods and caffeine. They also should avoid alcohol. Exercise can help ease symptoms, as can relaxation techniques such as meditation. Many people find relief from their symptoms through self-care approaches such as hypnosis and acupuncture.
Dizziness, Vertigo, Nausea, Or Lightheadedness
Many people with fibromyalgia experience symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, nausea, or lightheadedness when they stand up. The cause is thought to be due to a drop in blood pressure and oxygen levels, resulting from fluid retention. It’s also important to note that extreme fatigue can mimic these symptoms. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to talk with your doctor and undergo further testing. For example, if you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but are still experiencing lightheadedness, it could be an indication of anemia. Additionally, doctors may use tests such as an EKG (electrocardiogram) to rule out other heart-related issues.
Emotional Well-being And Mood Swings
About 80 percent of women with fibromyalgia will experience some form of mood swings, ranging from major depression to irritability. Any woman can be affected by mood-related symptoms, but it’s important to note that women are more likely than men to experience sleep problems and depression. It’s unclear why these mood-related issues are so prevalent among fibromyalgia sufferers, but they can certainly make symptoms worse. To cope with your symptoms, it’s important to find ways to manage your emotional well-being and manage negative thoughts.
There are numerous ways to reduce your symptoms of fibromyalgia in women and improve your quality of life. It is important you consult with your doctor if you’re experiencing any serious medical problems or have questions about treatments. A functional medicine doctor specializing in fibromyalgia and chronic pain can help. As with most chronic conditions, managing fibromyalgia requires a team effort between patient and practitioner. Together, you can help find solutions that will work for you.