Do you have any other conditions related to fibromyalgia?
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Fibromyalgia is a complex condition with numerous symptoms that can also be found in other illnesses, which makes it difficult to establish a correct diagnosis quickly.
Moreover, people with fibromyalgia tend to have other conditions that affect different body systems. This can have a strong impact on the choice of treatment and care pathway in general, and affect patients' everyday life.
Here are 7 health conditions that patients with fibromyalgia risk to develop:
A significant number of people with fibromyalgia also experience migraines and/or tension headaches, says Robert Duarte, MD. "An underlying disturbance in the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine plays a role in causing headaches and fibromyalgia," he says.
Antidepressants that target these brain chemicals may relieve migraine pain, he adds. Tension headache may also respond to biofeedback.
2. Autoimmune diseases
Up to one-quarter of people with inflammatory autoimmune diseases—including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, Sjögren's syndrome, and ankylosing spondylitis—also experience fibromyalgia symptoms. The precise nature of this connection is not yet understood.
Fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory disease, but some research suggests that RA and other inflammatory diseases may somehow increase the risk for fibromyalgia.
3. Restless legs
Sleeplessness and other sleep problems are common for fibromyalgia patients, says Lesley Arnold MD, a psychiatrist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Restless legs, or the overwhelming urge to move your legs when resting, may be up to 11 times more common in people with fibromyalgia than those without it.
Exactly how the two are linked is not fully understood, but many fibromyalgia treatments also improve restless legs, not to mention overall sleep quality.
4. Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is marked by abdominal cramps and bouts of constipation and/or diarrhea. Between 30% and 70% of people with fibromyalgia have IBS too.
"Like fibromyalgia, IBS is a pain syndrome," says Dr. Arnold.
5. Pelvic pain
People with fibromyalgia are more likely to report pelvic pain, bladder irritability, and menstrual cramps, and some of the medicines that relieve fibromyalgia symptoms can also ease these other pains.
More research is needed to understand how these pain conditions are related to fibromyalgia.
6. Depression and anxiety
More than half of people with fibromyalgia also experience mental or emotional problems, such as depression and anxiety, at some point in their lives. "It is less of a causal or chicken-and-egg relationship," Dr. Arnold says. "(But) they may share common, underlying causes."
A deficit of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine is involved in both mood and pain disorders, she says. Many medications used to treat fibromyalgia are also antidepressants.
"Obesity and fibromyalgia share a complicated relationship, and it's one that we can't ignore," says Dr. Arnold.
Many people with fibromyalgia lead sedentary lives due to their chronic pain, and a lack of regular physical activity increases their risk of becoming overweight or obese.
"Being overweight places more mechanical stress on your joints, which can cause more pain and aggravate the fibromyalgia," Dr. Arnold says. Plus, fat stores are pro-inflammatory, which can also exacerbate pain.
Are you suffering with any other conditions apart form fibromyalgia? Did you develop them before or after fibromyalgia?
How does it affect your treatment?
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I am not sure, I have had a lot of different conditions , some before and other after I think, it is so difficult.
I suffer from all of them. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Sarcoidosis a number of years before my fibromyalgia. I was also diagnosed with IBS beforehand too.
I used to be a very active upbeat kind of person who now struggles with day to day activities. People don’t understand the amount of pain I am in because they can’t see the condition.
I suffer from all the above alongside fibro. It has changed me from an outgoing, sociable and happy person who worked full-time in a job I adored, to a withdrawn, anxious and sad person who has had to take early retirement.
I hate this condition with a passion, and I definitely feel that there should be more awareness made about it, so we can teach all those naysayers who think it nothing.
I was diagnosed with Crohns, later to be changed to ulcerative colitis, mennieres, joint hyper mobility, osteo arthritis, about two three years before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
I was very busy previous to all of this, if anything underweight. After 20+ years of pain, problems, steroids etc, I am much slower and at least five stone overweight. I also have osteo phytosis, bone grows on bone. Had hip op last year because of phytosis, so much pain relief from day one. Now waiting for knee op in coming month or so. I already do lot of gardening but hoping to do more after op and lose weight.
I don't worry about other peoples opinions, I believe their hangups are probably worse than mine. We all have our demons.
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I have combat PTSD which is the background trigger for manic depression along with cervical strain from a helo accident. The cervical strain was exacerbated by work as a dentist which my consultant considers the trigger for the onset of my fibro myalgia. Like many suffers I have a complex clinical background and have been diagnosed as having silent migraines which when severe mimic a TIA, effecting my speech and balance.
I suffer from gut pain and on bad days my testicles feel they have been kicked by a heavy boot.
After 6 years of Fibro I am now fighting Autoimmune Progesterone Dermatitis. It is agony. Fevers, more pain, rashes that go muscle deep and are agony to touch. There’s a chance of anaphylaxis because it’s an allergy to hormones.
I really wish there was more research being done fibromyalgia is not noticed enough too many people are living miserably don't really have lives at all we need better treatment desperately!!!!
I am an insulin dependent diabetic, possibly as a result of untreated Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 5-6 years ago although I had been experiencing pain for some years previously which I had put down to the lipids I had been proscribed as part of my diabetic regime. I have suffered from depression on a few occasions over the years, I also suffer from insomnia (inherited from my mother). Due to a bad road accident I have developed a fairly high tolerance for pain and try to avoid medication as much as possible, however, having always been a high energy person I find the fatigues are the worst aspect of the condition. But- I tell myself it could be worse, it is not a terminal disease!
I have great sympathy for anyone with fibromyalgia I ache every part of me feels like I’ve been kicked all over mornings and late evening are worse I can barely bend my fingers or ankles in morning the slightest touch by someone feels like they’ve hit me and I’m bruised my ears can’t bare anything touching them apart from my hair I can not have clips in my hair or my whole scalp hurts it’s hard to explain to anyone what I feel I no longer socialise I’m always having naps throughout the day and can’t be bothered to even get dressed most days more info needs to be out there to let none sufferes to understand us fibro sufferers because I’ve had people say every one has aches and pains it’s part of life as if fibro is nothing more than that aches and pains it effects mind and body and causes sufferers depression loneliness constant severe pain not to mention fatigue
I have suffered with Fibromyalgia for over 10 year's...It took my go over 5 year's to agree that it was fibromyalgia...at the moment I am going through a hard time with fibro flare ups
Some days I feel as if I could clean the house from top to bottom ..which of course I try to do ..Then I am confined to bed for days ...The symptoms
I find the hardest to cope with in insomnia...and also the fibro fog ...I know what I want to say but my brain doesn't work.
I hate this illness it has robbed me off a normal like .
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