The Ridiculously Long

List of Symptoms

It seems that every possible symptom could be attributed to Fibromyalgia. This list can be a bit scary. It is important that you don't just attribute new symptoms to Fibromyalgia. You should always let your doctor know about them.

It is VERY important that new symptoms and other illnesses you have, on top of Fibromyalgia are dealt with or  managed.  Something like diabetes can completely wipe you out if not managed. Similarly, the pain from injuries like muscle strains can cause a great deal of extra pain.

The main symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Chronic widespread pain without apparent cause

  • Fatigue

  • Sleep Disturbance

  • Cognitive Dysfunction

  • Morning Stiffness

  • Cramping and Muscle Spasms

  • Restless Leg Syndrome

  • Digestive Problems

  • Headaches and Migraines

  • Skin Sensations

  • Balance Problems

  • Sensitivities

AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM/ENDOCRINE/IMMUNE/HORMONE

  • Abnormal sensitivity to hot or cold Allergies (nasal, other; new, increased or worsening)

  • Canker sores (frequent)

  • Chills and/or shakes when hungry (may occur instead of feeling hungry)

  • Cold hands and feet

  • Feeling hot or cold often

  • Flu-like symptoms, on-going or recurrent after initial gradual or acute onset; includes mild fever (99.5-101.5 F / 37.5-38.6 C), chills, extreme fatigue after minimal exertion

  • Hair loss (alopecia) Herpes simplex or shingles rash Increased susceptibility to infections Low-grade fevers Low blood pressure (below 110/70)

  • Low body temperature (below 97.5)

  • Lymph nodes painful, swollen (in neck; under arms)

  • Night sweats (not related to menopause or fever)

  • Orthostatic Intolerance (neurally mediated hypotension)

  • Reactive hypoglycaemia and insulin resistance

  • Thirst, increased Temperature irregularities; often feeling hot or cold irrespective of actual ambient temperature and body temperature; low body temperature (below 97.6 F / 36.4 C)

  • Thyroid inflammation (acute thyroiditis; hypothyroidism; Hashimoto's thyroiditis)

CARDIOPULMONARY/RESPIRATORY/CIRCULATORY

  • Cardiac abnormalities (mitral valve prolapse; myocarditis; tachycardia; palpitation dysrhythmia)

  • Cough

  • Dyspnoea (out of breath) or shortness of breath (air hunger) after minimal or no exertion

  • Heart attack

  • Heart palpitations

  • Heart pounds so hard it shakes body, bed

  • Pulse skips

  • Serious rhythm disturbances of heart

  • Sighing, frequent, not related to mental/emotional state

  • Stroke

  • Vasculitis

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM/NEUROLOGICAL/NEUROPATHIC/OTOLOGIC 

  • Abnormal CAT, MRI and/or SPECT scans

  • Alcohol intolerance

  • Aseptic meningitis

  • Brainfog"; inability to think clearly

  • Difficulty moving tongue to speak 

  • Diminished or absent reflexes

  • Fainting or blackouts; feeling like you might faint

  • Headaches (frequent, severe, recurring)

  • Hearing fluctuations (sounds fade then return)

  • Hearing changes, often from day to day (need to turn up, then down, volume of radio, TV)

  • Joint or arthritic pain not relieved by NSAIDs (ie, ibuprofen)

  • Libido (decreased)

  • Light-headedness, feeling spaced-out

  • Migraine headaches

  • Muscle twitching

  • Noise intolerance

  • Paralysis or severe weakness of limb

  • Paraesthesia (numbness, tingling, crawling, itching sensations) in face, head, torso extremities

  • Photosensitivity

  • Radiculitis

  • Seizures; seizure-like episodes

  • Sensory alterations (hyper- or hyposensitivity) - smell, taste, hearing (noise intolerance)

  • Severe muscle weakness

  • Syncope (fainting)

  • Tinnitus (ringing/noises in one or both ears)

  • Touch or weight of clothing on or against body causes discomfort or pain

  • Tremors, trembling

COGNITIVE FUNCTION

  • Becoming lost in familiar locations when driving

  • Difficulty with simple calculations (e.g., balancing checkbook)

  • Difficulty expressing ideas in words

  • Difficulty moving your mouth to speak

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Difficulty following directions while driving

  • Difficulty remembering names of objects

  • Difficulty remembering names of people

  • Difficulty recognizing face

  • Difficulty following simple written instructions

  • Difficulty following complicated written instructions

  • Difficulty following simple oral (spoken) instructions

  • Difficulty following complicated oral (spoken) instructions

  • Difficulty integrating information (putting ideas together to form a complete picture or concept)

  • Difficulty putting tasks or things in proper sequence

  • Difficulty paying attention

  • Difficulty following a conversation when background noise is present

  • Difficulty making and/or retrieving memories (long/short-term memory deficits)

  • Difficulty understanding what you read

  • Easily distracted during a task

  • Feeling too disoriented to drive

  • Forgetting how to do routine things

  • Forgetting the use of common objects (such as, what to do with the shampoo when you are standing in the shower)

  • Forgetting how to get to familiar places

  • Impaired ability to concentrate

  • Losing your train of thought in the middle of a sentence

  • Losing track in the middle of a task (remembering what to do next) 

  • Poor judgment

  • Switching left and right

  • Slowed and/or slurred speech

  • Stuttering; stammering

  • Transposition (reversal) of numbers, words and/or letters when you speak and/or speak

  • Word-finding difficulty

  • Using the wrong word 

DIGESTIVE/HEPATIC

  • Bloating; intestinal gas

  • Decreased appetite

  • Digestive chemicals (acid, enzymes) reduced or absent

  • Oesophageal reflux; heartburn

  • Frequent constipation

  • Frequent diarrhoea

  • Food cravings (especially carbohydrates, sweets)

  • Food/Substance intolerance

  • IBS

  • Liver function impaired; mild abnormalities

  • Increased appetite

  • Nausea

  • Spleen tender or enlarged

  • Stomach ache, cramps

  • Vomiting

  • Weight gain or loss 

EQUILIBRIUM/PERCEPTION

  • Bite your cheeks or tongue frequently

  • Bump into things frequently

  • Difficulty discriminating printed matter despite proper vision correction

  • Distances (difficulty judging when driving; when putting things down on surfaces)

  • Dizziness or vertigo

  • Dropping things frequently

  • Disequilibrium (balance problems)

  • Impaired coordination

  • Loss of balance when standing with eyes closed

  • Perception (not quite seeing what you are looking at)

  • Some patterns (stripes, checks) cause dizziness

  • Spatial disorientation

  • Staggering gait (clumsy walking)

  • Words on printed page appear to jump off page or disappear when staring at them 

EYES/VISION

  • Acuity changes not related to prescription changes

  • Blind spots

  • Blurred vision

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Diminished visual acuity in absence of actual vision change

  • Drooping eyelid

  • Double vision

  • Eye pain

  • Flashes of light perceived peripherally 

  • Optic neuritis or atrophy

  • Oscillopsia (image jiggles)

  • Prescription changes more frequently

  • Pressure sensation behind eyes

  • Red and/or tearing eyes

  • Retinal damage

  • Slowed accommodation (switching focus from far to near, near to far)

  • Spots or floaters not related to migraines

  • Swelling around eyes

  • Uveitis and/or iritis

  • Wandering or lazy eye 

HEAD/NECK/MOUTH

  • Bell's palsy (facial paralysis, one or both sides)

  • Bruxism (grinding/clenching teeth)

  • Canker sores

  • Dizziness when you turn your head or move

  • Dry chronic cough

  • Dry eyes, nose and mouth (sicca syndrome)

  • Pain in ears, palate, gums

  • Periodontal disease

  • Prickling pain along skin of jaw

  • Problems swallowing, chewing

  • Runny nose in absence of cold, allergies

  • Sinus infections

  • Sore spot on the top of your head

  • Temperomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)

  • Unexplained toothaches

  • Xerostoma (dry mouth) 

MUSCULOSKELETAL

  • Arthritic pain that migrates from joint to joint

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Frozen shoulder

  • Intermittent joint swelling

  • Joint aches (arthralgia)

  • Joint pain, without redness or swelling

  • Loss of tone

  • "Lumpy, bumpy" long muscles

  • Morning stiffness

  • Muscle aches (myalgia)

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, weakness

  • Pyriform muscle syndrome

  • Reduced range of motion

  • Stiff neck

  • Writing causes pain in hand, arm shoulder

PAIN SYMPTOMS 

  • Abdominal pain

  • *Chest pain*

  • Generalized pain

  • Joint Pain 

  • Pain that migrates from joint to joint

  • Pain/stiffness at C1-C2 (top two vertebrae)

  • *** Shooting or stabbing pains ****
    Painful tender points (FMS: 11 out of 18 tender points) 

PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS/MOOD/EMOTIONS

  • Abrupt/Unpredictable mood swings

  • Anxiety or fear for no obvious reason

  • Appetite increase/decrease

  • Decreased self-esteem

  • Depression or depressed mood

  • Feeling helpless and/or hopeless

  • Feeling worthless

  • Frequent crying for no reason

  • Helpless/Hopeless feelings

  • Inability to enjoy previously enjoyed activities

  • Irritability; over-reaction

  • New phobias/irrational fears

  • Panic attacks

  • Personality changes (labile, irritable, anxious, confused, forgetful)

  • Phobias (irrational fears)

  • Rage attacks; anger outbursts for little or no reason

  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts 

SENSITIVITIES

  • Acute or abnormal reactions to medications

  • Alteration in taste, smell, and/or hearing

  • Chemicals (alcohol, medications; lower tolerance for)

  • Food sensitivities

  • Increased perception of and sensitivity to noise

  • Light sensitivity

  • Sensitivity to odours (able to detect and/or react in concentrations far lower than before and  that healthy people cannot smell)

  • Noise sensitivities

SKIN/NAILS

  • Abnormal scarring

  • Acrodermatitis Chronica Atrophician

  • Blotchy or mottled skin

  • Bruise easily

  • Bruises may take longer to appear, and/or longer to fade

  • Bull's-eye (Erythema migraines) on light skin (resembles a bruise on dark skin)

  • Dermographia (minor scratch pressure on skin leaves vivid red welts)

  • Dry, itchy skin

  • Easily scar

  • Eczema or psoriasis

  • Fragile nails

  • Frequent skin irritations

  • Lymphadenosis benigna cutis

  • Nails that curve under or downward

  • Overgrowing connective tissue (ingrown hair, adhesions, thickened/split cuticles, cysts, fibroids) 

  • Painful skin (abnormal/excessive pain when scratched or rubbed)

  • "Paper" skin (feels fragile, tissue-thin when rubbed)

  • Rashes on body, face

  • Vertical ridges or beads in nails 

SLEEP SYMPTOMS

  • Abnormal brain activity in stage 4 sleep

  • Altered sleep/wake patterns (alert/energetic late at night, sleepy during day

  • Difficulty falling asleep

  • Difficulty staying asleep (frequent and/or prolonged awakenings)

  • Hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)

  • Myclonus (restless leg syndrome; occasional jerking of entire body)

  • Nightmares (frequent, extremely vivid and/or disturbing)

  • Unrefreshing/Non-restorative sleep

UROGENITAL/REPRODUCTIVE

  • Decreased libido

  • Discharge from breast or galactorrhea

  • Endometriosis

  • Frequent urination

  • Incontinence

  • Impotence

  • Infant: premature; low birth weight; low muscle tone; failure to thrive

  • Interstitial cystitis

  • Miscarriage or stillbirth

  • Painful intercourse

  • Painful urination or bladder

  • Pelvic and/or rectal pain

  • Prostate pain

  • Swollen testicles

  • Other symptoms worsen before start of menstruation

  • Worsening of PMS 

OTHER

  • Abnormal or other changes in sweating

  • Activity level reduced to less than 50% of pre-onset level

  • Burning sensation (internal or external)

  • Changed voice

  • Changes in sweat odour/body odour

  • Delayed reaction to overactivity/exertion (onset 24-48 hours after exertion)

  • Electromagnetic (EM) sensitivity (electrical storms, full moon, affect function of electrical devices)

  • Fatigue, prolonged, disabling, made worse by exertion or stress

  • Fibrocystic breasts

  • "Galloping" cholesterol and triglycerides

  • Hair loss (not related to age, hormones, diet, medication)

  • Hands hurt excessively when put in cold water

  • Handwriting changes, altering signature and/or other writing

  • Hoarseness

  • Painful, weak grasp that gives way/lets go

  • Periods of concentrated thinking causes physical and mental exhaustion, increases pain

  • Sore throat 

  • Swelling/Idiopathic oedema (fluid retention syndrome)

  • Symptoms worsened by extremes of temperature (hot, cold), stress, and/or air travel

  • Symptoms change focus from time to time, like infection is moving through the body

  • Thickened mucus secretions (nose, bowel, vaginal)

  • Thickened "sleep" around eyes in mornings

  • Very attractive to biting flies and mosquitoes

  • Weight changes (usually gain) 

This is a huge list of symptoms that can be attributed to Fibromyalgia. It is very important that other possible causes are ruled out. The number of and severity of the rest of the symptoms, seems to be different for every person. They can also vary from day to day, even minute to minute. You could be walking along limping from a severe pain in your left leg for a few minutes, that slowly wears off, only to have a worse pain in your other leg next time you start walking.

Any new symptoms should not automatically be put down to Fibromyalgia but should be checked by your GP to rule out any other underlying conditions.

International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

May 12

Invisible Illnesses Inc

Making the Invisible - Visible

Rockingham, Western Australia

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