Video Q & A:

Common FM Symptoms

Question:

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Expert:   Harry D. Fischer, MD, Chief of Rheumatology, Beth Israel Medical Center New York »

Muscle pain, light sensitivity, insomnia-- all three seem unrelated, but they're all symptoms of fibromyalgia. Get a more comprehensive list in this video.

Transcript: Fibromyalgia has many distinct symptoms, but the HALLMARK symptom of fibromyalgia is body-wide, persistent PAIN. Patients report that even on good days there’s almost always a little bit of pain present--they sense it in their muscles. Fibromyalgia is also characterized by the presence of tender points-- researchers have identified 18 specific points that, when pressed, may cause pain. Diagnosis is, in part, determined by whether or not a person is sensitive to a minimum of 11 of these 18 points. NINETY percent of people with fibromyalgia also have fatigue--they feel like they have the flu, or they didn’t get enough sleep. They also experience morning stiffness, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, extra-painful menstrual cycles, light, sound and temperature sensitivity. It’s thought that people with fibromyalgia have a lower pain threshold--the transmitters in their brain are more susceptible to pain messages, so the sensations are intensly uncomfortable for them, even if they simply stub a toe. People with this syndrome also tend to have concentration and memory problems, collectively known as “fibro fog” in the fibromyalgia community. Those with fibromyalgia are also more likely to have certain other conditions, such as: restless legs syndrome, endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine or tension headaches, and more. Although there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, a multitude of treatments and therapies exist to manage symptoms. More »

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