Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, best known for the widespread pain it causes — but that’s not the only impact it has on your health. There’s a long list of other symptoms that often go hand in hand with fibromyalgia pain, and identifying them is crucial to helping us help you.
Here, Dr. Raul Lopez, our pain management specialist at the West Texas Pain Institute, is taking a closer look at five signs of fibromyalgia and helping you take control of your health.
From a bad night’s sleep to stress, it’s easy to feel run down from time to time. But if you have fibromyalgia, you’re more than tired — you’re fatigued, which is a type of unrelenting, overwhelming tiredness.
Nearly 76% of people who have fibromyalgia live with severe fatigue. It stems from your brain and nervous system constantly processing and overreacting to pain signals, causing you to become chronically lethargic.
Living under the weight of constant pain can also impact your sleep. If you have fibromyalgia, you may also struggle with insomnia, nonrestorative sleep, and other sleep disturbances. Lack of sleep can also exacerbate your fibromyalgia pain and fatigue.
It’s estimated that individuals with fibromyalgia are three times more likely to have mental and emotional health issues than those without. There are a few ways researchers believe fibromyalgia can impact your mental and emotional health.
For example, the sheer stress of the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia can cause anxiety. You may also isolate yourself or withdraw from your normal activities due to pain and fatigue, which can lead to depression.
Fibromyalgia can also cause cognitive dysfunctions, such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, and forgetfulness. Many people refer to this fuzzy-headed feeling as “fibro fog.”
It’s not exactly known what causes fibro fog, but it likely stems from the fatigue, sleep deprivation, and/or mental health side effects of fibromyalgia; however, some believe that fibromyalgia impacts the blood vessels in your brain, causing certain areas of your brain to receive less oxygen.
Your muscles hurt all over, and now your head hurts, too? The same overexcitation of your nervous system that causes widespread muscle and soft tissue pain can also result in headaches and migraines.
Because fibromyalgia produces so many symptoms (often symptoms that mimic other health conditions), it can take years to reach a diagnosis. Fortunately, Dr. Lopez is specially trained to both accurately identify and treat fibromyalgia. Here’s how he can help you.
Though there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, we offer a wide range of treatments that help you manage your symptoms and achieve an active, healthy lifestyle. To determine which treatments are right for you, Dr. Lopez administers a series of exams and tests to rule out other health conditions.
Once he determines that fibromyalgia is what’s behind your health concerns, he creates your customized treatment plan. Depending on your needs, he may recommend the following:
It’s crucial to discuss all of your symptoms, their onset, and their severity to help us better tailor your treatment plan.
If you’d like more information about fibromyalgia, or if you’d like to discuss your symptoms with Dr. Lopez, request an appointment online or over the phone at either of our two El Paso, Texas, locations today.