Fibromyalgia Awareness Week (Sep 4-11, 2022)



For Fibromyalgia Awareness Week #FAC highlighted 8 of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, starting with #Pain.

FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS WEEK SYMPTOM # 1

Fibromyalgia pain is chronic widespread pain that is felt all over the body.

Keeping in mind that everyone with #fibromyalgia feels their symptoms differently, many people with fibromyalgia describe their pain as burning or a pins-and-needles sensation.

Others describe aching all over like every bone or muscle hurts. Some people get electric zings or muscle spasms. It’s also common to hear about painful skin that feels like it’s been sunburned.

A lot of people have pain that can be from things that are normally harmless, such as a cold breeze, soft fabric moving across the skin, ​or light pressure from a handshake. Some people’s clothes may become major sources of irritation or pain. This type of pain is called allodynia.

Fibromyalgia pain can range from mild to debilitating and change frequently throughout the day.

One day, a person with fibromyalgia might have low pain levels and be able to function somewhat normally, while other days they may be bedridden with the pain. A person with fibromyalgia may feel fine one moment and then have pain slam into them like being hit by a bus.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common reasons for chronic pain, affecting about 2 million Canadians. It’s also one of the most misunderstood.

#FibromaylgiaAssociationCanada is working to change that.

#Fibromyalgia may be invisible but we don’t need to be.

#fibromyalgiaawarenessweek is about speaking up and being heard.

FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS WEEK SYMPTOM # 2

Many people with fibromyalgia suffer from fatigue. We wake up feeling fatigued despite having slept for long periods of time.

Sometimes pain can cause poor sleep, as can sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea but sometimes we just wake up tired.

This tiredness and fatigue can range from a mild tired feeling to the exhaustion often experienced during a flu-like illness. Severe fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain us of all our energy.

Severe fatigue — more than just being tired — affects up to 4 out of 5 of people with fibromyalgia.

FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS WEEK SYMPTOM # 3

“Fibro Fog” to many people with fibromyalgia is their most debilitating symptom.

Fibro Fog may cause us to suffer from temporary memory loss, and can cause confusion.

“Fibro Fog” can make it very difficult to focus on things in our environment, to be able to understand our surroundings because it can affect all of our senses at once. With Fibro Fog our senses can be dulled and movement can be slow and clumsy.

“Fibro Fog” impairs our ability to take in and process information and can even make conversation difficult, which can be very disorientating and affect our decision making process.

“Fibro Fog” affects 50 – 80 % of people with fibromyalgia.

FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS WEEK SYMPTOM # 4

In more than half of fibromyalgia suffers, one of the accompanying symptoms is headaches, that can range from tension headaches to migraines. In fact migraines affect over 36 % of people with fibromyalgia. Having fibromyalgia can make your migraines more severe.

Fibromyalgia headaches can be debilitating and make an already difficult illness even worse.

FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS WEEK SYMPTOM #5

Sensitivity to environmental stimulation, including bright lights, loud noises, touch and even certain smells, can make living with fibromyalgia particularly challenging.

This is a symptom that is difficult to explain to others, once again because it is invisible. It is also a symptom that can have a significant effect on our lives as we stop doing things we enjoy to avoid the stimulation.

Sensory overload can make us feel panicky, confused, and overwhelmed. Sometimes it even leads to panic attacks.

FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS WEEK SYMPTOM #6

Up to 70 percent of people with fibromyalgia have symptoms of Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS).

Fibromyalgia and IBS impair our abilities to carry out daily activities and diminish our quality of life. While IBS is difficult for anyone to live with it can be even worse for those of us with fibromyalgia.

Both have pain symptoms that can’t be explained by biochemical or structural abnormalities.

FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS WEEK SYMPTOM #7

As fatigued as people with Fibromyalgia are, we struggle to stay asleep. Insomnia is the formal name for difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and people with fibromyalgia often have both problems. Insomnia is believed to make the other fibromyalgia symptoms more severe.

A study published in Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology showed that while people with rheumatoid arthritis had more insomnia symptoms than healthy people, those with fibromyalgia had even more than those with rheumatoid arthritis.

FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS WEEK SYMPTOM #8

In addition to a decreased body temperature, research shows that those of us with fibromyalgia have trouble adapting to temperature changes and have a reduced pain threshold to both heat and cold stimuli — meaning it takes less extreme temperatures to make us feel pain, discomfort and other fibromyalgia symptoms. Our environment has a greater impact on our bodies than it should have. Most people with fibromyalgia report having some kind of temperature sensitivity. Some are very sensitive to cold, others are sensitive to heat, and still others react to both.

As strange as it sounds, heat and cold sensitivity can be the most life altering symptom of fibromyalgia. If you suffer from this before you go anywhere you have to make sure the temperature is tolerable for you. It doesn’t matter the season if you suffer from both, you may miss beach outings because of the heat or family skates because of the cold. You can be held hostage in your own home because that is the only place you can control your temperature and environment.