Fibromyalgia Symptoms Checklist – Know Now If You Have Fibromyalgia

The American College of Rheumatology estimates that between 2 to 4% of the population is afflicted by fibromyalgia today. There are several things that are used in properly diagnosing this syndrome.

Symptoms Associated With Fibromyalgia

No two patients with fibromyalgia will present with the same symptoms. However, there are some symptoms that do commonly occur within the majority of patients. These symptoms include:

  • Widespread muscle pain
  • Cramping
  • Spasms
  • Tender points (these are used as one of the many diagnostic tools)
  • Fatigue (can be moderate to severe but it affects approximately 90% of patients)
  • Decreased energy
  • Numbness or tingling in arms and legs
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Difficulty completing simple mental tasks
  • Sensitivity to bright light (photophobia)
  • Sensitivity to various medications
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Sensitivity to odors and fragrances
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sensitivity to foods
  • Depression (approximately 25% of patients deal with this)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Either diarrhea or constipation
  • Incontinence (an increase in urinary frequency or urgency)
  • An irritable bladder
  • Jaw and facial tenderness
  • TMJ
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Feeling either dizzy or light-headed
  • Painful menstruation
  • Reduced ability to tolerate exercise
  • Stiffness after being in one position too long or whenever you first wake up

Fibromyalgia Tender Points

One of the diagnostic tools that are used in diagnosing fibromyalgia are the tender points. In order to be diagnosed as having fibromyalgia you will need to have at least 11 of the following 18 tender points. According to the Mayo Clinic these are as follows:

  • Back of your head
  • Between your shoulder blades
  • Top of your shoulders
  • Front sides of your neck
  • Upper chest
  • Outer elbows
  • Upper hips
  • Sides of your hips
  • Inside your knees

Related Health Concerns

Since so many of fibromyalgia’s symptoms can be indications of other health concerns, it is possible that you may have something other than fibromyalgia or a health condition that overlaps it. This is something that your doctor will need to consider, which is why they may require additional testing before making a diagnosis. Some of these other health conditions include:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
  • Lupus
  • Endometriosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Diabetes