As if living with fibromyalgia isn’t bad enough, this chronic pain syndrome (or disease) has all sorts of unusual signs and symptoms. If you aren’t familiar with fibromyalgia, it’s a rather mysterious condition, because it affects your whole body with all sorts of painful and almost unexplainable symptoms.
According an article from to the Mayo Clinic, “Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.”
As one fibro sufferer explained online, “It is scary not being in control of your body as so many different things happen on any given day and 24/7 pain. Not one day is the same as the other, so I go through life one day at a time.”
Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia starts with symptoms like widespread achy pain that you can feel on both sides of your body. The onset of this pain usually lasts for three months. Fatigue is another common problem that makes this chronic condition especially hard to live with, because it means even if you get good sleep, you still wake up tired.
#1 – Fibro Fog
The term “fibro fog” is similar to the term pregnant women and new moms use called “pregnancy brain.” It means you have trouble remembering things and your ability to concentrate like you normally do is difficult. Your brain simply feels “foggy.” Fibro fog can make it difficult to follow conversations, do simple math calculations or cause you to misplace things often.
While it may sound odd, it’s a very common and serious complaint from fibromyalgia sufferers. According to an article on WebMD, “Over half of people with fibromyalgia say they have these kinds of problems, and many feel the fog impacts their lives more than the pain, tenderness, and fatigue.”
#2 – Sensitivity to Light & Sound
If you’ve ever had a migraine, you know how much light sensitivity hurts. Unfortunately for people with fibromyalgia, hypersensitivity to their surroundings in another common sign. Things like being bothered by bright lights and loud sounds is a common, yet odd symptom of fibromyalgia.
#3 – Difficulties with Colors & Smells
Fibromyalgia can also impact other senses, like how you see colors and your sense of smell. Some people even report strange smell sensations when there are no odors present. According to an article on Fibromyalgia Treating, “You may have difficulty with driving at night or you may lose the ability to distinguish the difference between colors. Some people are more sensitive to strong odors, which is not the same as being allergic to specific fragrances.”
#4- Uncomfortable Skin Sensations
Another strange sign of fibromyalgia is paresthesia. That’s when you experience uncomfortable sensations like itching, numbness, ‘pins and needles,’ tingling or burning. It can also be the sensation like something is crawling on you. A big problem about paresthesia is not just the sensations themselves, but the heightened anxiety about when the symptoms may happen, since they are unpredictable.
#5 – Chest Pain
A scary, strange sign of fibromyalgia is chest pain that can you make you think you’re suffering a heart attack. This is quite serious in nature, because it tends to require immediate medical attention. According to New Life Outlook, “The chest is one of the trigger points where fibro patients experience pain.” It usually presents as a sharp pain in the chest with no other symptoms.
#6 – Controlling Body Temperature
As if all of the aforementioned signs aren’t bad enough, another common complaint is excessive sweating. Since fibromyalgia affects the certain parts of the brain, it would make sense that your brain has trouble regulating your body temperature. These are the same receptors that regulate your bowels and other bodily functions.
If you’re suffering from some of these strange signs of fibromyalgia, the good news is you’re not alone. Your concerns, anxiety, pain and discomfort are valid, because thousands of other people are experiencing the same thing. If you’ve spoken to your doctor, but are still struggling to make sense of this chronic condition, you can find many resources online like fibromyalgia support groups and discussion boards to help you better navigate your symptoms.
Do you have advice for fibromyalgia sufferers who are trying to better understand or manage their symptoms? Let us know in the comments section below.