What you need to know about fibromyalgia



Fibromyalgia is a long-term chronic, condition that causes all-over muscle pain, joint pain, and fatigue which may come and go.

When you have fibromyalgia, you may have more cells that carry pain signals than normal. And you may have fewer cells that slow pain signals down.

Anyone can get fibromyalgia, including children. Women are twice as likely as men to have fibromyalgia.


Genetics: You have a higher risk of having fibromyalgia if a family member has the condition.

Post traumatic stress disorder: People who have encountered a severe traumatic experience like an accident may develop fibromyalgia. The condition has been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Gender: Fibromyalgia is more common in women than men.

Emotional or physical abuse: Children who are abused are more likely to have the condition when they grow up. This may happen because abuse changes the way the brain handles pain and stress.

Other diseases: A past illness could trigger fibromyalgia or make its symptoms worse e.g pneumonia, arthritis, and Irritable bowel syndrome.


Here are the symptoms that present themselves when you have fibromyalgia.

  • Chronic, widespread pain throughout the body.
  • Fatigue.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Muscle and joint stiffness.
  • Tenderness to touch.
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms and legs.
  • Problems with concentrating, thinking clearly, and memory (sometimes called “fibro fog”).
  • Heightened sensitivity to light, noise, odors, and temperature.
  • Digestive issues, such as bloating diarrhoea or constipation.


  • The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is clinically based on your symptoms and physical exam as there is no test that definitively diagnoses fibromyalgia.
  • The diagnosis relies on your family and medical history combined with your symptoms.
  • For a diagnosis, widespread pain should be present for three months along with fatigue and other symptoms such as memory and concentration difficulties, poor sleep, symptoms of depression, and irritability syndrome.


There’s still no cure for fibromyalgia. Instead, treatment focuses on reducing symptoms and improving quality of life with medications, self-care strategies, and lifestyle changes.

  • Antidepressants.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Improved sleep habits.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter pain medicines.
  • Stress management techniques.
  • Strength training and exercise.

In addition, you may wish to seek out support and guidance. This may involve joining a support group or seeing a therapist.


Because experts don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, you can’t really take steps to prevent it. Still, it’s always a good idea to:

  • Minimize stress.
  • Eat a nutritious diet.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage arthritis, depression, or other conditions.
  • Stay active and exercise regularly.