Thursday, 12 November 2009

Fibromyalgia Symptom Checklist


(Ed note: Here's a "cut out and keep" list that may help you, say, next time you want to remember symptoms to discuss with your doctor.)

It's hard to predict what the symptoms of a given case of fibromyalgia (FM) will be, because they can manifest themselves in very different ways in different people. In this article you will find a list of the most common symptoms. By using this checklist and placing a mark next to the different symptoms which describe the way you feel, you'll give yourself a starting place to use when discussing the possibility that this is what you have with your doctor.

_____ 1. Pain in the soft, fibrous tissues of the body - the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. FM pain can be described as aching deep within muscles, shooting, throbbing, intense burning, or stabbing.

_____ 2. Pain and stiffness are worse in the morning.

_____ 3. Physically-draining fatigue. Patients often feel as if heavy weights are tied to their extremities. May find it difficult to get through a day's activities.

_____ 4. Difficulty concentrating. Inability to focus on specific tasks.

_____ 5. Unable to retain new information to the point where it interferes with the ability to deal with mental tasks, such as on the job.

_____ 6. Insomnia. Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Frequent periods of waking through-out the night and indications of wakeful brain activity. Waking without feeling refreshed.

_____ 7. Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, and bloating.

_____ 8. Inability to exercise, even moderately.

_____ 9. Severe headaches which recur two or more times per week. Can be migraines or tension headaches.

_____ 10. Chest pains other than cardiac pain.

_____ 11. Irregular heartbeat.

_____ 12. Nasal congestion.

_____ 13. Shortness of breath.

_____ 14. Pain in the ligaments and muscles of the jaw.

_____ 15. Painful periods.

_____ 16. Acid reflux.

_____ 17. Blurred vision.

_____ 18. Profuse sweating

_____ 19. Dizziness

_____ 20. Muscle weakness and balance issues.

As you can see, there can be a lot of clues pointing to FM, but they are symptoms that many people just live with every day instead of having them checked out. If you found yourself honestly checking several of the symptoms listed above, take your list to your doctor and find out if she thinks you should have more thorough testing done. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are a lot of things you will be able to do to lessen its effects on your body and your lifestyle.

Paul Julian writes about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue issues at

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