Fibromyalgia is characterized by muscle pain, tenderness, and fatigue. It is a disorder that is usually accompanied by memory, sleep, and mood issues. Researchers believe the condition arises from an overactive nervous system, which amplifies painful sensations. The condition is difficult to diagnose as it is not identifiable by blood work, x-rays, or scans. In its early stages, the symptoms of fibromyalgia are very general and appear similar to those of other conditions. Symptoms can start without a trigger and gradually worsen over time. Alternatively, they can be triggered by physical trauma, such as surgery, infection, and significant psychological stress. There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, but medications, exercise, and relaxation techniques can help reduce symptoms. The following are some early symptoms of fibromyalgia:
Difficulty sleeping is one of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia. Seventy-five percent of people with fibromyalgia have problems with sleep, and the most common complaints are waking up feeling unrested and waking up throughout the night. Sufferers experience fewer hours of deep restorative sleep. Insomnia, the inability to fall or stay asleep, is also very common. Other common sleep difficulties include restless leg syndrome, which occurs in over fifty percent of people with fibromyalgia. Restless leg syndrome causes sensations in the legs that are uncomfortable. This may occur in other parts of the body as well and creates an irresistible urge to move around to relieve the discomfort. Sleep apnea is another common condition that occurs when breathing is disrupted during sleep. Some sufferers stop breathing hundreds of times throughout the night, resulting in oxygen deprivation to the brain. Sleep apnea requires immediate treatment; if left untreated, it can result in serious conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and heart failure.