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Diseases > Fibromyalgia | FM > Symptoms | Fibromyalgia | FM

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia (FM)?

The most common symptom of FM is pain and stiffness throughout the entire body. In most cases it is worse in the morning, slowly loosening up during the day. This symptom can fluctuate and people with FM can have good days and bad days. One day might be pain-free and the next you could be very stiff and painful. There are numerous things that contribute to the “bad days” such as stress, lack of sleep, physical activity and occasionally even the weather. After physical activity, pain is usually worse and can then last for several days. One of the worst symptoms of FM is when extreme fatigue is associated with the pain and stiffness.

Other associated symptoms of FM include difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, trouble sleeping, emotional changes, migraines, headaches, depression, anxiety, restless legs syndrome, irritable bowel and an irritable bladder.

And important thing to keep in mind about FM is that everyone will experience symptoms differently. Even just one person with FM can experience drastically different symptoms from day to day. Although pain may be felt, keep in mind that there is nothing actually wrong with the muscles or joints and there is no tissue damage.

Work and Fibromyalgia

Depending on the severity of the symptoms of FM, it can make work extremely difficult for some. How you feel each day can be highly unpredictable. Jobs that require a lot of concentration, a lot of memory or a lot of physical activity can be especially challenging. That being said many people with FM lead full and productive lives and learn how to live and cope with the pain and fatigue.

Travel and Fibromyalgia

Travelling is still very possible with FM. It can be less enjoyable as pain levels from day to day are unpredictable. You might not know from day to day if you can handle the physical activity that might be associated with travel. That being said, a well planned trip that fits your disease lifestyle could even be beneficial! Anything that reduces stress could alleviate the pain of FM. See our travel check list.

Sex and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia can lower a person’s sex drive and interest in sex. The condition can cause pain, fatigue and emotional hardships. These hardships can create barriers to sexual needs, ability and satisfaction. Take comfort knowing that sex and intimacy can be maintained in people with FM … it can even draw partners closer together, especially through improved communication between mates.

For more information on intimacy and arthritis, a great book is Rheumatoid Arthritis: Plan to Win by Sheryl Koehn, Taysha Palmer and John Esdaile. Many of the tips can also be applied to people with FM.

Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia does not affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant or to breastfeed. Keep in mind that daily chronic pain and fatigue can make pregnancy, breastfeeding and childcare challenging but still possible.

Read more – Treatment of Fibromyalgia