Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic, and debilitating condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal stiffness and pain. Though many people struggle with the condition on a daily basis, it's still poorly understood by doctors, scientists and patients. Myths and misunderstandings abound.
Do you think you might have fibromyalgia? Take our quiz to find out if your symptoms match with the disease, and get some information about the condition.
How often do you experience fatigue?
Many fibromyalgia patients report frequent fatigue that they feel no matter how much sleep they get. Many physicians suspect that fatigue plagues patients because their bodies are simply unable to relax into the deep sleep cycles meant to completely restore the body and mind.
Are you having trouble concentrating?
Fibromyalgia patients often report various cognitive difficulties, including trouble concentrating and lack of short and long-term memory. Physicians believe these particular struggles may be closely tied to the sleep issues patients face.
Does your pain intensify in the late afternoon or evening?
Morning, late afternoon, and evening tend to be the worst times of the day for fibromyalgia sufferers, while 11am - 3pm tends to be the best time.
In the past two weeks, have you experienced:
Muscle pain is a symptom of fibromyalgia. Depression and dizziness can be found in fibromyalgia patients, but these symptoms are not caused by the condition.
How long have you been experiencing muscle pain?
Generally, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be considered if a person has been experiencing muscle pain for 3 months or longer.
Your medical history includes:
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Lyme Disease, along with other musculoskeletal disorders, cause symptoms similar to fibromyalgia -- but they're different conditions. Although blood tests cannot identify fibromyalgia, they can usually identify -- and exclude -- these other conditions.
Where are you experiencing pain?
The neck and back are among the 18 "tender points" caused by fibromyalgia. Most fibromyalgia patients notice an increased sensitivity to pressure in specific areas in which even the slightest touch can cause sharp, shooting pain.
The other choices have not been specifically identified as trigger points.
Are your symptoms affecting your ability to lead an active life?
According to WebMD, the chronic pain from fibromyalgia can greatly impact your life. The pain can prevent sleep, leading to increased achiness, morning stiffness, and daytime fatigue.
While you want to exercise and be active, you may suffer with foot pain, hip pain, knee pain, or other painful joints. All of these symptoms make it next to impossible to exercise with friends or to play with your kids or grandkids.
Have you experienced a traumatic event recently?
Fibromyalgia symptoms often begin after a physically or emotionally traumatic event, such as a car accident. However, in many cases there seems to be no apparent cause or trigger.