Fibromyalgia is a chronic, long-term illness. It causes all-over muscle pain, joint pain and fatigue. The pain may come and go. There’s no known cause, although certain factors such as stress and genetics may predispose someone toward the disease.


  • Stressors such as: being born premature, traumatic life events such as abuse, accidents.

  • Medical conditions such as viral infections or other illnesses.

  • Anxiety, depression, other mood disorders, PTSD.

  • Poor sleep.

  • Lack of exercise.


  • Anxiety or depression.

  • Digestive problems, including diarrhea or constipation.

  • Face or jaw pain (temporomandibular disorders).

  • Headaches or migraines.

  • Memory problems.

  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet.


  • There isn’t a test that definitively diagnoses fibromyalgia.

  • The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is clinical based on your symptoms and physical exam.

  • Basic blood tests are recommended to exclude other causes of fatigue such as anemia or thyroid disease.

  • The diagnosis relies on your family and medical history combined with your symptoms.

  • People with fibromyalgia tend to be deeply sensitive to pain that wouldn’t bother most people.

  • Your provider may assess the number of tender points, or areas, on your body that are highly sensitive to touch.

  • 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.


  • Minimize stress.

  • Eat a nutritious diet.

  • Get enough sleep.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Manage arthritis, depression or other conditions.

  • Stay active and exercise regularly.


  • Antidepressants.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy.

  • Improved sleep habits.

  • Prescription and over-the-counter pain medicines.

  • Stress management techniques.

  • Strength training and exercise.


  • Most people who have fibromyalgia can ease symptoms with medications and lifestyle changes.

  • Sometimes symptoms go away after you take steps to reduce stress.

  • Symptoms may return during stressful times.

  • A small number of people experience pain or fatigue so severe that they’re unable to work.

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