200+ Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a complex and multifaceted condition, often presenting a wide range of symptoms that can vary significantly in their nature and severity among individuals. Current evidence supports the view that at least some fibromyalgia symptoms are associated with brain dysfunctions, imbalance in the immune system and central sensitization1.

Here's a list of over 200 potential symptoms and comorbidities (different conditions that are present at the same time) associated with fibromyalgia. How many of them sound familiar to you? Keep in mind that not everyone with fibro will experience all of these symptoms, and not all symptoms are exclusive to fibromyalgia – so talk about them with your healthcare team to ensure there is not something else going on.

We'll say that again. Remember that this is a very long list and although most people with fibromyalgia will have a few of these, it's extremely unlikely that you will develop lots of them.

A lot of these conditions are associated with an out of balance system (such as nervous system dysregulation). That means that although the symptoms and associated conditions might seem unrelated, many of the things that can help your pain may also aid other conditions and symptoms.

Note that complexity is at the core of fibromyalgia so categorizing symptoms is tricky. Our bodies systems are so intricate and interconnected. Some symptoms in this list are separately diagnosed (but often co-occurring) conditions and other symptoms may seem totally contradictory (such as both high and low blood pressure). This can be explained by the individual nature of the way the condition is expressed, pre-existing health conditions and the impact of nervous system sensitivities.

And also, just to add a further complication, people living with fibromyalgia may be also managing a number of other conditions with or without medications. Research shows that symptoms increase with the number of medications a person takes, which means that some symptoms may be related to medication side effects2.

General symptoms

  • Chest pains
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness upon standing (orthostatic hypotension)
  • Postnasal drip
  • Recurrent infections
  • Slow healing
  • Susceptibility to colds and flu

Pain symptoms

  • Widespread pain
  • Morning stiffness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Muscle knots, cramping, weakness
  • Reduced tolerance for exercise
  • Exercise-induced pain
  • Post-exertional malaise
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendinitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel spurs
  • Bursitis

Neurological symptoms

  • Vertigo and dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Seizures
  • Stroke-like symptoms
  • Transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes)
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Tingling and numbness

Perception symptoms

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Disorientation
  • Feeling of being overwhelmed
  • Brain fog
  • Speech problems
  • Balance issues
  • Coordination problems

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Eye, ear & mouth symptoms

  • Dry eyes and mouth
  • Vision changes
  • Puffy eyes
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Eye twitching
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)
  • Keratitis (cornea inflammation)
  • Uveitis (uvea inflammation)
  • Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration
  • Retinal detachment
  • Vision loss
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Dental problems
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Hearing loss

Emotional symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Personality changes
  • Emotional sensitivity
  • Stress intolerance

Gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Digestive disorders
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Nausea
  • Acid reflux
  • Weight changes
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite changes
  • Cravings for carbohydrates and sugar
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • Insulin resistance
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Anemia
  • Heartburn
  • Gastritis
  • Hemorrhoids

Urogenital symptoms

  • Frequent urination
  • Bladder spasms
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Swelling and bloating
  • Water retention
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Gallbladder dysfunction
  • Liver enzyme elevations
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney stones
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Prostatitis
  • Endometrial hyperplasia

Hormonal symptoms

  • Menstrual problems
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Painful periods
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Endometriosis
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Infertility

Respiratory symptoms

  • Dry or burning throat
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Voice changes
  • Laryngitis
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Recurrent bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma exacerbations
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Acid reflux
  • Esophageal spasms
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Pleurisy (inflammation of the lining of the lungs)

Skin (dermal) symptoms

  • Skin sensitivities
  • Rashes
  • Itching
  • Bruising easily
  • Spider veins
  • Varicose veins
  • Mottled skin
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • Skin infections
  • Paresthesia (pins and needles)
  • Burning sensations
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Scalp tenderness
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Hives (urticaria)
  • Skin ulcers
  • Pressure sores
  • Scar tissue pain
  • Keloid formation
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Stretch marks
  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Flushing
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Lymphedema

Hair & nail symptoms

  • Hair loss
  • Brittle nails
  • Nail ridges
  • Nail discoloration

Cognitive symptoms

  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Brain fog
  • Impaired judgment
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty planning or organizing
  • Difficulty with multitasking
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Derealization (feeling of unreality)
  • Depersonalization (feeling detached from oneself)
  • Obsessive-compulsive tendencies
  • Phobias
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harm tendencies
  • Agoraphobia (fear of leaving spaces that a person considers safe, such as their home)
  • Social anxiety
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Depression

Sleep & energy symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sleep apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Non-restorative sleep
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep paralysis

General sensitivities

  • Sensitivity to cold/heat
  • Sensitivity to odors/odor intolerance
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Photosensitivity (sensitivity to sunlight)
  • Phonophobia (sensitivity to sound)
  • Temperature regulation problems
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Allergies
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Taste disturbances
  • Sensory overload
  • Hyperesthesia (increased sensitivity of the senses)
  • Hypoesthesia (reduced sensitivity of the senses)

You are not alone

After reading this list you may need to go and lie down! While it probably seems overwhelming, this is not an exhaustive list, and everyone experiences fibromyalgia differently. And remember again, you will probably only experience a fraction of these!

This is a pooled list and having fibromyalgia doesn’t mean you will experience everything on this list. If it’s all new to you, or even if you’ve had fibromyalgia for a while, it can be helpful and reassuring to keep track of your symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, discuss them with your healthcare team to ensure there is not another underlying condition that needs attention.

For more information, see some of our other blog on topics such as our everything you need to know about fibromyalgia guide, demystifying fibromyalgia, everything about getting a fibromyalgia diagnosis and what to do afterwards, rare symptoms and how to recover from fibro flare-ups.

If you want a little more support, the MoreGoodDays program will help you understand your fibromyalgia symptoms, what makes them better or worse over time, and science-backed tools to get them under control so you can get back to living your life. Our multidisciplinary approach to pain management is built upon the gold standard for chronic pain and the latest in scientific research and medical information.

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