Most people with fibromyalgia realize that their symptoms actually began months, if not years, before their official diagnosis. Although some diseases come on very suddenly, fibromyalgia is more of a slow dawning process. It is not yet known if fibromyalgia is preventable because researchers aren’t sure what causes it. However, even if fibromyalgia isn’t preventable, here are some of the early signs to recognize. If you see these symptoms, try to make proactive, positive changes to get more rest and take better care of yourself.
Everybody has some times when they are more tired than others. The changing of the seasons, side effects of medications, or fighting off a virus can all make you feel a temporary increase in tiredness. But if you notice that you are frequently exhausted and can’t pinpoint any specific cause, it could be an early sign of fibromyalgia.
Long Recovery Periods
Does it seem like you just don’t bounce back as quickly as you once did? Things like late nights or trips out of town used to be fun and exciting and you could easily re-enter your normal life. If you’ve noticed that it seems to take several days to recover from viruses, disruptions to your schedule, or even from really intense workouts, it could be a signal of trouble ahead.
Chronic headaches are common, especially in women. Frequent headaches can have many causes, including stress, hormones, and allergies. However, if you have seen your doctor about your headaches and they can’t find any other cause, it could indicate an early symptom of fibromyalgia.
Many people with fibromyalgia are more sensitive than average to stimuli in the environment. Bright lights, strong smells or fragrances, and loud noises can all be extremely irritating and upsetting. If you notice that you’re really sensitive to any of these environmental distractions, it could be a sign of greater sensitivity in general. This increased sensitivity may later show up in the form of fibromyalgia symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another chronic illness that is not well understood. Researchers only have some theories, rather than definite answers, about what may cause it, and don’t know how to cure it.
Many people with fibromyalgia have symptoms in common with irritable bowel syndrome. Because there is a known emotional component in both IBS and fibromyalgia, it’s not known how the two illnesses may be related, only that many patients have both issues.
Depression is well known as a symptom of fibromyalgia. It’s understandable why someone with the chronic pain, fatigue, and sleep problems of fibromyalgia would feel depressed. But many fibromyalgia sufferers report that they had depression long before they had any other symptoms of the illness.
The link between depression and fibromyalgia is kind of a chicken-or-the-egg question: researchers don’t know which comes first or how they are even related at all. If you have chronic depression, particularly if it doesn’t respond well to antidepressant treatment, it could be a warning sign for fibromyalgia in the future.