Fibromyalgia and low grade fevers often run hand in hand. Fibromyalgia causes debilitating pain in the muscles, the extremities and extreme fatigue. There are many possible reasons that the fevers may occur alongside fibromyalgia although doctors aren’t exactly sure of the cause of said fevers.
It could be that an injury triggers the condition, and emotional trauma may also play a role. As the body fights to heal itself a fever may be present to help the healing along. The other possibility is that a viral infection could bring the condition on. In many viral infections a low grade fever is present.
All of these things can work together to lower the immune system which in turn may also bring on a fever. With so many potential causes, it’s difficult at best to accurately identify the cause of a low grade fever in fibromyalgia.
Fevers are frequently associated with viral infections. Fibromyalgia and Low Grade Fevers could be the body’s way of fighting off the infection. In a chronic pain condition the body may be attempting to ward off the infection that caused the condition in the first place and heal itself. Unfortunately, that rarely happens with fibromyalgia. Although there are many other causes for a fever, this is the frequent culprit.
Lowered Immune System
It’s very common for fibromyalgia patients to suffer from a lowered immune system. A lowered immune system can bring on a myriad of conditions which in turn may cause fevers and other symptoms in the body. For this reason, many fibromyalgia patients also get low grade fevers and even sore throats, tender lymph nodes as well as bouts of diarrhea or constipation.
Other Medical Issues
It’s not uncommon for someone who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia to have several other medical conditions going on as well. A few of these possible conditions may also carry a fever with them. For this reason, it’s often difficult for doctors to diagnose fibromyalgia. When a patient visits the doctor they will be fully evaluated for a myriad of conditions that could be causing the fever, but unless there is an obvious cause doctors may sometimes miss the reason for the fever and simply attribute it to the fibromyalgia.
The most common symptom of fibromyalgia is the pain. This is typically felt all over as in a flu pain. It can start on one side of the body and spread. It can also cause tingling and burning or numbness in the extremities. Many people mistakenly associate the feverish feeling with the pain. Unless the pain is from a virus it’s unlikely that the pain is causing the fever.
Other typical symptoms are sleep disturbances such as unrefreshing sleep. This is often followed by fatigue and cognitive challenges or a ‘fibro fog’ as it’s often referred to. This ‘fog’ can include short term memory issues, loss of words when speaking and it can be exacerbated by stress or too much activity. However, never does lack of sleep cause a fever unless a person’s immune system is lowered due to the lack of sleep.
Headaches are a common complaint and can encompass both migraine and tension headaches. They can also include jaw pain, ear ringing and dizziness. Sensitivity to light as well as sounds, extreme temperatures and smells may also be present. Headaches do not normally come equipped with a fever.
Another common complaint in fibromyalgia is exhaustion. This can lead to a lowered immune system and ultimately, a low grade fever as well. It’s important to note that exhaustion in and of itself doesn’t cause the fever, but the lowered immune system that is brought on by the exhaustion may be a part of the cause of the low grade fever. Exhaustion does not come with a fever either.
Frequently doctors simply don’t know what is going on with a patient so they will lump all of their symptoms together and call it fibromyalgia in an effort to give it a name. In general, if a doctor simply can’t determine what is going on, they may consider the diagnosis to be fibromyalgia as they feel that it best describes the patient’s condition.
If the doctor can ferret out the various symptoms they may be able to give a more accurate diagnosis. Therefore, fibromyalgia may also encompass a low grade fever. Other conditions such as Lyme disease, myofascial syndrome and occasionally other conditions have all been misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia due to the fact that they also carry a fever with their symptoms.
In short, a patient must have 11 out of the 18 known symptoms of fibromyalgia to be considered a fibromyalgia patient. Sometimes, due to lack of a name for a condition, a doctor will diagnose the patient with fibromyalgia even without 11 of the 18 known symptoms present.
It has long been suspected by medical professionals that many patients are misdiagnosed as there is simply no exact condition to attribute to the patient’s condition. These diagnoses may include such conditions as Epstein Barr Mono, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and other joint conditions that are known to cause pain.
According to various patient forums discussing fibromyalgia, most of the patients complain of a fever at some point or another in their illness. Sometimes the patient will also state that they have another condition that is going on, but for the most part, they don’t have anything that they can attribute the fever to at all. Therefore the doctors conclude that often a fever is present with fibromyalgia, but they have no exact reason to believe this.
Most patients simply accept Fibromyalgia and Low Grade Fevers as a part of their condition and accept it as a part of the fibromyalgia. Fevers typically are low grade averaging about 99.9. A few reports of higher fevers have come in but this is more rare and often connected to a viral condition that is present at the time of the notation.
Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Quick Overview http://www.cfidsselfhelp.org/library/fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-a-quick-overview
Basics on Fibromyalgia http://www.fms-cfsfriends.com/info3.html