Are Sleep Disturbances a Common Symptom of Fibromyalgia?
Sleep disturbances are common in the majority of people with fibromyalgia. While people with fibromyalgia may not have difficulty falling asleep, their sleep is light and easily disturbed. Many awaken in the morning feeling exhausted and unrefreshed. These sleep disturbances may help create a constant state of fatigue.
During sleep, individuals with fibromyalgia are constantly interrupted by bursts of brain activity similar to the activity that occurs in the brain when they are awake. Tests in sleep labs done on individuals with fibromyalgia have shown that people with fibromyalgia experience interruptions in deep sleep. These interruptions limit the amount of time they spend in deep sleep. As a result, their body is unable to rejuvenate itself.
Does Morning Stiffness Affect Many Fibromyalgia Patients?
Studies show that more than 75% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia feel stiffness in the morning when they get up. The stiffness is extensive -- affecting the muscles and joints of the back, arms, and legs. It makes them feel the need to "loosen up" after getting out of bed before beginning their usual activities.
Some people with fibromyalgia report that the morning stiffness may last only a few minutes, but in general, it is usually very noticeable for more than 15 to 20 minutes each day. In some cases, though, the stiffness lasts for hours, and in others it seems to be present all day.
While most people feel stiff when they first wake up, the stiffness associated with fibromyalgia is much more than simply a minor aching. In fact, people with fibromyalgia have the same feeling of stiffness in the morning that people feel with many types of arthritis, especially rheumatoid or inflammatory arthritis.
Is Depression a Fibromyalgia Symptom?
Depression is a key symptom for many people with fibromyalgia. Approximately one out of every four patients with fibromyalgia has current major depression. And one out of every two people with fibromyalgia has a lifetime history of depression.
Stress from the constant pain and fatigue can cause anxiety. Also, chronic pain can result in a person being less active and becoming more withdrawn. This, in turn, can lead to depression.
It is also possible that anxiety and depression may actually be a part of fibromyalgia, just like the pain. Many patients with depression and fibromyalgia tell of having great difficulty concentrating on their work along with impaired short-term memory at times.
What Causes Swelling and Tingling Hands With Fibromyalgia?
Neurological complaints -- such as numbness, tingling, and burning -- are often present with fibromyalgia. While the causes of these feelings is unclear, numbness or tingling sensations in the hands, arms, or legs are felt by more than half of the people with fibromyalgia. The feelings may be especially bothersome when they occur in the mornings along with morning stiffness on arising.
The medical term for these sensations is paresthesia. The sensations usually happen at irregular times. When they do occur, they may last a few minutes or they may be constant. While the sensations can be bothersome, they are not severely limiting.