Fatigue in Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a form of non-inflammatory arthritis that affects the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body. Fibromyalgia can be quite a debilitating syndrome because of the intense pain that it causes all over the body. However, pain is not the only symptom associated with the illness. Fibromyalgia is also associated with extreme fatigue, which can make the pain of the illness even harder to bear. It can also have a great impact on a person’s ability to go to work, take care of their family, or even engage in simple daily tasks.
A Tiring Subject
People who suffer from fibromyalgia have a lot to deal with. Not only do they often have intense pain, but up to 90% of sufferers also report moderate to severe fatigue. This fatigue isn’t just your run-of-the-mill sleepiness either – this fatigue can last all of the time and for months on end.
Effects of Fatigue in Sufferers
Not all people with the syndrome suffer from extreme fatigue – some people seem to escape this fibromyalgia symptom, while others find they are able to adjust to their newly reduced energy levels. But others find that this chronic fatigue really impacts their lives in a negative way. Most disturbing is the fact that this fatigue never seems to get better, even with extended periods of rest and sleep.
Excessive fatigue seems to have a negative impact on the symptoms of fibromyalgia, particularly pain. Fatigue and pain seem to operate in a vicious cycle. Because of the severe pain many people experience, it makes sleeping difficult and sometimes impossible. This of course contributes to fatigue, which, in turn, makes the pain much harder to bear. Recent studies have shown that the amount of fatigue a fibromyalgia sufferer experiences will directly correlate with the amount of pain they have. For example, if you are feeling particularly tired one morning, you can pretty much count on having an increased amount of fibromyalgia pain during the day.
The fatigue of fibromyalgia also limits the amount of exercise that a person can do. Fibromyalgia and exercise need to go hand in hand – people have to keep their muscles in shape in order to decrease their pain in the long run. But many sufferers find they are just too tired to do this exercise, and, as a result, their pain actually increases. More of the vicious cycle.