Fibromyalgia Symptoms Relating To The Cronic "Flu" Illness

By: Pat Colapinto

Fibromyalgia symptoms are more often than not confused as being the influenza virus. Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic illness associated with widespread pain in the soft tissues of the body. This syndrome afflicts 6 million people in the United States. Most of the 6 million are women. The syndrome is chronic which means that it can last years if not a lifetime. The pain of fibromyalgia can affect any part of the body. This symptom is similar to having the flu for an extended period of time.
Although pain is the main symptom of fibromyalgia, it is by no means the only symptom. Fibromyalgia, like other chronic pain syndromes, has a variety of symptoms associated with it. The first of these is fatigue. People afflicted with fibromyalgia often feel tired all the time. Upon waking from a night's sleep, they do not feel rested. Sleep is the body's way of regenerating. However, if the sleep is disturbed too often and the body is never allowed to enter into the deep restorative stage, then fatigue is inevitable.
People with fibromyalgia also suffer from chronic headaches. These headaches come in two main forms, but a person with fibromyalgia can also suffer from a combination of the two. The first type, called tension headaches, is caused by the continuous contractions of the muscles in the neck, upper back, shoulders and jaw. These contractions cause the muscles to tense. The tension leads to pain beginning in the neck and spreading to the temples. The other type, migraines, is caused by the constriction of the blood vessels. Stress and anxiety causes the blood vessels to slow circulation to the brain. Then, suddenly, the vessels dilate again which causes the pain.
A less common, but extremely frightening symptom of fibromyalgia is called costochondritis. Costochondritis is the inflammation of the seven bits of cartilage between the sternum and the rib cage. This inflammation is often accompanied by sharp chest pains that mimic cardiac problems such as a heart attack or stroke. The pain can cause anxiety which contributes to the fear of a heart attack.
However, it can be a frightening symptom since the pain associated with costochondritis is similar to that of a heart attack or stroke.

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