Fibromyalgia stages

5 Stages of Fibromyalgia: Recognizing Symptoms to Seek Treatment

Fibromyalgia condition is still unknown to modern science. However, there is no proper research evidence to prove why people get fibromyalgia; the symptoms and diagnosis are made based on some experience from fibromyalgia patients.

A person with fibromyalgia can experience various symptoms as follows:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Pain in body parts
  • Sleeplessness
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Memory problems and inability to concentrate
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Tender points
  • Menstrual cramps with pain

Some symptoms of fibromyalgia can emerge as part of another primary disease an individual has.

But it will be necessary to treat the primary disease first and then go for treatment of fibromyalgia.

Various stages of Fibromyalgia pain syndrome

Various aspects of fibromyalgia are still a grey area to people and even doctors.

Doctors have identified that genetic factors can also be a reason for fibromyalgia, where they are exposed to hypersensitivity pain.

The possible treatment is always directed towards the central nervous system to improve the conditions of the fibro body.

Various stages of fibromyalgia, in other words, are divided into multiple subsets based on the condition of the patients. Details are as follows:

Predisposed state

Usually, in the predisposed state, the individual will not have any symptoms, and there is no clinical fibromyalgia in this state.

Fibromyalgia can develop due to hereditary factors. As there is no symptom, the individual can’t take any steps to control this situation.

This can occur if either parent is exposed to fibromyalgia or a sibling has already been diagnosed with fibromyalgia symptoms.

Prodromal State

In this state, the individual is slowly led to fibromyalgia. Still, the patients will not have a trace of clinical fibromyalgia.

Pain will be experienced in some body parts, which will not be widespread, focusing on tender points alone.

Some core fibromyalgia symptoms may not be present in the individual, but symptoms like restless leg syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, etc., can be seen.

We can even say that fibromyalgia is not present yet because there will not be persistent or widespread pain in the individual.

The individual must experience fibromyalgia pain before they are exposed to a clinical diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

There can be multiple associated conditions present, but it is not enough.

Undiagnosed Fibromyalgia

This is the next stage of fibromyalgia, where the individual will experience chronic pain in some parts of the body or in general.

The pain will be experienced in tender points that provide mild symptoms of actual fibromyalgia.

Usually, in this state, the individual will have fibromyalgia symptoms that they don’t usually expose to their doctors.

Some physicians will understand the symptoms and make a diagnosis.

 stages of fibromyalgia

Regional Fibromyalgia

The individuals experience pain in their body in a particular region, not generalized pain. This is when they are diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

During this state, the individual will experience chronic pain in the upper part of the body or the lower back region of the body.

In this condition, the primary symptoms are seen, and severe pain is experienced in the muscles and soft tissues of the body, especially in the trigger points.

Generalized Fibromyalgia

In this stage, widespread pain is experienced by the individuals. There will be tender points identified in the diagnosis, and they can still have generalized fibromyalgia symptoms with just a few tender points.

Some common conditions can be seen in individuals who have generalized fibromyalgia.

They are depression, stress, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, sleeplessness, etc. People reach generalized fibromyalgia gradually from regional fibromyalgia.

Genetics, trauma, etc., can also be essential for this condition.

Fibromyalgia with Particular Associated Conditions

Some particular problems arise in individuals who have developed associated conditions with fibromyalgia.

These associated conditions are usually separate and need to be addressed separately.

Associated conditions include tension or migraine headaches, fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.

These conditions will require additional treatment apart from regular fibromyalgia treatment.

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Fibromyalgia with Coexisting Disease

For some individuals, there can be complaints about other problems that they have and will have fibromyalgia symptoms.

It cannot be said that the other disease can possibly cause fibromyalgia, but it can aggravate the condition if it is already present in the individual. Some of the possible coexisting diseases can be

  1. Hormonal Problems include hypothyroidism, low growth hormone, low estrogen, and low cortisol.
  2. Low-grade connective tissue disease includes dry eyes syndrome, lupus, and autoimmune disorders.
  3. Infectious problems – This includes viral infections and yeast or parasite infections.
  4. Neurological conditions include head injury residuals, neuropathy, polio sequelae, and multiple sclerosis.
  5. Arthritic conditions include osteoarthritis, scoliosis, osteoporosis, and cervical spinal stenosis.
  6. Lung conditions – People who have the habit of cigarette smoking can be exposed to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, etc., which can also be due to the heavy use of tobacco.

Secondary Fibromyalgia Reactive to Disease

The fibromyalgia condition would have developed in these individuals due to an already available disease.

Individuals will have fibromyalgia as a secondary disease. Most people would not have fibromyalgia if they had a primary disease.

But as part of treatment for primary disease, fibromyalgia often develops. However, fibromyalgia will need its own treatment even after the primary disease is treated.

If appropriately diagnosed in the earlier stage of fibromyalgia, it can be beneficial to treat the patients quickly with the help of the treatment programs available.

The patients can also try home-based remedies for controlling the condition with the help of natural ways.

The pain can be handled with many home remedies if it is in a particular area.

The experiences of various individuals help in diagnosing fibromyalgia problems.

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  1. What about people like me. I gave birth to my daughter and about a year and a half later I was having back pain, chronic constipation, and fatigue. Over the years it got worse, four to five years later I get endometriosis, start having pain in my shoulders, neck, and having headaches. Soon after my back and head would hurt and then my tummy would get bloated and hurt and my headache would turn into a migraine. I also now, 12 years after having my daughter, suffer from painful, sometimes shaky, and clumsy, less strong hands. I get frequent headaches, migraines, restlessness, anxiety, resless legs, trouble sleeping, fatigue, etc. What level would you can it? I am 31 and am a stay a home mom and can’t work due to the severity of my symptoms.

  2. I would say Generalized. I am 34 and have all the same symptoms as u and then some… also a stay at home mom and can’t work because of the symptoms. It’s so frustrating for me….

  3. Has any one been disabled off work due to the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
    I have trouble with extreme tiredness. Some days I struggle to get out of bed. Some days I need to stop & have a sleep. Most days I fall asleep as soon as sit down when get home.
    I drive for a living, so this is a major problem. Once or twice i have nodded off while driving. To be woken by going over white bumps at side.
    Even if I change jobs, will a new employer be understanding. Also will I be able to stay awake??
    What do I do??

    1. I am on disability now. …symptoms too bad now for me to work. I’m separated with shared care of 2 young boys. It is difficult to cope esp on days when I’m bad and is my time with the boys x

    2. I’m on SSI because of the Fibromyalgia. It’s really bothersome. I struggle with it trying to figure out how I can get better.

  4. Hi Tracey well I’ve been disabled off work and it’s been 30 months now. My fibromyalgia has definately effected my employment to the point where I have been dismissed!!! Which impacted on my life and health as well. I decided to retrain and went back to college, I’m on my level 3 this year and it’s only 1 day a week. But it’s not easy, hopefully at the end I will be my own boss and have no one breathing down my neck or harassing me at home, which is my sanctuary. As for driving I don’t do it, unless I have to!!! All I can say is do what’s best for you and your health. Debs (age 51) xxx

    1. Hi Debs. Thanks for your reply. Well done you for starting up on your own. I have absolutely no idea what I would do instead of this job. Fortunately work are reasonable about if I need to start a bit later & finish later. But it is mid afternoon that I feel I could do with a sleep, I struggle.
      I think though I would feel to guilty to be at home all day & live off benefits, because I don’t look ill & people will think I’m sponging.

    1. If you are in the USA it shouldn’t be too hard. Social security has made fibromyalgia an automatic disability.

  5. I have been on disability for FMS going on 15 years. I also work P/T at a very sedate job. Yes, you can collect disability and work, as long as the duties, hours and monthly gross pay fall with in the guidelines set by Social Security and the Ticket to Work Program (TWP). It’s ruff working, I have to get up at 4:30am just so I am ready to leave the house at 7:20am, and be at work by 8:00am. Why do I do it? I would blow my brains out if I stayed at home….
    I have a permanent disability placard on my car, I just love it when people ask “Who in your family is disabled?” and the reaction from them when I tell them its me. “You don’t look disabled….”. Yea, right, spend an hour in my body and you will be crawled into a fetal position begging for someone to put a bullet in your head. The migraines, the IBSD, the constant pain, and being treated like crap by the medical profession. Yipee Skippe, almost makes me want to tell people I have cancer, cause then they have some empathy.

  6. I often read people’s comments in which they state ‘I would feel guilty to not work and claim disability benefits because I do not look ill and people will think I am sponging’ I always think or comment the same reply ‘If you are able to continue to work and stay in employment on the base of what others would think of you if you left and needed to live on disability benefits. Then you are not entitled to claim you need disability benefits to live on, for you are still able to work. It is when the condition/pain/disability becomes too much for you to continue to work, no matter what you think others may say, that you will be entitled to disability benefits for you will no longer be able to work and there will be no choice about it’.

  7. i started getting pains in neck and shoulder and headaches and i thought it was flu and when i went to doctors as it continued for about month he send me off for blood tests and they came back negative. so he gave me some pain killers and try and see how you go. but pain got worse it now was travelling down to hands and i could not get out of bed . so he done referral to see consultant at local hospital i went to see July and diagnosed me with fibromyalgia . And he gave different medication . but since end of august it got so bad that i leave job as i was off more than i was in. i have been looking for work when i tell i got fibromyalgia they don’t want to know . so now i don’t know what to do.

  8. I agree that if you can force yourself to work your in the early stages of fibromyelgia, I started getting pain and brain fog about 5 years ago, back and forth to gp constantly and kept giving me painkillers which help and I was still working an gp didn’t know wot was wrong with me and then I got a huge abscess in my boob had it removed and I was worse than ever, I lived far from my home town couldn’t drive anymore I was a nervous wreck a danger to the road forgetting where I was going to hesitant at traffic lights, panic attacks on motorway, in the end all I could do was food shopping and school run, then had to give that up to, I moved back to my home town and got wot I thought was less strenuous than my previous job an after a year I had to leave and 2 years on iv been told by my gp that I have fibromyelgia and my symptoms are really bad now and I couldn’t work if my life depended on it and there’s nothing wrong with claiming from the government we are entitled to claim if we’re being honest xx

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