Middle aged woman lying awake in her bed at night because of insomnia, stress, fears, nightmares or illnesses like fibromyalgia
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 28, 2024 ·  5 min read

How to Know if You Have Fibromyalgia + 8 Natural Approaches to Relieve

Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that affects millions of people worldwide. Characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in specific areas of the body, fibromyalgia can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the condition, it often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, making it difficult for individuals who suffer from it to function in their daily lives. This is what fibromyalgia is, how to recognize its signs and symptoms, and some natural approaches to find relief and manage its debilitating effects.

What is Fibromyalgia?

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Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulties. It is often classified as a central pain syndrome, as it is believed to involve an altered processing of pain signals in the brain. Although the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, it is thought to be influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. (1)

Read More: What is Fibromyalgia Swelling and What Causes it?

How to Know if You Have Fibromyalgia: Signs and Symptoms

Male patient talking to doctor about pain in the nape of his neck. Female general practitioner listening to man who can't stretch stiff tight injured neck due to severe fibromyalgia or muscle strain

The hardest part about Fibromyalgia is knowing that you have it. This is because the symptoms generally aren’t overly specific, making it difficult to distinguish from other illnesses. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia is crucial in seeking proper diagnosis and treatment. Some common signs and symptoms include (2):

  1. Widespread pain: Fibromyalgia is typically characterized by pain that is felt throughout the body, including the muscles, joints, and tender points.
  2. Fatigue: Individuals with fibromyalgia often experience persistent fatigue, even after adequate rest.
  3. Sleep disturbances: Many fibromyalgia patients suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea.
  4. Cognitive difficulties: Often referred to as “fibro fog,” cognitive symptoms such as memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and mental confusion are common.
  5. Headaches: Chronic headaches or migraines are frequently reported by fibromyalgia sufferers.
  6. Sensitivity to touch: People with fibromyalgia may have heightened sensitivity to touch, pressure, and temperature.
  7. Digestive problems: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal issues are often prevalent in fibromyalgia patients.
  8. Anxiety and depression: Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with mood disorders, including anxiety and depression.

If you suspect you may have fibromyalgia, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. Since fibromyalgia shares symptoms with other medical conditions, ruling out other possible causes is crucial.

8 Natural Approaches to Find Relief/Manage Symptoms

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While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are several natural approaches that can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Here are eight strategies to consider:

1. Exercise

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Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga can help improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, and reduce pain. That being said, for those who want to include running, weight lifting, and other more intense exercise options, you can. These also have shown to help manage symptoms. It is important that you include a variety of strength, cardio, and mobility exercises, and that you slowly scale up duration and intensity. (3)

2. Stress management

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Stress makes everything worse, especially Fibromyalgia. Engaging in stress-reducing activities like meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness can help manage pain and improve overall well-being. (4)

3. Sleep hygiene

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Getting a good-night’s sleep each night is critical for managing Fibromyalgia symptoms. Establishing a consistent sleep routine, creating a calming sleep environment, and avoiding caffeine and electronics before bed can promote better sleep quality. (5)

Read More: The Connection Between Fibromyalgia and Leg Pain

4. Heat therapy

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Warmth does wonders for pain. Applying heat to affected areas, such as warm compresses or taking warm baths, can provide temporary relief from muscle pain. (6)

5. Balanced diet

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What can’t a healthy diet do for the body? Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and manage symptoms. (7)

6. Supplements

Variety of dietary supplements, including capsules of Garlic, Evening Primrose Oil; Artichoke Leaf; Olive Leaf; Magnesium and Omega 3 Fish Oil.Selective focus. Taken in daylight.
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Certain supplements like magnesium, vitamin D, and fish oil have shown promise in managing fibromyalgia symptoms. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements. (8)

Read More: Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy the Key to Treating Fibromyalgia?

7. Acupuncture

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This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves fine needles inserted into specific points of the body to stimulate healing and relieve pain. (9)

8. Support groups

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Fibromyalgia can be isolating, as it is difficult for those around you to understand how you feel and what you go through on a daily basis. Connecting with others who have fibromyalgia can provide emotional support, coping strategies, and a sense of belonging. (10)

Read More: Fibromyalgia Linked To Nearly 20 Different Kinds Of Gut Bacteria

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Fibromyalgia

Senior female patient consulting her physician or doctor on account of chronic neck pain caused by fibromyalgia, osteoporosis or a herniated disc.

When discussing fibromyalgia with your healthcare provider, it is essential to be prepared. Keep a symptom diary to track your pain levels, sleep patterns, and any triggers or patterns you notice. Write down your questions and concerns before the appointment to ensure you cover all your needs. Be open and honest about your symptoms and their impact on your daily life. Remember, your doctor is there to help you, so it’s vital to communicate effectively to receive appropriate care and support.

The Bottom Line

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Living with fibromyalgia can be challenging, but with proper understanding and management strategies, individuals can find relief and regain control over their lives. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia, exploring natural approaches to alleviate symptoms, and effectively communicating with healthcare professionals are crucial steps towards achieving a better quality of life for those with fibromyalgia. Always consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and guidance on specific treatment options.

Read More: 20 Signs Your Body is Out of Balance, and Something is Wrong


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  6. OBM Neurobiology.” Lidsen
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  11. The Impact of a Peer Social Support Network from the Perspective of Women with Fibromyalgia: A Qualitative Study.” NCBI. Glòria Reig-Garcia, Cristina Bosch-Farré, Rosa Suñer-Soler, Dolors Juvinyà-Canal, Núria Pla-Vila, Rosa Noell-Boix, Esther Boix-Roqueta, and Susana Mantas-Jiménez. December 2021.