What is the Connection Between Fatigue and Fibromyalgia?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2018
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Discussions of fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that is related to arthritis, almost always include talk about fatigue. This is due to the fact that fatigue is one of the main symptoms a person has with this condition. A person who is suffering from fibromyalgia typically deals with chronic pain, increased sensitivity to physical discomfort, and severe fatigue. Often, a person with this condition is so fatigued that he has difficultly keeping up with day-to-day tasks and participating in activities that once proved enjoyable for him. Additionally, the fatigue and other symptoms of fibromyalgia may even contribute to the development of depression.

Fatigue and fibromyalgia are related because extreme fatigue is one of the primary effects of the condition. Often, a person with this condition feels an overwhelming fatigue that lasts for most, if not all, of the day. The relationship between fatigue and fibromyalgia is hard to overlook, as the extreme tiredness common with this condition is sometimes severe enough to be incapacitating. Keeping up with normal activities, a full-time job, and housework often becomes almost impossible for someone struggling with fibromyalgia.


A major difference between the tiredness a busy person might feel on a regular basis and the fatigue of fibromyalgia is when it occurs. In most cases, a person who is dealing with normal fatigue may feel tired at the end of a long day or after a period of extended physical exertion. A person who has fibromyalgia, however, may experience something entirely different. He may feel fatigued when he gets up in the morning, even if he has experienced a good night’s sleep.

Unfortunately, doctors do not know what causes fibromyalgia and its associated fatigue. There may be a genetic link, as a person may be more likely to develop it if someone else in his family has been diagnosed with the condition. It is also more likely to develop in women than it is in men. People who have experienced some type of trauma, whether emotional or physical, may also be more likely to develop this condition. Additionally, an individual who has suffered from a rheumatic disease, which is marked by pain and swelling of the joints and muscles, may be at increased risk of developing fibromyalgia.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia. Doctors may treat fatigue and fibromyalgia with antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and pain relievers. Sometimes physical therapy and counseling may prove helpful as well. Additionally, a person dealing with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia may also benefit from getting plenty of rest, eating healthy foods, exercising, and finding ways to decrease his stress levels.



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