In addition to deep muscle pain, widespread body aches, persistent and chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia is a disorder also characterized by mood and memory issues, along with an inability to focus and concentrate on mental tasks (known as the ‘fibro fog’).

Sometimes the symptoms occur gradually over time, without an identifiable triggering event. But in other cases, symptoms appear after a physical trauma (including surgery or infection) or a period of intense emotional stress.

Women are much more likely to develop this condition. Some researchers believe fibromyalgia has a hereditary component, as with other rheumatic diseases (Rheumatoid Arthritis , Lupus , Sjögren's syndrome ). Evidence also suggests that fibromyalgia may affect the way the brain processes pain signals.

Those with fibromyalgia may likely experience a combination of non-restful sleep, tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, abdominal cramping, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.

Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
By performing a complete medical history and physical examination, our physicians will determine how long the pain symptoms have persisted. If it has been at least three months, the doctor may request a complete blood count, an erythrocyte sedimentation rate (a test to measure the degree of inflammation) and thyroid function tests to eliminate any potential underlying conditions that could also account for the symptoms.

Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia
Although fibromyalgia has no cure, a combination of healthy diet, regular exercise, medications (pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-seizure), relaxation, therapy and stress reduction can all help improve the patient's general health and manage the symptoms.


Our physicians at Houston Methodist specialize in managing fibromyalgia at the following convenient locations.