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Common Overlapping Conditions

Common Overlapping Conditions

Fibromyalgia Sufferers Often Have Other Chronic Conditions

There are other conditions that have symptoms which are similar to those of fibromyalgia.

These conditions can often occur together with fibromyalgia. That’s why it’s important to understand that a diagnosis of other conditions does not rule out a fibromyalgia diagnosis. (And, in turn, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia does not rule out other conditions.)

The presence of these overlapping conditions (called comorbidities) can “muddy the waters.” This is yet another reason so many fibromyalgia sufferers struggle to get a diagnosis.

The following chart shows some of the conditions that often co-exist with fibromyalgia. It also shows how often they are reported to occur. Your doctor may want to check for these co-existing conditions in addition to fibromyalgia.

 
ConditionShort description(%)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)Abdominal discomfort or pain along with constipation or diarrhea for more than 3 months in the past year32–80



Temporomandibular disorder (TMD)Frequent facial/jaw pain and/or limitation in jaw opening75



Chronic fatigue syndromeUnexplained, persistent or on-again, off-again fatigue for more than 6 months21–80



Tension and migraine headacheFrequent headaches lasting more than 30 minutes10–80



Multiple chemical sensitivitiesContact with certain chemicals consistently causes unpleasant symptoms33–55



Interstitial cystitisAt least 8 months of bladder pain, urinary urgency, and frequency (urinating more than 8 times during the day and more than 2 times during the night)13–21



Restless leg syndromeAn often unpleasant urge to move the legs32



NumbnessPersistent tingling and pins and needles (can occur anywhere on the body, especially the hands and feet)44