Is it Fibromyalgia or Something Else?

Is it fibromyalgia or something else? Eleven symptoms that are shared with other chronic illnesses.

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Is it fibromyalgia that is to blame for a new or increasingly worsening symptom, or is there something else to blame?

Here are 11 common fibromyalgia symptoms and other chronic illnesses that share them. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you suspect one of them is to blame for your health issues or if you feel that you have fibromyalgia instead.

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Is it Fibromyalgia or Something Else that is the Cause of the Following Physical Symptoms


One of the most common shared fibromyalgia symptoms is inflammation. Some of the chronic illnesses that share this symptom include but are not limited to inflammatory arthritis:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Lupus
  • Psoriatic Arthritis

Fibromyalgia can develop alone or in conjunction with #inflammatory #arthritis 😲 #PsA #RA #chronicillness


  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Medications and treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, pain drugs, heart drugs, and antidepressants
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Sleep Apnea

Muscle Pain

  • Dystonia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease
  • Medications, especially the cholesterol medications known as statins
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Myofascial pain syndrome

Joint Pain

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Bone cancer
  • Bursitis 
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis 


  • Hashimoto’s Disease
  • Lupus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Reactive Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Shared Mental Health Symptoms

Chronic pain from any chronic illness or injury, along with the conditions listed below, may trigger mental health problems. Do not ignore them. Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if your chronic illness or something else is to blame.

Cognitive Problems

  • B-12 deficiency
  • Brain tumor,
  • Celiac disease
  • Perimenopause
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
  • Stroke


  • Bipolar
  • Clinical depression


  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Is it Fibromyalgia or Something Else that is Causing the Following Problems?

Sleep Problems

Many painful chronic illnesses cause painsomnia. Although it is not a technical medical definition, painsomnia is described as sleep disturbed by pain.

Sleep disorders that may have no connection to physical pain are:

  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleep apnea


  • Anemia
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Circulation problems
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Infection
  • Inner ear problems
  • Medications
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Overheating and dehydration
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)

Abdominal Pain

  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease 
  • Endometriosis
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
  • Stomach cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis

Is it #fibromyalgia or something else?


Note that these are not all the conditions associated with each symptom. When in doubt, talk to your doctor.

Be sure to speak to your doctor if you feel you have been misdiagnosed or that another condition is at play. If they won’t take your concerns seriously, get a second or third opinion. In fact, get twenty if you have to. The abdominal pain I experienced after my botched hysterectomy was blamed on fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis. It took two years and twenty-one 2nd opinions from surgeons to discover the truth. Further testing proved that I did not have interstitial cystitis, and surgery revealed the hysterectomy damage. Trust your gut (No pun intended) and be persistent when you feel something is off.

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Published by Cynthia Covert

Diagnosed in 2001 with psoriasis, followed by fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, endometriosis, and later a botched hysterectomy turned her world upside down. Cynthia shares her experience, advice, and tips for how to make life with chronic pain easier and less painful.

2 thoughts on “Is it Fibromyalgia or Something Else?

  1. You know, I’ve always wondered if fibro is a confusing wide-reaching disease, if doctors use it to give an answer for patients who don’t have an obvious disease, or if it’s some combination. Thanks for writing this post!

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