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What are the worst symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, and tenderness. It affects roughly 2.5 million people in the UK.

Learning about fibromyalgia and its symptoms isn’t just about knowledge — it’s about empowerment. It helps you navigate the challenges of the condition and ensures you receive the care you need.

Fibromyalgia symptoms

Living with fibromyalgia means dealing with a range of challenging symptoms that can really impact your daily life.

Here are the toughest symptoms, ranked from most to least severe:

Chronic pain

(Most Severe)

This is the hallmark of fibromyalgia—a constant, widespread pain all over the body that can make even simple tasks difficult.


(High Severity)

It’s not just feeling tired, it’s an overwhelming exhaustion that never seems to go away, no matter how much you rest.

Fibro fog

(High Severity)

Many people with fibromyalgia experience “fibro fog,” which includes trouble concentrating and memory issues.

Sleep disturbances

(Moderate Severity)

Despite feeling exhausted, you may struggle with sleep problems like insomnia or waking up frequently during the night.

Sensory overload

(Moderate Severity)

Everyday sensations like light, noise, or certain textures can feel overwhelming and make your pain worse.

Digestive issues

(Moderate Severity)

Problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can add to your discomfort and affect your overall well-being.

Mood disorders

(Low Severity)

Fibromyalgia often comes with mood disorders like depression and anxiety, which can make coping with the other symptoms even harder.

It’s important to remember that everyone is different, and different people may experience the symptoms of fibromyalgia differently from others. Our list is not to downplay the severity of any of its symptoms, but rather to give a general impression of how common or severe those symptoms tend to be.

If you are struggling with any of the above symptoms due to your fibromyalgia, make sure you speak to a healthcare professional about them so you can try to improve them as best as possible. 


Frequently asked questions about fibromyalgia

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include chronic pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, cognitive issues, and heightened sensitivity to stimuli.

What are usually the first signs of fibromyalgia?

First signs of fibromyalgia commonly include chronic pain, fatigue, and sleep problems. Do not self-diagnose, visit your doctor if you think you may have fibromyalgia.

How does fibromyalgia start?

Fibromyalgia often starts with gradual onset of widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Genetic and environmental factors may contribute.

A woman sat on a sofa holds her shoulder in discomfort due to her fibromyalgia

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