Presentation: Fibromyalgia Patients Report Many Symptoms Other Than Pain and Fatigue (2007)

1532 Fibromyalgia Patients Report Many Symptoms Other Than Pain and Fatigue

PURPOSE: People with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) are far more likely than people without FMS to report symptoms that worry them and are not directly associated with pain and fatigue.
METHODS: An Internet survey, conducted by a FMS community organization, AFFTER (Advocates for Fibromyalgia Funding, Treatment, Education and Research), asked participants about 49 different symptoms. 486 people with FMS and 101 people without FMS completed the questionnaire. The chi-square test of association was used to compare the FMS and non-FMS groups with respect to the percentage reporting each symptom. A 0.01 significance level was used. All tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: FMS respondents were significantly more likely than non-FMS respondents to report 20 of the 49 symptoms:
SymptomFMS n(%)Non-FMS n (%)P-value
Sensitivity to light334 (69%)16 (16%)< 0.001
Sun sensitivity217 (45%)16 (16%)< 0.001
Dizziness297 (61%)14 (14%)< 0.001
Irregular heart beat179 (37%)6 (6%)< 0.001
Balance problems330 (68%)17 (17%)< 0.001
Chronic sore throat149 (37%)0 (0%)< 0.001
Sensitivity to medication233 (48%)9 (9%)< 0.001
Hives and skin sensitivity208 (43%)5 (5%)< 0.001
Dry mouth306 (63&)14 (14%)< 0.001
Frequent runny nose219 (45%)9 (9%)< 0.001
Night sweats262 (54%)13 (13%)< 0.001
Disc problems227 (47%)10 (10%)< 0.001
Memory problems422 (87%)33 (33%)< 0.001
Anxiety370 (76%)22 (22%)< 0.001
Trouble swallowing203 (42%)2 (2%)< 0.001
Vision problems309(64%)16 (16%)< 0.001
Heartburn241 (50%)15 (15%)< 0.001
Restless legs256 (53%)24 (24%)< 0.001

CONCLUSION: People with FMS report a diverse array of symptoms more often than people without FMS. FMS patients often do not realize that these disparate problems may be related to fibromyalgia. Although some patients need to undergo medical evaluation for these symptoms, FMS patients and their medical practitioners may find it reassuring that many others with FMS report similar symptoms.

 R.S. Katz, None; S. Ferbert, None; F. Leavitt, None.