Fibromyalgia: 5 symptoms that should make you think of the disease


Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain but not only. We take stock of the symptoms that should alert you.

Have you ever heard of fibromyalgia?  According to the French National Authority for Health, between 1.4% and 2.2% of French people are affected by this pathology – and around 80% of the sick are women aged 30 to 55.

The is a rheumatic disease recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1992. It is characterized by persistent pain, chronic and multiple and heavy impact on the professional, social and family of patients.

Problem: especially because of its very variable symptoms and a lack of knowledge of the disease, is a pathology that is difficult to diagnose. Often confused with a psychological disorder (depression, anxiety or even personality disorders), fibromyalgia can be at the heart of a therapeutic wandering long from 2 to 15 years … and more.


The diagnosis of  is currently based on clinical observation: this means that the disease cannot be diagnosed using a blood test or an MRI examination.

The criteria retained by the High Authority of Health (HAS) are those which were proposed in 1990 by the American College of Rheumatology . Among these symptoms are:

  • Of   for at least 3 months
  • Pains that are diffuse and “migratory”: they are not always localized in the same places, although the most sensitive regions are close to the spine – nape of the neck, hips, shoulder blades…,
  • The   that are aggravated by exertion, cold, humidity, strong emotions (anger, anxiety …), maintaining physical activity (gardening, for example) and lack of sleep. They are however calmed by the heat (hot bath, for example) and / or by the night rest,
  • Fatigue which is often very important in the morning and / or felt at the slightest effort,
  • Sleep disorders: difficulty falling asleep, waking up at night…

Other symptoms are also recognized by Health Insurance: digestive disorders (stomach aches, bloating, etc.), neurological disorders (migraines, dizziness, etc.), visual disturbances (blurred vision), memory problems, intolerance to cold or warm…

What to do ?  If you recognize yourself in this list of symptoms, make an appointment with your general practitioner.

Otherwise, the rheumatologist is (in theory) a specialist in fibromyalgia but the delays are longer. Ditto for the neurologist doctor who is also empowered to make the diagnosis. On the website of the Ministry of Health, there is also a directory of   (SDC).


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