Fibromyalgia can be so detrimental to your health that it is impossible for you to work any longer. However, one of the big problems with this disorder is that many people do not understand it completely. This even extends to medical professionals, as this disorder is often misdiagnosed.

Since a proper medical diagnosis is needed when seeking Social Security disability benefits, it is important to know what signs and symptoms to watch out for. Below are a few of the most common:

  • An often overwhelming sense of fatigue
  • Widespread pain in your joints and your muscles
  • Tender points on your body
  • Problems sleeping, which could contribute to fatigue
  • The onset of depression
  • Constant anxiety
  • A general sense of stiffness in muscles and joints every morning
  • Memory problems and issues concentrating, which are often called the “fibro fog”
  • Consistent headaches
  • A tingling feeling in your legs, arms and hands
  • Numbness, often in the extremities
  • Issues urinating
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Menstrual cramps that are more painful than usual

Understanding these symptoms is critical because it is often all that doctors have to go on. They do not have any imaging tests they can use to detect fibromyalgia. There are no lab tests they can perform. The diagnosis is based on meeting with your doctor, talking over your symptoms and determining whether or not they mean you have the disorder.

If you do, it can certainly keep you out of work and seriously impact you and your family financially. It is important to know if you have a right to Social Security disability benefits and what steps you’ll need to take to apply for them.

Source: WebMD, “Fibromyalgia Symptoms,” accessed June 08, 2018