Can Fibromyalgia cause dizziness and nausea?

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Written By Dr. João Arthur Ferreira

MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

Nausea and Dizziness are common symptoms of Fibromyalgia. They can occur due to the chronic condition or secondary to medical treatment, as commonly used drugs such as gabapentin and amitriptyline have Dizziness, nausea and vertigo as common side effects.

Other common symptoms include can gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, gas, and nausea. As these signs are seen in other clinical conditions, it is necessary to seek a differential diagnosis.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain throughout the body, resulting from issues in the nervous system’s processing of pain signals.

Accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and mental fog, fibromyalgia is often challenging to diagnose due to the prevalence of pain in various other conditions.

Secondary SymptomsDescription
DizzinessA feeling of unsteadiness, lightheadedness, or vertigo.
NauseaA feeling of unease, sickness, or queasiness in the stomach.
Chest PainA feeling of pain or discomfort in the chest area.
VertigoA feeling of spinning or whirling sensation when the body is still.
InsomniaInability to fall and/or stay asleep.
FatigueA feeling of persistent tiredness or exhaustion.

Weakness, which in some cases can be the most important aspect of fibromyalgia. People report tiredness, lack of energy or muscle fatigue. It can become difficult to climb stairs, have the “strength” to go shopping or even work.

On average, it takes five years for individuals with this disorder to receive a proper diagnosis. Understanding the types and locations of pain, as well as associated symptoms, can expedite diagnosis and treatment.

Main Signs and Symptoms

dizziness nausea fibromyalgia symptoms

The primary symptom of fibromyalgia is pain and tenderness in muscles and joints, which can migrate throughout the body.

For a diagnosis, patients must experience pain for at least three months in a specific number of body parts and above a certain severity score, without the presence of another condition that could explain the pain.

Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include fatigue, lack of energy, dizziness, sleep disturbances, depression or anxiety, memory problems, trouble concentrating (fibro fog), headaches, muscle twitches or cramps, numbness or tingling in extremities, and skin issues like itching and burning.

Most Severe Symptoms

Fibromyalgia pain can be intense, constant, and debilitating, preventing individuals from participating in daily activities.

In a national health interview survey, 87% of participants reported experiencing pain on most or every day of their lives. Additionally, over 43% of people in the survey experienced severe anxiety and depression requiring medication.

Fatigue, affecting more than 90% of individuals with fibromyalgia, can be particularly impactful, causing extreme exhaustion that drains energy and makes routine tasks challenging.

Up to 70% of people with fibromyalgia also experience tension or migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, and various other discomforts.

Unusual Symptoms

low back pain

Some less common fibromyalgia symptoms include excess sweating, easy bruising, swelling, sensitivity to noise, light or temperature, jaw pain, chest pain, bladder pain and urgency, and food allergy symptoms like nasal congestion, wheezing, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Differentiating Fibromyalgia Pain from Other Types of Pain

Fibromyalgia pain is unique in that it affects various locations throughout the body and is intensified by the brain’s processing of the pain. The pain is primarily located in muscles and other soft tissues like joints.

The quality of pain can vary between individuals, and factors like the time of day, activity level, stress, sleep, and weather can influence its type and intensity.

Treatments for Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Three FDA-approved drugs for treating fibromyalgia include duloxetine (Cymbalta), milnacipran (Savella), and pregabalin (Lyrica).

Cymbalta and Savella are antidepressants that alter chemical levels in the brain and spinal cord, controlling pain signal transmission, while Lyrica is an anti-seizure drug that prevents overactivity in nerve cells involved in pain signaling.

Other medications and treatments, such as acetaminophen, relaxation therapies, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), biofeedback, yoga, and tai chi can also be effective.

Engaging in regular exercise, even when painful initially, can help strengthen muscles and reduce pain over time. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and avoiding stimulants before bed can improve sleep quality.


Pain is the most prominent and challenging symptom of fibromyalgia. However, other symptoms like fatigue, poor concentration, and mental health issues can also significantly impact daily life.

Monitoring and reporting symptoms accurately to your doctor can help tailor your treatment plan and alleviate your discomfort.

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Physiatrist, M.D. Pain Center of University of São Paulo

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