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Fibromyaligia Symptoms in Females

Written by Dr. Diane Mueller:  Fibromyalgia symptoms in females sometimes are different than symptoms in men. In this article, we will explore what are common symptoms of fibromyalgia as well as ways that it can impact females differently than males.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and a range of other symptoms that can vary from person to person. While it is not life threatening, it can feel like it is as symptoms can be so severe and life altering. Many people are told that there is nothing that can really be done for the fibromyalgia. In our clinic, we have seen several common root causes of this disease that when found, allows the disease to be eradicated. Yep. You read that correctly. This can come as a severe shock to people as frequently people are told that it is impossible to reverse. When we can figure out the cause, which often we can, it opens up a wide variety of treatment options and solutions. 

fibromyalgia symptoms in females

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Let's Dive into the Fibromyalgia Symptoms
in Females:


Widespread Pain

One of the hallmark symptoms of fibromyalgia symptoms in females is widespread pain. This pain is often described as a dull ache that persists for at least three months. It affects both sides of the body and occurs above and below the waist. The pain may be constant or intermittent, and it can vary in intensity from mild to severe. Some people with fibromyalgia also experience localized tender points, which are specific areas on the body that are particularly sensitive to pressure. The pain is often due to inflammation in our nervous system. When our nervous system becomes inflamed, our body perceives pain more easily. This is why getting to the root cause often involves running tests for a variety of diseases that cause the nerves to become inflamed. One of these tests that helps with this is testing for chronic hidden infections. To learn more about this test go to our blog called: Lyme Disease Test.


Ladies with fibromyalgia often experience chronic fatigue that can be debilitating. This fatigue is not relieved by rest or sleep and can make it difficult to carry out daily activities. Some individuals describe feeling physically and mentally exhausted, as if they are “running on empty.” The fatigue associated with fibromyalgia may be accompanied by sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome, or sleep apnea.

Cognitive Difficulties

Fibromyalgia symptoms in females can also affect cognitive function, a symptom sometimes referred to as “fibro fog.” People with fibro fog may have difficulty concentrating, remembering information, and performing mental tasks. They may also experience problems with attention and processing speed. These cognitive difficulties can be frustrating and can interfere with work, school, and social interactions.

Sensitivity to Stimuli

Many women with fibromyalgia are highly sensitive to external stimuli, such as light, sound, temperature, and touch. For example, they may find bright lights or loud noises overwhelming and uncomfortable. They may also have an exaggerated response to pain or pressure, a phenomenon known as hyperalgesia. Additionally, some individuals with fibromyalgia experience allodynia, which is pain in response to stimuli that are not typically painful, such as light touch or clothing. Again, this can be due to inflammation in the nervous system that is leading to the body to “over perceive” the input from the environment. Getting to the root cause is essential. We recommend checking out our blog called: Lyme Disease Test.

Emotional and Psychological Symptoms

Fibromyalgia can have a significant impact on mental and emotional well-being. People with fibromyalgia are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and mood swings. The chronic pain and fatigue associated with the condition can lead to feelings of frustration, hopelessness, and isolation. It is important for individuals with fibromyalgia to seek support and address any emotional or psychological symptoms they may be experiencing.

Other Symptoms

Finally, fibromyalgia symptoms in females is a complex condition that can present with a wide range of additional symptoms. Some common ones include headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. Some people with fibromyalgia also report experiencing muscle stiffness, especially in the morning, as well as restless legs syndrome and muscle spasms.


For more information on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome See our Blog Below

Sources for Fibromyalgia Symptoms in Females


Maybin JA, Boswell L, Young VJ, Duncan WC, Critchley HOD. Reduced Transforming Growth Factor-β Activity in the Endometrium of Women With Heavy Menstrual Bleeding. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Apr 1;102(4):1299-1308. doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-3437. PMID: 28324043; PMCID: PMC5460733.

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The Causes or Mechanisms of Action

Despite the sometimes-similar symptoms, the MOAs of these two conditions are very different:

  • Lyme Disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii. Lyme is a bacterial infection.
  • The cause of Fibro is much less clear and could involve genetic, hormonal or other factors. Gut health may play a role too. But the primary MOA is thought to be a dysfunction of pain sensitization. You can read more in our FM blog here.  
  • Fibromyalgia is often triggered by a stressful event, including an infection, trauma (due to an accident, serious injury or divorce) or major surgery. FM can actually be triggered by an infection like Lyme Disease.

What is the Link?

Similar Symptoms & Mis-Diagnosis

  • FM can be mis-diagnosed as Lyme disease.
  • Late-stage chronic Lyme disease can be mistaken for FM.
  • Lyme Disease can trigger Fibromyalgia.

So how do we differentiate between LD and FM?

How do we untangle symptoms and identify a case of chronic Lyme disease vs post-infectious Fibromyalgia?

We need to do a thorough exam, the correct labs and a deep analysis of the overlapping symptoms. There are other things to look at to get a correct diagnosis. These include:

  • A history of a bulls-eye rash, a tick bite or spending time in areas where Lyme Disease has been reported are good indicators that it could well be Lyme.
  • Antibiotics should improve Lyme Disease symptoms, while they don’t help in the case of Fibromyalgia.
  • Pain in specific tender points is associated with Fibromyalgia more than other illnesses.
  • Stiffness in Lyme Disease occurs mainly in the neck and joints. In Fibromyalgia, it is usually widespread pain.
  • Lyme Disease can cause arthritis symptoms and swollen joints, especially in the knees. Fibromyalgia causes pain and stiffness but doesn’t typically involve swelling or damage to the joints.

In our clinic, we have expertise in treating a range of complicated, difficult-to-diagnose conditions like Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease. We look for the root causes in our patients to identify what could be causing the symptoms. We regularly treat and resolve Lyme, chronic infections and other complex conditions in patients in our Functional Medicine clinic.

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We have helped thousands of
people restore their health
and quality of life by diagnosing
and treating their Lyme Disease.

“Dr. Mueller’s approach to medicine is refreshing! There is only so much you can do with western medicine and in my life I was needing a new approach.  By addressing the whole body, nutritional diet factors, environmental factors, blood work, and incorporating ideas I had not previously known, I was able to break through with my conditions.  I am not only experiencing less pain in my life, but through the process of healing guided by Dr. Diane Mueller, I am now happy to say I have more consciousness surrounding how I eat, what to eat and when things are appropriate.  Living by example Dr. Mueller has a vibrancy that makes you want to learn and know more about your body and overall health.  I highly recommend her to anyone looking for new answers, a new approach to health, or in need of freedom from pain and limitations.”

-Storie S.

Kihei, HI

Lyme Disease is Often Misdiagnosed as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Depression,
or Other Illnesses

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End Chronic Fatigue, Pain, Brain Fog &
More Taught By Expert Dr. Diane Mueller