Is Connective Tissue Disease The Same As Fibromyalgia?

A connective tissue disease is a group of disorders that can involve skin, muscle, joints, ligaments, bone, cartilage, tendons, eye, and blood. It is a disease of tissues that connect different cells and organs together. Its symptoms are dependent on its types that include shortness of breath, painful joints, dry eyes and many more.

Fibromyalgia is a common disease that affects the muscles and bones of the body. Its causes are unclear. It affects women more than men. Its symptoms include fatigue, pain in the joints, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, and many more. Its symptoms are not limited to a specific part, but it is widespread throughout the body.

Is Connective Tissue Disease The Same As Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia and connective tissue disease are not the same. Connective tissue disease affects only the tissue that connects the different parts of the body such as blood, skin, etc. Fibromyalgia affects the muscles and bones of the whole body. Fibromyalgia impact is widespread in the body.

Connective tissue disease is the group of diseases that influence connective tissues of the body such as skin, blood, etc. It causes inflammation of the protein found in the connective tissue. These proteins are elastin and collagen. Elastin is found in ligaments and skin that helps in stretching like a rubber band. Collagen is found in skin, cornea, blood, blood vessels, cartilage, tendon, and bone. This protein holds the cells together.

Connective tissue disease causes inflammation of these proteins and affects their connection with aligned body parts or organs. Women are more affected by them than men.

Connective Tissue Disease Symptoms

Connective tissue disease symptoms depend on its types and area affected. These are-

Ether-Danlos Syndrome– over-flexible joints, stretchable skin and excess formation of scar tissues

Epidermolysis Bullosablisters or tears in the skin

Marfan Syndrome– painful joints, shortness of breath

Osteogenesis Imperfecta– brittle bones, weak joints, etc.

Polymyositis– the weakness of muscles, fatigue, fever, difficulty in swallowing, shortness of breath, and weight loss.

Scleroderma– thickening and tightening of the skin, and damage to organs and blood vessels.

Rheumatoid Arthritis– pain and swelling in the joints

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus– anemia, hair loss, mouth ulcers, etc.

Connective Tissue Disease Causes

Its causes are unclear. Genetic predisposition, autoimmune responses, and trauma can cause this disease. It causes inflammatory changes in the affected organs and grows there only causing symptoms of that particular part.


Fibromyalgia is a common disease that affects the bones and muscles of the body. Its influence is not limited to a specific area but its affection is widespread throughout the body. It appears similar to rheumatoid arthritis, other systemic and other connective tissue diseases. But it is different. It is a nonarticular disease that causes generalized pain in the body. The pain is felt around muscles, tendons and soft tissues. It is nearly seven times more common in women than men.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Its symptoms appear gradually and may progress to more aching conditions. Its symptoms are not limited to a particular area and are worse with muscle strain or overuse. Its symptoms include

  • Pain, tightness, twitching and burning sensation in the muscles
  • Extreme fatigue or lethargy
  • Inability to concentrate or remember commonly known as brain fog
  • Inability to sleep well
  • Always have the feeling of nervousness, worry, and depression
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the abdomen, bloating, constipation and diarrhea
  • Dryness in the mouth, eyes or nose
  • Extreme sensitivity to cold or heat, light or sound
  • Numbness in face, upper and lower extremities

Fibromyalgia Causes

Causes of fibromyalgia are not known. It is assumed that this disease is triggered due to emotional stress or lack of sleep. It can be caused by a viral or systemic infection such as Lyme disease or any trauma or injury. It can also be caused by genetic causes. Lack of exercises, mood disorders and painful diseases like arthritis can lead to this condition.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 17, 2021

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