Could all my issues be undiagnosed fibromyalgia?

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I am 22 yrs old and was a very active athlete in high school and moderately active in college.  But during my last year of college, I start experiencing moderate-severe chest pain on the right side of my sternum.  I majored in film production so I was sure it was a pulled muscle, etc. from lifting equipment, but the problem persisted even with medicine and rest. That was about a year ago, and now my pain symptoms have spread.

My entire chest often hurts. And lately, especially during times of stress, I have very sharp and localized pain under my left ribcage (only the left one). The pain has been so bad, I have been to urgent care and they checked for everything and even did an EKG. But when the doctor asked me to explain the kind of pain I was experiencing, I realized I couldn't pinpoint exactly where I was hurting. It's like I knew going into the doctor exactly where it hurt but when he asked me to point to it, I couldn't explain.

I've also had very achy legs, especially the backs of my thighs. Sometimes I feel like I just want to lay on the floor and stretch my whole body at once, but I feel like I can't get my body to loosen up.

I carry a lot of tension in my upper back and shoulders. It often feels like a burning sensation, deep in the muscles and nothing gets rid of it. My upper back has been an issue for almost two years, but doctors can't find anything wrong. Sometimes after short jogs, I will walk back to my car and feel shooting pain up and down my upper spine.  Very, very painful. I do not have chest pain (usually) when I exercise.

I have been diagnosed with chronic migraines, insomnia, and acid reflux disease.  I have always had problems going to sleep (racing thoughts, night sweats, etc.), and it is VERY RARE I wake up without headaches or a moderate-severe backache. I've always woken up with head or back pain ever since I can remember. I think I've grown so used to it, I don't even think of it as a symptom. But I could not imagine waking up feeling refreshed and without pain.

I've also always had digestive problems, similar to IBS, but I've never been diagnosed since I've never brought my symptoms to a doctor.

I do notice that my pain tends to worsen if I am stressed.  My job is very fast paced and intense, and I often develop tension headaches and generalized pain. I have also noticed during high-stress periods that weird spots on my body will develop bruise-like pain without a bruise.  Especially on the top side of my hands and my arms, usually on the underside of my forearms.

I have mood swings often, especially in winter, which is when the pain seems to worsen. And my menstrual pain has always been excruciating. I am now taking birth control to lessen the pain which has helped me a ton, but prior to consulting my OB/GYN the pain would be so severe I would often lose consciousness or get physically ill (nausea, cold sweats, migraines, shakiness). Not sure if that could be fibro related or not?

I just have never considered getting tested for fibromyalgia. I didn't even realize people my age could develop it. My mother developed juvenile arthritis and has always had joint pain, but I'm not sure that's related.

Now that I've looked into fibro more, I feel like a lot of the symptoms match up with the kind of pain I'm having and also my other issues (migraines, sleep, digestive). Is it possible that most of the syndromes I've been diagnosed with are actually symptoms? Can someone explain what fibromyalgia feels like and if my problems may indicate a need to get tested?


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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Tessa. Yes sweetie, your symptoms all sound very familiar. Ask your doctor to refer you to a Rheumatologist. You may well have Fibromyalgia. But don't despair. If you do, then you can manage it very well. You are not alone. Maggie xx

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  • Posted

    I totally feel where your coming from! I could have wrote what you have wrote I have exact same issues! My GP thinks I am menopausal I don't think I am! I am 44 years old but have been like this for what feels like forever,can't make my doctor understand how I feel I think she thinks I'm overreacting!i do hope you get something sorted for yourself as I would hate for you to suffer like I do for years on end! Sending you hugs xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Coleen, I really feel for you. It took me two years of not being listened to by two gp's (plus numerous blood tests and being told to go for walks to improve my mood and lose weight...insinuating that then I would be fine!!). After much research I decided I probably have fibro! I then copied down (from one website to keep it consistent) the symptoms that matched my own. Saw a third gp who looked at my medical notes and read my list. She referred me to a rheumatologist and I finally got my diagnosis on Monday. I'm 41 btw. Perhaps you could try the same? Or if that fails, a different GP! Good luck and don't give up. xxx

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  • Posted

    It sounds like it could be. You will have to talk to your GP and get a referral for a rheumatologist for diagnosis. Wish you luck!
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