Is it Fibro?

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Hello,

My GP diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia a few days ago but I am skeptical. I am a thirty year old woman with ten month old twins. I've had intermittent joint pain since my teens but no inflammation markers in blood tests so rheumatoid arthritis was ruled out. Symptoms worsen in wet and cold weather. I contracted Bharma forest virus as a teen which is when the symptoms started, as far as I remember.

I have pain in both shoulders, back, knees, elbows, hands and sometimes in other joints also. Other symptoms are: depression/anxiety (possible bi-polar), fatigue, hyper mobility in most joints, Raynaud's phenomenon in cold weather, morning stiffness and digestive issues. At times I've had restless leg syndrome and disturbed sleep but not regularly. I do become overwhelmed and exhausted in crowds at times, maybe this is a sensory overload. I get random pains and aches in my ribs from time to time. All "Fibromyalgia tender points" are painful when I apply pressure.

From what I understand, the pain suffered by Fibro patients is severe, inexplicable and debilitating. Mine is very rarely severe and I can always determine why, for example lifting something heavy would mean I need painkillers for my shoulders the following day. Since becoming a mother my back and shoulders are more painful, sometimes I nearly cry because my back hurts so much during nighttime breastfeeding sessions. 

How on earth do I know if this is Fibro or just regular aches and pains and stress? I feel like my GP was far too quick to label it and he was keen for me to try antidepressants for it. In your opinion, do my symptoms warrant further investigation or a trip to a rheumatologist? Many thanks in advance.

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  • Posted

    I think you are right to question what I feel is a label given to people without proper investigations however it could well be fibro. People have different levels of pain. Some are crippled constantly and some manage to still work and do things but will flare if they over do it.

    I would still see a rheumatologist to rule out other dieseases, I have heard 1 dr say that he thinks hypermobility is the cause of fibro pain and that pregnancy causes the hypermobility. My problems started also about 10 months after I had my son, i was also hit after having him with raynauds too. 

    Pregnancy can also cause thyroid issued which can in turn lead to pain, mood changes etc. It can also cause autoimmune diseases to start which is why the rheumy would be a good idea.

    I dont know if you are tall and slim but that is a trait found in people with ehlers danlos syndrome amongst other things and that is a hypermobile syndrome which in turn leads to pain. 

    Good luck, do some research on possible things it could be and make sure you get the tests for them before they slap you with the fibro diagnosis. Some people are relieved to be given a name for their symptoms which i totally understand but i feel like they say fibro and then wash there hands of you rather than really investigate.

    One more thing,  the standard treatment where inflammation/infection cant be found is usually antidepressants or anticonvulsants. Even for people who have nerve damage that can be proven with nerve tests its all the same treatment. Any pain these days unless requiring anti inflammatory or antibiotics is ususally one of the above as they dont like to give out narcotics. Sometimes you can get muscle relaxants. Aside from those physio to stregthen muscles is usually advised. Thats why he has offered you anti depressants becuase they depress the nerve signals that are saying there is pain.

    Theres lots of people on here who can tell you what helps them with fibro pain

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Charlotte, 

      I am definitely not tall, but will do some more research on Elhers Danlos. My issues started long before becoming a mum but are gradually getting worse with age. Although I understand why doctors prescribe antidepressants for nerve pain, I'm very wary of those drugs because of the side effects I experienced in the past. Will follow your advice and read up on Fibro and get my thyroid function checked too.

      Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I'm no expert but it does sound like FM to me although I've only just been diagnosed with it last month I unknowingly have suffered for 40 years, I still work but have cut my hours down and work in short slots as I am getting older and the pain is getting worse so I addjust my life around it as for me too much rest makes me worse and working too hard is torture the next day, everyone is different thats why it's so hard to get a diagnosis for some my friends little girl age 9 has just been diagnosed with it I'm still shocked by that, but some days ie school sports day last week she could barely walk after one race, so sad. you can ask for print outs of your results and try and research other avenues but for me I found that getting a definite result helped me cope better and work with it. x

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Mary,

      I'm so sorry to hear you went so long without a clear diagnosis, it must have been so difficult and frustrating for you. Oh! That poor little girl, how awful to suffer at such a young age.

      Thank you very much for your advice, it's really helpful.

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  • Posted

    Hi, To be honest, those symptoms sound like Fibro. It took me 18 months to get the same diagnoses via a rheumatologist! My daughter at 17 was diagnosed by a different rheumatologist within 6 months. For a GP to diagnose they must have some specialist training in that area, they never diagnose a condition in which they are not qualified to do so. It's a strange condition, there are many similarities to other conditions like lupus. The truth is they don't know what causes it and therefore have no treatment to eradicate/ease it. It took me over a year to accept it, i kept thinking of all the other things it could be. My GPs opinion is I have arthritis. It may be in older age we develop rheumatoid, my mother has. My mother also has Sjogrens and Fibro. I am glad you are not suffering as much as others, my daughter is going into her 3rd year of public services at college and she also works at Chessington world of adventures weekends, days off and holidays. So it really does differ person to person.

    Thinking of you, it is such a frustrating diagnoses, I can imagine how you feel right now x

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Lotties Mummy, 

      Thank you very much for your response. My GP says he is a Fibromyalgia expert. He sent me away with instructions to research Fibro for one week then go back to him. I tend towards hypochondria and always overthink things so hearing his diagnosis was somehow a relief.

      I'm so glad to hear your daughter is achieving so much, you must be very proud! 

      Thanks again for your message, I really appreciate it.

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    • Posted

      You're welcome! I to honestly thought the worst before my diagnoses too, I was scared it was something life threatening. They only diagnose Fibro once everything else has been ruled out. Glad you have a good Doctor, I'm sure he will look after you. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Renee. I have to tell you that it does sound like Fibromyalgia. I was

    diagnosed 11 years ago and it was my rheumatologist that gave me the bad

    news. I definitely recommend seeing a rheumatologist. They know more

    about the problem than your GP. I have many of the same diagnosis that you

    have. I agree with Mary2017. Fibromyalgia is different for everyone. Pain is

    severe and chronic for some but mild and acute for others. I have horrible

    flare ups. It seems any type of physical exertion can cause pain in me. And

    then some days I don't know why I hurt. I don't get enough sleep. Doctors

    recommend 8-10 hours of sleep and short naps during the day. I always

    pushed it and drank a lot of coffee. It doesn't help and then I'm even more

    tired. I can't even imagine dealing with fibro and 10 month old twins. I hope

    you get your answers soon and that you feel better.

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    • Posted

      Hi Kathy, 

      I'm so sorry to hear you've been struggling for so long, such a difficult journey. Thank you very much for taking the gtime to respond, it's really helpful for me to have found this support network. 

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    • Posted

      You're welcome Renee. It is nice to finally have someone who

      understands. It's definitely one of those things that if you don't have

      it, you don't understand how bad it is. How one diagnosis can have

      so many other diagnosis come along for the ride. So sorry that you

      had to join the party, but hopefully we can help out when you need it.

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