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Could fibromyalgia really explain all of this?
4 Replies
katie87 - August 6

Hi! I feel a bit rude posting straight up without an introduction, so hi, I'm Katie, and it's great to meet you :) I've just been having a lot of symptoms on and off for a while now that seem like they could be traced to fibromyalgia, and I was just curious as to your opinions, I apologise in advance if this is a long post. Firstly, I'm 22, in generally good health, of a healthy weight (about 100lb at 5'2") and don't drink or smoke. I can't think of any real risk factors, although my mom has lupus and ibs, if that counts for anything. I thought perhaps my symptoms were thyroid related, although recent blood tests showed my thyroid levels were normal, as were all my other blood tests and liver function tests. Every time I go to the doctor complaining of these symptoms, he generally just looks at me like I'm a crazy hypochondriac, checks me over and sends me on my way.

For the past couple of years, I have noticed myself being more tired and requiring more sleep than I ever have. I usually sleep about ten hours a day, and I find it ridiculously hard to get out of bed in the morning. I also wake up multiple times during the night, and often feel like I need a nap by about 3 or 4pm even if I've only got up at 10am. I feel the cold extremely easily, my hands and feet are pretty much always cold, especially during winter, to the point where I can barely feel them. I often feel it almost impossible to sit down and concentrate on anything, be it schoolwork or a television show, I just feel like I can't switch on properly and I don't really care about anything. I don't, generally speaking, have a whole lot of pain, save for headaches every few days, and I often feel a dull ache at the base of my skull. In the past year or so, I seem to be increasingly lactose intolerant, something I haven't dealt with since I was about five years old, and I find myself going to the bathroom at least a couple of times a day. Social anxiety and atypical depression have been affecting me on and off since I was about 16, not to the point of being debilitating or where I felt like I needed to be on medication, but enough to interfere with my life.

The one thing that has been worrying me over the past week or so is a chest pain that I have never experienced before, which seems to be exacerbated when I'm sitting or lying down. Mainly, it feels like a whole lot of pressure under my right/central ribcage and up to my throat. It does feel a little tender if I press on my sternum, upper ribs or shoulder blades, but mainly the discomfort feels deeper, if that makes sense. It's mostly a dull, pressure kind of ache, but it seems to change. A few days ago, I felt it down around my ribs out to my back, and it felt like something huge was about to bust straight out of my back. Other times, it feels more like a burning or stabbing up in my sternum or around in my shoulder blade, with numbness and pain radiating down my right arm. Sometimes it feels like there is a lump or pressure in my throat, like I haven't swallowed food properly. Of course, these kind of symptoms make me assume the worst (as I tend to do), like the possibility of a tumor or something, but mostly I just wonder if this is all related.

Again, I apologise for the long post, and for not introducing myself prior. Thank you sincerely in advance for any opinions you have :)

 

katie87 - August 6

Also, other symptoms which may or may not be relevant .. I tend to get super light headed, shaky and irritable if I don't eat every few hours (checked for diabetes, negative), and at the risk of sounding inappropriate, have absolutely zero sex drive at all.

 

hollowsnothorcruxes - August 6

With fibromyalgia you generally have pain all over, not just one area. I'm 25, when I was 23 I had pains similar to what you're describing. They diagnosed it as pericarditis, an inflammation of the sack around your heart. They gave me naproxen. It didn't help, but it went away on it's own. I still get chest pain, but all of the tests on my heart were good, so I don't worry b/c I know now it's FMS. If it is pericarditis, it's not as dangerous as it sounds, it's usually caused by an infection.
If the pain & fatigue were being caused by FMS you'd probably have some pain below the waist. An unexplained pain. You still need to have your heart checked just in case. An ekg is quick & not painful at all. And you might have some sort of sleep disorder. To check for FMS they rule out EVERYTHING else, lots of tests. & they give you a tender point test where you're poked in certain spots that hurt like hell if you have FMS. You might want to mention fibromyalgia to your doctor, it's not real well known.
Good luck & I hope you get it figured out.

 

katie87 - August 6

The pain is actually mostly on my right side, I do have a congenital heart condition which generally has no side effects, but the fact that it's on the opposite side is what has me puzzled. Thank you for your insight!

 

Stacey373 - August 6

Hi Katie! My first question is...do you take any kind of meds for any of these problems? I'm assuming you have already been tested for Lupus because of your Mom having that. Fibro mimics alot of other illnesses...so your doctor should be testing you and ruling out all other problems before you ever get a diagnosis of FMS.

The major symptoms for Fibro is - Chronic pain for atleast 3 months (most of us have dealt with it for years before being diagnosed), pain all over your body (upper, lower, left & right side), extreme fatigue, headaches, your body aching like you have the flu....and that's just some of the ones I can think of right now!

The doctor can give you the Tender Point test which is just putting slight pressure and having pain in most of the 18 "Tender Points". another thing your doctor can do is check your vitamin D levels. Most Fibro sufferers are Vitamin D deficient and a simple blood test can be done for that.

The chest pain could be another illness that I read about in another post. Can't remember the name, it starts with a C, but you can look at all the "Associated Conditions" in the boxes on the left and it explains the chest problems in there.

As Hollows said....not many doctors really know about Fibro or how to deal with it. Plus I don't think they are going to initially look at that in someone so young. What I would suggest for you to do (it's what I finally ended up doing) is research all the symptoms of fibro. write them all down on a piece of paper and check mark all the symptoms you have. Take it to your doctor and go through each of the symptoms you are dealing with. I don't know about you...but I was going to the doctor for my headaches, neck, and shoulder problems and that was pretty much all I was focusing on and talking about. At the time I figured I would deal with one problem at a time and the headache stuff was my first priority. I also didn't want to bring up ALL my problems because I didn't want my doctor to think I was a hypochondriac! When I brought that paper to her I went over all the symptoms I was REALLY dealing with and then we were able to discuss it. And that was when I got the Fibro diagnosis....of course, she had already done every test in the world to rule everything else out at this point.

I hope this information will help you in some way....Good Luck and Take Care, Stacey :o)

 

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