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Newbie - fibromyalgia or something similar?
4 Replies
MMalory - January 15

Hi everyone. I’m hoping that you can help me determine if symptoms I’m currently experiencing are related to fibromyalgia. I’d like to be able to show something to a doctor who thinks I’m just experiencing stress and have a basis for requesting further tests.

I have to go back a number of years first. When I was 17 (I’m 41 now), I was hospitalised for major depression for two months, and then on medication for a number of years.. The symptom that started my depression, however, wasn’t one that is normally associated with depression, as far as I know. I had the sensation that someone was constantly pinching me, very hard, all over my body. This led to constant pain and feeling weak and exhausted, leading me to not want to do anything at all, even move, and then to major depresssion. At the time, I was very young so just listened to whatever the doctors diagnosed. However, as I got older I realised that I have never heard of a feeling of being pinched as being a symptom of depression. I got to thinking about it and started to believe that it was a form of fibromyalgia.

Fortunately, my pain symptoms as well as my symptoms of depression went away with medication and with counseling.

However, more recently, I developed a strange sleep problem. Starting in September 2006, I began to have repeated sleep starts/hypnagogic jerks, which involve me involuntarily screaming (loud enough to wake the neighbours) and thrashing my arms and legs about. These sleep starts happen over and over, so that I can never get to sleep. I’ve developed an insomnia problem due to this, sometimes going for one to two days without sleep. The doctor thinks this is due to depression/stress (I recently had a death in the family). I’ve been giving sleeping pills for the insomnia (which I’m trying to avoid as much as possible) and I was just started on tricyclic antidepressants. I’ve also been through bereavement counselling.

I do eel extremely depressed at night, when I can’t sleep or stop screaming and thrashing about, to the point of being almost suicidal, but I’m fine during the day. Which leads me to think that it is the sleep problem causing the depression, rather than depression causing the sleep problem.

However, I did some research on repetitive sleep starts and found that this consistent with a disorder called “alpha-delta sleep anomaly” which is a symptom of fibromyalgia. http://www.rxlist.com/rxboard/am
bien.pl?noframes;read=1363

Is
it possible that my current sleeping problem is also related to fibromyalgia? I’m not experiencing physical pain as yet, but I think that is thanks to the fact that I get much more exercise today than when I was 17 (I live in a flat with no lift, walk 1 ½ miles to and from work each day, and usually do 20-40 minutes traditional exercise 5 days a week). When I was experiencing my pains with depression, I found that exercise helped take the pain away.

I also noticed that symptom’s of fibromyalgia can be confused with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (sp?). My sister has this disease. Is it possible that I could have it also.

Other points: My mother, who is 79-years-old was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Many years ago, I was told that I had a “precursor to lupus” but it never developed into lupus and I never followed up on it.

Is there any basis to my hunch that this could be a form of fibromyalgia (or possibly Hashimoto’s), rather than just simple stress or depression.

Thanks for your help.


 

jane doe - January 15

This could be fibro, but fibro is generally a pain disorder. There are many sites with symptom lists. Just google. Print out a sheet, check your symptoms and take that with you to the doctor. Many people with fibro also have other conditions along with it, such as Lupus, arthritis, and thyroid. You may also benefit from a sleep study.

 

JJ1 - January 15

I think it would be worthwhile to be checked for fibromyalgia. You would typcially see a rheumatologist for this and they will rule out other conditions as noted by jane doe. One thing to note is that stress can trigger fibromyalgia and symptoms definitely worsen or "flare" with stress. Unlike most, I don't have a lot of the pain with my FMS, mostly feeling of fibrofog and an difficulty with focus and concentration, so pain is not always the dominant symptom (although becasue of this I do sometimes question whether I really have FMS).

 

MMalory - January 15

Thank you. I noticed that alpha-delta sleep disorder is also associated with thyroid disorders. My sister was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroditis 5 years ago, and she is 9 years older than me. I will have the doctors look into that.

 

JJ1 - January 16

MMallory, Many symptoms of hypothyroidism and fibromyagia are the same. I would definitely get your thyroid checed due to family history. good luck.

 

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