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Wondering if I have fibromyalgia?
3 Replies
Katieshea - December 20

Hi everyone! I'm 19 years old and I'm starting to realize I may have fibromyalgia. Im not 100% sure so tell me what you think.

My symptoms include:
Cracking/popping in almost all of my joints (mainly knees and elbows)
Irritable bowel syndrome
Tingling in hands and feet (almost as if they're falling asleep)
Pain in knees and ankles and wrists/shoulders/back of neck etc ( especially when they pop)
Anxiety and panic attacks
Almost a tight feeling in my back or joints thats bothering me

This all started about 4 years ago and has just been getting worse and worse. I'm trying to figure out what it is or might be, so that when I go to the Doctor I am taken seriously. I really hope it's not anything very serious but fibromyalgia is the closest thing I can find to what I am experiencing.

Any words of advice help!! Thanks :)


Katieshea - December 20

I also have TMJ, and I experience lightheadedness randomly.


Katieshea - December 20

I keep remembering symptoms! I also sometimes have trouble breathing and sleep problems. It all gets worse with rain and heavy pressure weather.


January - December 24

Hi Katie - Fibro is the new "in" disease of the moment - so it won't be too hard to get a diagnosis from someone, who will then slam you with the usual fibro drugs. However, I'd strongly advise that you insist on a thorough physical and diagnostic workup before you start taking any drugs for fibromyalgia. Have all your body systems checked, liver, kidneys, thyroid, hormones, cardiovascular, neurology, etc., etc. Sometimes, in my opinion, the fibro drugs can cause the symptoms they are supposed to treat. And once you start them, it is VERY hard to quit them. So… assuming you are not taking anything and we can rule out drug side effects…

Start by reading some books, and educating yourself. A good place to start is "From Fatigued to Fantastic" by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum. He has fibro himself, and I found his book very helpful on my road to RECOVERING from fibro - and yes, I have recovered in many areas, but it took a LOT of research to figure out what worked for me. You will have to be in the driver's seat, do your own research and track your own symptoms. Doctors just don't have the time to do all this careful detective work - you have to do it, and then take your notes in and discuss them with your doctor. Another book that many people like is Fibromyalgia for Dummies.

A lot of other diseases look like fibro. Some of them are viral. Have you had a virus recently or in the past? Something like Epstein Barr (mono) or cytomegalovirus? Or something not diagnosed? Sometimes it's Lyme Disease (very hard to diagnose) a bacterial infection that can be treated with doxycycline. There are doctors online who will work with you to help you get a viral screening - you can google for "fibromyalgia viral" and go from there.

Sometimes food allergies are causing symptoms. Or it could be mold or other allergies. Personally, I think the best thing I did to feel better was go gluten free (and I mean STRICTLY gluten free) and take supplements. Wheat and products made from wheat and other gluten grains are in almost everything processed, so the diet is hard to learn - but not so hard to follow once you get the hang of it. Some people here discovered allergies to soy (one of the most GMO crops around) or to milk, or food dyes. Another problem is artificial sweeteners - some people have a rough time with them, and they are in lots of foods and products. A nutritionist and/or and MD allergy specialist could advise you about all this. Our food supply is pretty broken, and a lot of us don't get good nutrition, even if we eat a lot. So vitamins and minerals can help too - but before supplementing, talk with a doctor and don't overdo it. Best thing is to eat healthy.

There are LOTS of other conditions and diseases that are associated with fibromyalgia - so make sure you check those to see if anything sounds like you. This site has information about other diseases, or you can google "fibromyalgia like" to get a start.

The best thing for you to do now is to get a notebook and every day, write down your symptoms and their severity - keep track of what you are eating, how you are sleeping, any meds you take, any symptoms etc. Every week or two go back over your diary, and see if you can find anything that correlates. This diary will also be a great help in talking with a doctor about your symptoms and what might be causing them. When you have a good list of what those symptoms are, if you think you have fibro, look for a good rheumatologist. And if they don't treat you with respect, keep looking!

It's a journey to find out what is upsetting your body - and we are all different. But if you keep trying, you can probably find something to help yourself feel better, at least partially. Good luck with it all, and let us know how you are doing. Or come back and ask questions if you want.



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