Hi and I’m sorry for the way, you have experienced medicine. You need a new GP, and you need to get copies of all your tests. Everything you describe, represents Fibromyalgia, I believe you were misdiagnosed, you need to find a doctor who will listen and who really knows fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes disabling pain all over the body -- as well as stiffness and tenderness in muscles, tendons, and joints. It is most common among women ages 35 to 55. Although it's one of the most common muscle problems. There is no inflammation or joint damage, as occurs with arthritis. There is no damage to internal body organs, as with rheumatoid conditions like lupus. It is called fibromyalgia syndrome because it is identified by a collection of symptoms.
The list of possible fibromyalgia symptoms is a long one: chronic muscle pain; muscle spasms or leg cramps; sleep problems; severe fatigue; anxiety; depression; morning stiffness; headaches; difficulty concentrating; skin sensitivities; irritability; intestinal problems.
But these, are also common to liver disease such as, lupus, Lyme disease, thyroid dysfunction, heart disease, arthritis, degenerative joint disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and other disorders -- and therein lies the difficulty in diagnosing fibromyalgia. While it's not clear what exactly triggers fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia patients have higher levels of two substances -- a nerve chemical called substance P, and nerve growth factor in the spinal fluid. We also have lower than normal levels of the brain chemical serotonin, as is also true with people suffering from depression and anxiety. All this produces a dysfunction in the body's ability to process pain, and creates supersensitive nerves throughout the body, a rheumatology specialist should be able to clearly diagnose you.
To figure out what's going on, doctors diagnose fibromyalgia by examining specific "tender points" on the body. There are 18 specific tender points; specific locations that are tender for everyone. But for people with fibromyalgia, these points are significantly more tender. People are more sensitive at those points. A dysfunction in the central pain processing amplifies the sensation. Tenderness or pain in at least 11 of these 18 points is the hallmark of fibromyalgia. Also, the pain is widespread on both sides of the body, neck, buttocks, shoulders, arms, upper back, and chest. Tender points are around the elbows, shoulders, knees, hips, back of the head, and the breast bone. The muscle pain can range from mild discomfort to severe enough that it limits a person's everyday life, including work and social activities. The pain is often described as burning, gnawing, throbbing, stabbing, or aching. When the person relaxes, the pain may be more noticeable -- and less so when you are active. The result: Everyday sensations of discomfort and pain are amplified beyond the norm. Slight bumps and touches can cause disabling pain, if you have fibromyalgia. This pain can be aggravated by outside factors such as noise, weather changes, and stress.
Prepare for your appointment. Before meeting with the doctor, prepare to accurately communicate your symptoms. Think about, what your symptoms are, and when they started.
How long they've been going on -- and whether it's been continuous, or off and on. Have you noticed any triggers for your symptoms? How do your symptoms affect you? Is pain sharp, a dull ache, does it cause nausea? How do symptoms affect your feelings? Does pain make you depressed or anxious? How do symptoms affect your work or home life? Are you very fatigued and can't do normal activities? What drugs, herbal remedies or supplements are you taking? What surgeries have you had? What current treatments has another doctor or specialist prescribed?
Keep a pain journal, doctors will listen more if you keep a daily record of how you feel, even if it's just for one month or for three months. In your pain journal, make note of intensity of pain (on a scale of 1 to 10), what you were doing at the time, and how you felt emotionally. It will help you and your doctor see patterns in the pain.
There are no lab tests or scans that can help doctors diagnose fibromyalgia. But various blood tests can help them rule out other medical conditions. Some patients need to have respiratory problems checked or get a sleep apnea study done. On occasion, the problem is sleep apnea or snoring, both of which disturb sleep.
Find the right doctor. It's important to find a doctor who cares about you -- and wants to help you. It's very common, physicians having very little time. Sometimes they don't really hear everything a patient says.
Never stay with a physician you don't like or trust. It's not all in your head -- and while you may be depressed, depression is not the whole picture of fibromyalgia. Pain is very frustrating. In the medical community, they probably don't have the empathy for pain that should be.
Get emotional support. A therapist's support can be helpful when you're dealing with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia has such a stigma. Sometimes it is really helpful to see a therapist -- not because you're crazy, but because you have to deal with pressure and stigma. It's nice to have someone objective to talk to.