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Are all the symptoms listed here actually FMS-symptoms?
8 Replies
9na - August 9

I found these on a page:

____ Fatigue, made worse by physical exertion or stress
____ Activity level decreased to less than 50% of pre-illness activity level
____ Recurrent flu-like illness
____ Sore throat
____ Hoarseness
____ Tender or swollen lymph nodes (glands), especially in neck and underarms
____ Shortness of breath (air hunger) with little or no exertion
____ Frequent sighing
____ Tremor or trembling
____ Severe nasal allergies (new allergies or worsening of previous allergies)
____ Cough
____ Night sweats
____ Low-grade fevers
____ Feeling cold often
____ Feeling hot often
____ Cold extremities (hands and feet)
____ Low body temperature (below 97.6)
____ Low blood pressure (below 110/70)
____ Heart palpitations
____ Dryness of eyes and/or mouth
____ Increased thirst
____ Symptoms worsened by temperature changes
____ Symptoms worsened by air travel
____ Symptoms worsened by stress

____ Headache
____ Tender points or trigger point’s
____ Muscle pain
____ Muscle twitching
____ Muscle weakness
____ Paralysis or severe weakness of an arm or leg
____ Joint pain
____ TMJ syndrome
____ Chest pain

____ Lightheadedness or feeling “spaced out”
____ Inability to think clearly (“brain fog”)
____ Seizures
____ Seizure-like episodes
____ Syncope (fainting) or blackouts
____ Sensation that you might faint
____ Vertigo or dizziness
____ Numbness or tingling sensations
____ Tinnitus (ringing in one or both ears)
____ Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
____ Noise intolerance

____ Feeling spatially disoriented
____ Dysequilibrium (balance difficulty)
____ Staggering gait (clumsy walking; bumping into things)
____ Dropping things frequently
____ Difficulty judging distances (e.g. when driving; placing objects on surfaces)
____ “Not quite seeing” what you are looking at

____ Hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
____ Sleep disturbance: non-refreshing or non-restorative sleep
____ Sleep disturbance: difficulty falling asleep
____ Sleep disturbance: difficulty staying asleep (frequent awakenings)
____ Sleep disturbance: vivid or disturbing dreams or nightmares
____ Altered sleep/wake schedule (alertness/energy best late at night)

____ Depressed mood
____ Suicidal thoughts
____ Suicide attempts
____ Feeling worthless
____ Frequent crying
____ Feeling helpless and/or hopeless
____ Inability to enjoy previously enjoyed activities
____ Increased appetite
____ Decreased appetite
____ Anxiety or fear when there is no obvious cause
____ Panic attacks
____ Irritability; overreaction
____ Rage attacks: anger outbursts with little or no cause
____ Abrupt, unpredictable mood swings
____ Phobias (irrational fears)
____ Personality changes

____ Eye pain
____ Changes in visual acuity (frequent changes in ability to see well)
____ Difficulty with accommodation (switching focus from one thing to another)
____ Blind spots in vision

____ Sensitivities to medications (unable to tolerate “normal” dosage)
____ Sensitivities to odors (e.g., cleaning products, exhaust fumes, colognes, hair sprays)
____ Sensitivities to foods
____ Alcohol intolerance
____ Alteration of taste, smell, and/or hearing

____ Frequent urination
____ Painful urination or bladder pain
____ Prostate pain
____ Impotence
____ Endometriosis
____ Worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
____ Decreased libido (sex drive)

____ Stomach ache; abdominal cramps
____ Nausea
____ Vomiting
____ Esophageal reflux (heartburn)
____ Frequent diarrhea
____ Frequent constipation
____ Bloating; intestinal gas
____ Decreased appetite
____ Increased appetite
____ Food cravings
____ Weight gain (____ lbs)
____ Weight loss (____ lbs)

____ Rashes or sores
____ Eczema or psoriasis

____ Hair loss
____ Mitral valve prolapse
____ Cancer
____ Dental problems
____ Periodontal (gum) disease
____ Aphthous ulcers (canker sores)

____ Difficulty with simple calculations (e.g., balancing checkbook)
____ Word-finding difficulty
____ Using the wrong word
____ Difficulty expressing ideas in words
____ Difficulty moving your mouth to speak
____ Slowed speech
____ Stuttering; stammering
____ Impaired ability to concentrate
____ Easily distracted during a task
____ Difficulty paying attention
____ Difficulty following a conversation when background noise is present
____ Losing your train of thought in the middle of a sentence
____ Difficulty putting tasks or things in proper sequence
____ Losing track in the middle of a task (remembering what to do next)
____ Difficulty with short-term memory
____ Difficulty with long-term memory
____ Forgetting how to do routine things
____ Difficulty understanding what you read
____ Switching left and right
____ Transposition (reversal) of numbers, words and/or letters when you speak
____ Transposition (reversal) of numbers, words and/or letters when you write
____ Difficulty remembering names of objects
____ Difficulty remembering names of people
____ Difficulty recognizing faces
____ Difficulty following simple written instructions
____ Difficulty following complicated written instructions
____ Difficulty following simple oral (spoken) instructions
____ Difficulty following complicated oral (spoken) instructions
____ Poor judgment
____ Difficulty making decisions
____ Difficulty integrating information (putting ideas together to form a complete picture or concept)
____ Difficulty following directions while driving
____ Becoming lost in familiar locations when driving
____ Feeling too disoriented to drive
____ Not able to work

Parasites / Viruses / Fungus / Microbes
___ I have yellowish discoloration on the nails of your hands or feet
___ I have athletes foot or foot odor
___ I have a history of yeast infections
___ I have been touched or been licked by an animal in the last 6 months
___ I have been bitten by mosquitoes or bugs
___ I feel bloated, grumpy or gassy after meals
___ I have eaten at a sushi bar, salad bar or buffet recently
___ I have picked food up off the floor and eaten it
___ I crave sugar, sweets or breads

Quite a shocking amount of symptoms! But I have a looooot of them, and even though I don't have a diagnose yet, it is kind of a relief to see so many of my problems listed like that...


January - August 9


"Fibromyalgia" is, IMO, a sort of dumping ground diagnosis. It's not one specific disease, it's probably many diseases with many causes. It's more in the category of syndrome - I lifted this definition of syndrome from Wikipedia (caps are my emphasis):

"In medicine and psychology, a syndrome is the association of several clinically recognizable features, signs (observed by a physician), symptoms (reported by the patient), phenomena or characteristics that often occur together, so that the presence of one or more features alerts the physician to the possible presence of the others. Specific SYNDROMES TEND TO HAVE A RANGE OF POSSIBLE ETIOLOGIES OR DISEASES THAT could create such a set of circumstances. I.e. there is an important distinction between Parkinson's disease and a Parkinsonian syndrome, whereby the latter could be caused by the former, but also by other conditions such as a progressive supranuclear palsy or multiple system atrophy. In other words, in a medical setting, A SYNDROME MIGHT NARROW DOWN THE POSSIBLE DISEASES A PATIENT MAY POSSESS, just as speaking English might focus a GUESS as to the country in which that person originates."

This is why I think throwing antidepressants at a person with pain and sleep issues is so wrong! These are very powerful, serious drugs. (Close your eyes and listen CAREFULLY to the warnings on the TV ads.) Treating symptoms will NEVER cure you. You must find the cause of the problem, and treat the cause. Most doctors don't have time for that.

Fibromyalgia has many possible causes. You could have one or several of these causes, and perhaps there is a genetic susceptibility too. (It's important to get proper, thorough diagnostic testing to rule out a variety of diseases.) As we say, we are all DIFFERENT!! But yes, this list probably resonates with a lot of people here; I'm sure we can all check off a number of symptoms, but all of our lists would look different. It's why some drugs work and some drugs don't, depending on the person. It's important to know that a lot of symptoms on this list are typical side effects of drugs that are given to treat fibro (and many other drugs as well), and will go away when you stop the drug, (though it may take a year to clear out of your body!)

Thanks for posting this list! I'm sure it will be very helpful to a lot of people who can print it out and then take it to their doctors. This is a valuable resource for our fibro site! Thank you.


9na - August 9

I'm glad you found the list helpful :)

But one question: You're saying that you believe that people with FMS also have one or more illness? If I understand you correctly - and FMS is just a 'mask'-diagnosis that kind of covers the illnesses? I'm just not getting it...

I've been thinking that if lots of these symptoms are present and the doctor discovers the tender points (because the tender points has to be present to get diagnosed with FMS? Or has that changed?) - BAM, then FMS is the 'answer'...?


January - August 9

I'm not sure I can answer your questions adequately… but I'll try. Just my opinion, I'm not an MD. I was diagnosed using the tender points, general pain, fatigue and sleep issues. I'm not sure the tender points are always used now. It depends on the doctor, I think. I believe nobody really knows what causes fibromyalgia, or exactly what it is. It used to be considered a problem with pain in the connective tissues and muscles (rheumatism). Many are now saying it's a problem with the brain (which is why the "FDA approved" drugs all are drugs that affect neurotransmitters).

Yes, I think Fibromyalgia is an "umbrella" kind of diagnosis, covering many things. If you read about it, the doctors that specialize in it have different theories as to what causes it. If you read this site, you will see that everyone has different symptoms, or clusters of symptoms. Some of us manage to feel a LOT better when we figure out what is causing OUR fibro symptoms. For me, I went on a gluten free diet, and after a year, my overall aching body pain was gone, no more migraines, no rashes, and my digestion was perfect. Depression was much improved. So based on that, I have celiac disease. However, I still have joint pain, fatigue and sleep problems - and I flare up. Some people claim they've been cured by taking guaifenesin or by using transdermal magnesium. Others are greatly helped with antivirals (I've been helped by them for chronic fatigue and brain fog.) Some people find out they have Lyme Disease. Others have lupus or some kind of autoimmune disorder, some people have endocrine malfunctions - adrenal, thyroid issues or other hormonal issues. This is just a short list of some things. There are also theories that trauma and abuse in the past, or even one car accident, can trigger fibro in someone who is susceptible. Some of us have very sensitive bodies, and have been holding stress in our tensed up muscles for decades. One thing pushes us over the edge into fibro. For some of us, we need to supplement with vitamins and other nutrients to feel better. And while they were nightmare drugs for me, the antidepressants apparently help a lot of people.

So yes, I am saying fibromyalgia is a poorly defined illness (or group of illnesses) that is not well understood yet by the medical community. There are a lot of theories, and a lot of treatments. Different things work for different people. And of course, you can have fibromyalgia, and have any other illness on the planet along with it. The important thing, if you get a diagnosis, is to have a doctor who will listen to you as you both work together to find the best treatments (and possibly cures for some issues) for YOU.

As for your last question, the diagnosis depends on the doctor. Some doctors take a long time and run a lot of tests. Some doctors just hear a couple sentences and hand you a prescription. Some doctors "believe in" fibro and some don't. Hope this answers what you were asking….


9na - August 11

January - Your thoughts are very interesting! And I think I agree with them, too. I just read that FMS and ME might be the same thing, or at least have the same origin? That's very interesting, and should make it possible to find good treatment for both groups?
Also, I think that there are far more people suffering from Lyme disease than the medical community knows. At least here the doctor only does the cheapest test for Lyme, while there are other far more accurate ones - I know several people who have gone to Germany to get tested, and was diagnosed Lyme disease there - antibiotics for quite some time, but in the end all better! I will ask for a more accurate test myself (if nithing else is found), because we have a lot of ticks here!

So yeah, at least I follow you in that - everything that is possible to treat should be ruled out before labeling a person with an uncurable disease!


kvc33 - August 17

January, can you be specific about the antivirals you have used and did you get a diagnosis of a specific viral infection first? I am convinced that part of my problem is a chronic viral infection.


cincin - August 29

Thank you. I do or have experienced most of this list. I printed it off not only for my dr. but for my family also.Yes its a blanket coverage but when you can identify with most of them(and I'm not on any pharms) I guess that says it all.FM could be viral,environmental,genetic or others. Epstein -Barr has been classified as viral so there is hope out there that some day FM can be pinpointed.


PEANUT - August 29

Hi. I too had a viral infection almost 2 years ago now and I have not felt well since then, and, after many tests and procedures to rule out more serious diseases (healthy heart and lungs)I was diagnosed with FMS by a rheumatologist. But I too feel there is more going on here or at least a connection to that viral infection that I had. Unfortunately I've had mentioned it to all the specialists ( 2 heart doctors, 2 internal medicine doctors, an oncologist, an infectious disease doctor, my gynecologist, lung doctor) and they more or less dismiss the fact. And yet prior to that viral infection I was feeling generally quite well and was running 3 to 4 miles 3 to 4 times a week. Now I have to be satisfied with leisurely walks. I don't see how this can be a coincidence but what do I know? At least that's how I am made to feel most of the time. Anyway, it is good to share on this site and it does help with the loneliness of this affliction. And remember to smile as much as possible - it takes less muscles than frowning and there is no better medicine than laughter.


back2game - August 29

I'm new to this site and very glad to have found it. Stumbled upon it looking up info on the MTHFR gene, which I'm positive for (2 copies). Long story short, I have lyme disease from embedded tick 20+ years ago, EBV, CMV, developed fibro. in 2000, vasculitis in 2006, and just too many other illnesses to list.

Took about 1 year of very potent antibiotics, caused near rupture of appendix. Cannot take anymore, so supplementing with many OTC vitamins, probiotics. Stopped taking Lyrica due to SEVERE side effects. Stopped hydrocodone and tramadol. I'm on my own now and pain is now reduced to about 50% of what I was enduring on pain pills. I was bed-ridden for over a year and am now able to walk short blocks every other day. I feel free now from all the meds.

Thank you for sharing your stories too!



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