I thought it might be interesting for many of you to see how the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and some of the symptoms of MS, can overlap. No wonder the symptoms are so confusing to doctors AND the patient.
As many of you know, I DO have a diagnosis of MS and Fibro. It's really hard as a patient to know where MS starts and Fibro begins.
Source: FibroHope (dot) Org
Fibromyalgia is diagnosed based on whether or not the patient meets the criteria established by The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in 1990. According to the ACR, the following criteria must be met:
History of chronic widespread pain for at least three months
Patients must exhibit pain in at least 11 of 18 tender points
To be considered widespread, the pain must meet all of the following:
Pain in both sides of the body
Pain above and below the waist
Pain in the axial skeletal area (cervical spine, anterior chest, thoracic spine, or low back)
Pain (not just tenderness) in at least 11 of 18 tender point sites when the doctor applies pressure (palpation) on the site.
10 Things You Should Know About Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic widespread types of pain in the U.S. The condition affects more than 6 million people.
Fibromyalgia pain is widespread and persistent. There is often deep tenderness. Plus soreness or burning pain, which often causes a lack of sleep. Sometimes, patients also have stiffness in their muscles or flu-like aching.
Fibromyalgia is thought to result from neurological changes in how a patient perceives pain.
To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, patients must have widespread pain lasting at least three months, plus pain in at least 11 of 18 parts of the body known as “tender points.” (According to the American College of Rheumatology.)
Women are much more likely to report having fibromyalgia than men.
The outlook for people with fibromyalgia has never been better. Exercise, diet, and rest can help manage this condition. So can counseling and drug therapy.
Several types of health care providers are available to help manage fibromyalgia. These include rheumatologists, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, neurologists, psychiatrists, physiatrists, and pain specialists.
Fibromyalgia places large financial costs on patients and society. It may cause lost work days, as well as lost income and disability payments.
Although fibromyalgia is not a psychological condition, it can impact mood and cause distress. In that way it is similar to other chronic pain conditions. However, the majority of sufferers do not have mood-related disorders.
Do you think you may have fibromyalgia? You need to know you are not alone. Talk to your health care provider.
For various reasons, many people with fibromyalgia struggle with their symptoms for many years before being diagnosed. Some relief can be felt in just knowing there is a name for their pain, that fibromyalgia is not terminal, and that they can finally begin to focus on specific ways to actually begin to manage and treat their symptoms.
This is important information. Many people that have symptoms of MS may indeed have Fibro lurking in the background, just as I did... Not trying to diagnose anyone, just think that putting the information out there, can help.
No doubt - 2 MRIs, 1 spinal tap and many many tests later - I am labeled with Fibro. I hurt - no answers. It may sound ridiculous - a diagnosis of MS would be stressful and I would cry my eyeballs out - but at least I would know what I am dealing with, how to treat it, and people wouldn't look at me as though I am looney or a faker when I say, "they say it is Fibro". That carries such a stigma! Oh well, screw them;0) I will work with the diagnosis I have and try to be healthier! I hate exercise, argh...
I have fibromyalgia too. My advice to you, say this: "I have fibromyalgia which is a central nervous system disorder that affects all the muscles in your body." Leave it as a statement of fact and do not worry (easier said than done) about what others may be thinking. There can be extreme guilt with an invisible condition and I know I used to feel like I needed people to understand that it is real . Then l realized that whether they think it is or isn't, doesn't make it any less real. I always tell my daughter "everyone has "stuff". Sometimes you can see their stuff, other times you can't. But everyone is dealing with "stuff". God bless you.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in June. But I wonder, since MS has so many similarities, how do I know I don't have MS? I get really weak in my legs at times. I get pins and needles very easily. I've been noticing that I'm getting really sensitive to certain temperatures. And I've recently started having new bowel problems. Should I ask my doctor about gettting an MRI and running more tests?
I have both FMS and MS along w/several other Autoimmune disorders and it is true that a lot of the symptoms of FMS and MS overlap eachother.The one thing that sealed the MS diagnosis for me was having several MRI's and CT's of my brain done and finally they told me that it was both of the illnesses which really bites but it is something that I have to live with.If u think or feel that u have both then u should talk to ur doctor about it and let them order the proper test to help either rule it out or diagnose it.Good Luck.
Just another thing to throw in the pot....lymes disease. There is thought that some portion of fibro pt are undiagnosed lymes. I received literature from my doc on lymes and dx. It has a discussion on how to try to tease the 2 apart.
My mom has chronic lyme and all her inital test came back negative. PCR urine finally picked it up 2 years after onset of symptoms. They had thought fibro initially.
Why did you have to take so many MRIs and CTs how long did it take you to get a diagnosis? I am going through the same thing right now. My doctors are struggling between Fibro, MS, and Lyme. I am having a Lumbar Puncture on Monday and if it comes out negative I don't know what I am going to do. I am really at the end of my rope. I have been dealing with this for about 5 years and have been out of work and in bed for the past 1 year. feeling helpless...Jo
Thank you for posting this information. I must admit I didnt know much about fibro. What little I have heard about it, there always seems to be a bit of a stigma attached to it, a bit like when diagnosing and everything comes back normal, they just say fibro, or they just say migraine.
But its good to see just exactly what the symptoms are.
This forum is the best for such a wealth of information for all us limbolanders. Thanks again.
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