Monday, September 29, 2008

The other day a friend asked me, "Isn't fibromyalgia just muscle pain."

I wish it were that simple. And yes, fibromyalgia does mean muscle pain. However, it is a whole syndrome of stuff. Thus, the moniker Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS. Often times fibromyalgia overlaps other chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I have osteoarthritis and though I test positive for lupus the doctor is still waiting for more symptoms to diagnose me.

What is fibromyalgia?

Signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary, depending on the weather, stress, physical activity or even the time of day.

Common signs and symptoms include:
  • Widespread pain.
  • Fatigue and sleep disturbances.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Over active bladder.
  • Headaches and facial pain.
  • Heightened sensitivity.

Other common signs and symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet (paresthesia)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood changes
  • Chest pain
  • Dry eyes, skin and mouth
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety

There are ways to alleviate some of the symptoms of FMS. Avoiding stressful situations has helped me tremendously. Changing your diet and exercise, medication to treat the symptoms and most of all stop worrying about it. The last has helped tremendously with the way I feel.

When I first noticed the symptoms of FMS, I was having a biopsy. I was worried about having cancer and the stress caused the fibromyalgia to sky rocket. Fortunately, the cells weren't pre-cancerous, but I was diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosis (LS). That diagnosis caused a whole new worry, because there was not much information about the condition out there. I found a group of others online with LS which has evolved to a Yahoo Group:

When I tested positive for Lupus and the specialist would not diagnose me until I had more symptoms, I decided to stop researching my symptoms. I do stay informed about my known diagnoses, but I no longer research other things. I do make notes of changes to let my doctor know so that he can better treat me.

Some Fibromyalgia Links:

Lichen Sclerosis Links:

Meniere's Disease Links:

Osteoarthritis Links:

Lupus Links:

No comments: