Tag Archive | chronic pain

The BIG Fibromyalgia Diagnosis

So, you went to the doctor and she/he said you have fibromyalgia.  I’m sure your heart sunk.  You probably, like me, thought what now.  My life is over.  I’ll never be the same again.  There goes my quality of life.  You probably did your research online before being diagnosed.  Everyone does.  We usually go in to our doctor’s office with the information and present the disease to them.  I hope that you were given a battery of tests, before slapping a diagnosis on you.  This is a disease of exclusion (the ONE thing I WANT EVERYONE to know and learn).  The doctor should run a battery of tests to exclude anything and everything.  They should be looking for several things like (but not limited too) Lyme’s disease, thyroid issues, arthritis, candida, hormonal issues, etc.  There’s so much that should be ruled out.

So now that diagnosis is made.  For some, it’s relief and some it’s depressing.  Let me assure you that your life is not over because of this diagnosis.  This is just a new way of life.  You are not going to die from this disease.  It is just a shift in the way your going to be living the rest of your life.  It will change how you plan your life from here on out.  Your daily, weekly and monthly activities will change.  You will learn to manage your time and energy.  Some days you will have a ton of energy and pain.  Other days, it will be less.  Please do not use all your energy in one day.  You will pay for it the next.  Spread out activities, like household chores.  Instead of doing all of your housework in one day spread the chores throughout the week.  When planning a family activity, don’t do anything the day before.  Save your energy for friends and family.  It’s a matter of learning to manage energy levels.  Managing energy can help manage the amount of pain you will be in and vice versa.

 

 

Why I take Nature Made Vitamins

I wanted to share with you the reason that I choose to take Nature Made vitamins.  It was recommended by my Fibromyalgia/Pain doctor.  They said that it is the best brand to take because they try to come as close to natural as they can.  They also leave out a lot of additives.  Most of the bottles say, “No color added.  No artificial flavors. No preservatives. No yeast or starch. Gluten Free.”  I find these things important when I’m buying vitamins.  These vitamins are available at most drug stores, grocery stores and big box stores.  I, also, like to buy them online.  I am confident in this brand because of what the bottle says and what my doctor recommends.

The supplements I use by Nature Made are (click on the link to read about them):

Please consult your doctor before beginning any new vitamin/supplement regimen.  Some medications may react with certain vitamins/supplements.  This is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition.  What might work for me, may not work for others.  These are merely what I take on a daily basis in the Nature Made brand.  I take other supplements and will write about that soon.

Great book to read

I highly recommend From Fatigued To Fantastic by Jacob Teitelbaum M.D. It was the first book I picked up after being diagnosed in 2007.  I can’t say enough about it.  I read it from cover to cover.  It explained the disease and gives great recommendations for supplements and medications.  Dr. Teitelbaum has been on shows like Dr Oz talking about Fibromyalgia.  He has his own website for supplements, too.  I recommend following him if you want to study the disease.

Chapter 1-Pain From Nowhere: Fibromyalgia is A Failure of Medical Science

Who would want a disease or a diagnosis of a disease that has been described for almost two hundred years, that correlates with widespread pain and causes widespread tenderness, is associated with a significantly disrupted sleep pattern, has no identified known causes, has no known treatment, is chronic, and will persist for the rest of one’s life?

Over 6 million Americans diagnosed with fibromyalgia have pain that apparently nobody knows the cause of or how it even develops.  It is noted as far back as 1816.  Fibromyalgia is one of the most prevalent rheumatic diseases encountered.  Fibromyalgia is characterized as a medically unexplained disease.

When patients with chronic widespread pain are examined for tender fibromyalgia points about 1 out of 5 individuals had 11 or more tender points.  The tenderness had little relationship to the pain itself and was better correlated with depression, fatigue, and poor sleep.  The painful tenderness is found in at least 11/18 fibromyalgia points.

The mean patient age, at time of the diagnosis, is forties to fifties.  It is more common in females.

The core symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic widespread pain.  It is mostly located in the soft tissues, especially in muscle areas.  The pain can vary over the course of a day as well as over days and weeks.  The pain is greater than that reported by rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Another problem associated with fibromyalgia is fatigue.  Sleep disruption is a significantly prominent and frequent feature of fibromyalgia.  Patients awake unrefreshed.  Patients show, in EEGs, that there is an intrusion on the stage 3 and 4 Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) deep sleep delta wave pattern.  It is worth noting that the experimental disruption of slow wave, stage 3 and 4 NREM sleep in healthy, normal individuals produces muscle aching, stiffness, and increased tenderness.

Cognitive impairments are also reported by many fibromyalgia patients.  They describe difficulty with short-term memory, concentration, and logical thinking.

Fibromyalgia patients have a greater number of lifetime psychiatric diagnoses compared to controls, especially mood disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders.  Major depression in 20-30% and anxiety disorder in 10-20% at the time of assessment were reported.  Psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, stress disorders like post traumatic stress disorder, and sexual and physical abuses are identified in 75% of dysfunctional fibromyalgia patients.

Other symptoms reported by individuals with fibromyalgia includes headaches, restless leg syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bladder or female urethral syndrome, cold sensitivity along with cold hands and feet, sensitivity to chemicals, weather medications, loud noises, and bright lights, dry eyes and mouth, dizziness, paresthesia and dysesthesias (needles, pins, numbness, tingling, or unusual skin sensations) without obvious neurologic abnormality, skin photosensitivities, skin rashes and mouth ulcers.

There are no identified laboratory abnormalities that help diagnose, treat, or define prognosis of fibromyalgia.  The role of laboratory investigation in fibromyalgia is to assess for the presence of other conditions that co-exist with fibromyalgia or conditions producing fibromyalgia like syndromes.

Once a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is made, all other and subsequent complaints and findings that cannot be otherwise explained are attributed to fibromyalgia.  Forever.

Patients and doctors are in dire need of something new, different and more effective than the current thinking and treatment related to fibromyalgia.

Bad Fibro Day & Baclofen

I had a very rough day today.  The pain started at 3 AM.  I tried not taking anything because I needed to be some where today.  But when I rolled over at 6:30 AM, I couldn’t take the pain and needed to take my meds.  It was a pain like I haven’t had in quite some time!  It was widespread pain.  My arms, legs, back, and neck were killing me.  It was awful!

My doctor gave me a new medicine called Baclofen.  It’s another muscle relaxant.  It is stronger than Flexeril.  My insurance company said they were not going to insure the Flexeril any longer.  I was very nervous because it was helping with my pain.  But my doctor gave me some samples of Baclofen to try.  It works. It does appear to be stronger.  So I can now begin using it for my pain, along with my other basket full of meds by my bed.

The Missing Pieces of the Fibromyalgia Puzzle by Jeff Sarkozi, MD, FRCPC, FACR

I will be venturing into this book.  I am looking forward to sharing it and educating you more about this disease/ailment.  Please follow me as I dive into this book that was so graciously gifted to me by my parents at Christmas!

www.missingpiecesfibromyalgia.com