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  • Joanne 's photo avatar
    Joanne — 20.05.2017 17:13
    I've just been diagnosed with mild form of osteoarthritis in shoulder hand and both hips but I'm always getting pains in my arms legs stiffness in neck which gives me sore heads too. Sleep patterns are bad and I suffer from fatigue very bad. Hard with a full time job. Not been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but my doctor is referred me to see specialist just a waiting game now.


    • Earle's photo avatar
      Earle — 22.05.2017 09:02
      Hello Joanne Diagnosing fibromyalgia is extremely difficult, so don't become frustrated if you doctor is unable to confirm your suspicions straight away. There is no definitive blood test and nothing will show up on an X-Ray or any other scan. Fibromyalgia also shares many of its symptoms, such as fatigue, with other conditions, so doctors like to rule these out first. Here's the process your doctor should be going through: In order for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, you'd generally have to satisfy the following items - 1. Has your Doctor ruled out conditions that have overlapping symptoms, such as Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, Hypothyroidism, Sleep Apnea, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Menopause and Lyme disease? These are the other possible causes of your symptoms. 2. You will have experienced the following for a minimum of 3 months: Widespread muscle pain, muscle spasms or tightness Fatigue and an intolerance to exercise Disturbed sleep or sleep that is not refreshing Poor memory and concentration Grinding of the jaw at night or tenderness during the day Irritable bowel syndrome (eg: bloating, abdominal pain, alternating bowel habits) Urinary changes such as increased urgency Headaches or migraines Sensitivity to changes in temperature, light, strong odours and noise Stiffness in the morning or after periods of inactivity Numbness or tingling of the extremities, such as the hands, feet and limbs Anxiety or feeling low 3. Experience pain in at least 11 of the 18 paired 'trigger points' illustrated here: and in all 4 quadrants of the body.


  • Val Donnan's photo avatar
    Val Donnan — 03.05.2017 11:45
    I think I have F M my nurse practitioner has done blood tests etc all are ok I have pain & stiffness in my neck shoulders, tops of both arms & in my bum cheeks & bottom of my back I struggle to do housework even putting a coat on hurts. I would love any tips to help me thanks Val


    • Earle's photo avatar
      Earle — 03.05.2017 16:18
      Hello Val Assuming you have a confirmed diagnosis of FM....... No-one really knows of a magic bullet for fibromyalgia, whatever you take or do but we would very much hope that engaging in measures such as low impact exercise, addressing sleep quality and dealing with the IBS that is common to fibromyalgia would at least minimise its impact. Getting to the root cause is difficult, as it isn't really agreed. It is believed that there is reduced blood supply to the part of the brain that processes pain and perhaps to the affected muscles too, so a herb such as Ginkgo Biloba could hold some promise. Remedies such as Dormeasan could help mood, pain threshold and energy levels by improving the quality of sleep and water-based exercise, Tai Chi or Yoga can aid circulation and maintain flexibility. A recent trial comparing swimming and paracetamol for lower back pain found the swimming outperform the medicine. There's no way that the drug would help mood, energy levels, sleep quality, joint mobility, self satisfaction and overall health at the same time as easing pain, so please consider moving more when you're able to, as the medicines will never cure the condition and encourage people to become inactive. There is no drug cure, as you are probably aware and we know that those who retreat to inactivity see their symptoms worsen, so the best chances of recovery seem to be in those who find the determination to take action and keep active. Often the biggest barrier to doing so is that first 10 minutes, ie: getting changed and out the door, because depression can make it hard to find the motivation and pain makes the first few steps uncomfortable. You'll need to find a balance between the excessive exertion levels involved in moving heavy tables and doing nothing through fear of exhaustion and walking, yoga, Pliates or swimming tends to hit the spot about right for most, although I appreciate you're not in a good place even to walk at the moment. The worst thing you can do is to simply stop as joints and muscles only stiffen up further. I'd strongly advise arranging to see a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist to learn some pain management techniques. You can get 5x30 minute sessions for free on the NHS but that 2.5hrs total doesn't match the amount found in clinical trials to be of benefit, so contact a CBT practitioner for better results. As to what the future holds, no-one knows of a cure but it's most likely true that the answer doesn't lie in a single pill or measure. CBT, addressing sleep issues, the right amount of exercise and a bit of bloody-mindedness are the most basic requirements and something most people who contact me with fibromyalgia haven't even begun to try. Trials have shown significant benefits for each of these (well, perhaps not the bloody-mindedness) separately in Fibromyalgia, so there's a fair chance a comprehensive approach will achieve much more.


    • Val 's photo avatar
      Val — 03.05.2017 19:26
      I've had blood tests to rule other things out it was my nurse practitioner that mentioned I probably had F M with the symptoms I've got I'm seeing her Friday so will be asking more about it thanks


  • mathew andrews's photo avatar
    mathew andrews — 30.04.2017 15:27
    i have been suffering for around 8 years with all these symptoms. i have been to hospital and had an mri which came back normal, however im in pain every day.


    • Earle's photo avatar
      Earle — 02.05.2017 16:04
      Hello Mathew Diagnosing fibromyalgia takes a long, long time as it shares a lot of symptoms with other illnesses that doctors have to rule out first. You should have been offered some blood tests as well as the scan, so that's the next thing to do. When you have the diagnosis, you'll know the direction of travel ahead.


    • mathew andrews's photo avatar
      mathew andrews — 18.05.2017 20:28
      hi thanks for your reply, i have been back to the doctor with no luck, they will not go against the specialist report that says i have a neck issue with c7 and c8. however an x-ray showed no issues?. i have a headache and pain every day and just seem to be banging my head against a brick wall.i currently take amitriptyline which the doctor has now said to up to 3 pills a night. i have had blood tests but also come back clear?. i have all the symptoms of fibromyalgia but how do i get the doctor to check if i have? many thanks matt


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