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Feb 4, 2013
I am starting this thread to be a spot to put information about fibromyaligia, and it's symptoms and ways it is talked about in the news and online. By checking out this page many can learn about the disease and treatments that are being used.

So what to add here if you post. Tell us about what treatments you have tried and if they worked for you or not, and any side affects.
Or of a new treatment or discovery that is talked out through the newspapers or in research development. You can quote these things as long as you add the author's name or medical research team or hospital. That way if we do a web search for more information it will be easier to find.

We don't want to add the things about aches and pains here, we got lots of room in other threads for that. This is a pure information thread, and all are welcome here.
So let's get started.

What is Fibromyalgia?
It is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points. "Tender points" refers to tenderness that occurs in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. People with fibromyalgia may also experience sleep disturbanes, morning stiffness, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, memory and concentration problems (cognitive disorders), and other symptoms. The name fibromyalgia comes from "fibro" meaning fibrous tissues (such as tendons and ligaments), "my" meaning muscles, and "algia" meaning pain. Quoted from Pro Health Immune Support.
What causes Fibromyalgia?

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but researchers have several theories about causes or triggers of the disorder. Some scientists believe that the syndrome may be caused by an injury or trauma. This injury may affect the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia may be associated with changes in muscle metabolism, such as decreased blood flow, causing fatigue and decreased strength. Others believe the syndrome may be triggered by an infectious agent such as a virus in susceptible people, but no such agent has been identified.
How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

It is difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms mimic those of other disorders. The physican (Rheumatologist), reviews the patient's medical history and makes a diagnosis of fibromyalgia based on a history of chronic widespread pain. The American College of Rheumatology, (ACR), developed a criteria for fibromyalgia that physicans can use in diagnosing the disorder. According to ACR criteria, a person is considered to have fibromyalgia if he or she has widespread pain for at least three months, in combination with tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites.
How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?

Treatment of this illness requires a comprehensive approach, in which the patient and physician, and physical therapist all play an active role in management. Patients may benefit from a combination of exercise, medication, physical therapy, and relaxation. Studies have shown that low impact aerobic exercise, such as walking and swimming, can improve muscle fitness and reduce muscle pain and tenderness. Heat and massage, and acupuncture may also give short-term relief. Antidepressant medications may help elevate mood and improve quality of sleep, and relax muscles. Many fibromyalgia patients also benefit from practicing yoga and meditation. Also some patients find relief through the use of nutritional therapies and alterative herbal treatments. Before using any alterative remedy check with your family doctor to avoid mixing medications that may do more harm then good. (Pro Health Immune Support)

There is no one treatment that works well for all, as what works well for one of us can be ineffective for another. A medication which puts one person to sleep may keep another awake. Each of us has our own unique combination of neurotransmitter disruption and connective tissue disturbance, and we need doctors who are willing to stick with us until an acceptable symptom relief level is reached. (by Devin Starlanyl, a leading FM & MPS) researcher) MPS, stands for myofascial pain syndrome.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

The pain of FM is widespread and chronic. It knows no boundaries, migrating to all parts of the body and varying in intensity. FM pain has been described as stabbing and shooting pain, deep muscular aching and throbbing, and twitching. Neurological complaints such as numbness and tingling, and burning are often present and add to the discomfort of the patient. The severity of the pain and stiffness is often worse in the morning. Aggravating factors that affect pain include cold/humid weather and non-restorative sleep, physical and mental fatigue, excessive physical activity and physical inactivity, anxiety and stress.


Many people complain of fatigue; however, the fatigue of FM is much more than being tired. It is an all-encompassing exhaustion that interferes with even the simplest daily activities. It feels like every drop of energy has been draained from the body, which at times can leave the patient with limited ability to function both mentally and physically.


Many patients have an associated sleep disorder that prevents them from getting deep and restful restorative sleep. Medical researchers have documented specific and distinctive abnormalities in the Stage 4 deep sleep of FM patients. During sleep, individuals with FM are constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity, limiting the amount of time they spend in deep sleep.


Additional symptoms may include, irritable bowel and bladder, headaches and migraines, restless legs snydrome and impaired memory, concentration problems and skin sensitivities and rashes, dry eyes and mouth, anxiety and depression, ringing in the ears and dizziness, vision problems and Raynaud's Syndrome, neurological symptoms and impaired balance and coordination problems.

Medical source unknown.
Anyone who has used the various medications to control or reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia please share your experiences with these various drugs here. Since I am allergic to mostly all of them I am unable to add any personal knowledge on how well they work or the side effects that are most brothering to anyone in using them.

I hope more of you will feel free to join in and add bits of knowledge you have learned from your doctors and friends, and on the internet about fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. :)
Hi, very useful thread, particularly for new sufferers. I take Gabapentin, and have found this to be of some help. Certainly reduces the pain to a more tolerable level. I was previously on Tramadol which was excellent, but my Doctor was unhappy to leave me on this for any length of time because it can be addictive. In any event, it works in a different way to Gabapentin. Bring back the Tramadol I say . I had a better quality of life then than I do now.
I am currently only taking only over the counter pain medications. I have tried Gabapentin, but it makes me feel like I am in another world. I take a lot of supplements. So far, I am still in pain, and all of the above. My life isn't the same as it used to be :(
HeidiLynn - I had that with Gabapentin at first. I found it went way after the first couple of days. I'm curious what dose you were started at and how frequently? My doctor started me out at 300mg 2x daily, and I hear that others start at 100mg 3x daily. She'd also given me 75mg of Lyrica to start with when most started at 25mg. I couldn't handle the Lyrica. I literally couldn't think straight or finish my own sentences!
HeidiLynn, I take Gabapentin as well. It takes some getting used to but smooths out in a few days. I started years ago on a dose of 100mg x 2 a day, but now 15 years later I take 300mg x 5 per day. It helps cut the pain and gives me a bit more energy and a clearer head. Some people use supplements to help with the inflamation. I use ginger root capsules when the pain is really bad. The nice thing about Gabapenin, is it works well with other medications. A lot of medications we are given, don't work well with others and so side affects are increased. With this medication I have never had bad side affects, other than at higher doses it can cause some weight gain.
It might be the doctor started you out on a higher does than your body can handle. They used to figure some medication by how much you weighted at the time of first starting on it. Maybe you need a lower dose to start with.
Everytime I find some information on Fibro, I am going to add it here. So I came upon this list of some of the most common problems associated with fibromyalgia, so here they are:

Pain in the muscles and soft tissues
Morning stiffness
Chronic fatigue
Painful menstruation
Sleep disruption
Chronic headaches
Irritable bowel syndrome
Depression and anxiety
Exercise intolerance
Cognitive or memory impartment
Lessened ability to concentrate
Problems performing multipe tasks at one time
Numbness and tingling sensations
Irritable bladder
Bloating, gas,belching, pain, and distension
The feeling of swollen extremities
Skin sensitivities
Dry eyes and mouth
Frequent changes in eye prescriptions
Impaired coordination
Chronic runny nose
Burning mouth syndrome

Some of these have been listed before in the forum, and some were new even to me. You might not have all of these symptoms but can relate to a few of them I am sure.
I thought I would post to this thread and bring it back up front for those newbee's just arriving, just diagnosised with fibro and trying to understand this illness and cope with it's many symptoms.
If anyone has any new news about treatments or methods of management for fibro add them in here so new folks will have a starting place to learn about things they can do and not do in coping. there are many different symptoms that can show up with fibro and so knowing more helps you plan a course of action. :)
I found a number of good articles about Fibro. The one that stood out
to me was the finding that regular, moderate exercise does not worsen Fibro pain.
OK, I am new here. I have been diagnosed with gout and RA, but not fibro. I just read through all the posts above on the symptoms, and I actually have most of those issues. You said that it can be hard to diagnose, so maybe the doctor just didn't see any reason to add that to the list of physical disabilities. Since I also have a-fib, and CHF, they are not giving me any regular medication for the RA, and she did give me pain meds for when the gout was too intense for me to walk, and I only use them when I can't do anything else. Otherwise, I just take ibuprofen if necessary.
Putting this back up to the top in hopes it helps some of the new newbie's with understanding fibro.
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