Is it fibro?

BroFi

New member
Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
3
Reason
Undiagnosed
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
Hi everyone. First of all, thank you for taking the time to read this and chime in. I really appreciate it.

I have been working hard to try and figure out my poor health, and would be grateful to know if my symptoms line up with anyone else who has been diagnosed with fibro.

I have been descending into worse and worse pain and brain fog over the last few years, and nowadays it is more or less constant with a couple really good days every month or two. I am 28 years old.

The symptoms are:
-A general sense of not feeling well that comes and goes but is more or less constant
-Tension and sensitivity at the back of my neck
-Tightness in my face
-The inability to think clearly or focus
-Difficultly conversing with others/looking in there eyes/taking in everything they are saying
-Pain in my shoulders
-Lower back pain (this may be unrelated -- I am doing physical therapy to correct excessive anterior pelvic tilt)
-Stiffness

The symptoms are so constant that whenever I have a few really good days, I realize that I have forgotten what it feels like to feel normal and enjoy life and conversations with other people without being constantly foggy/distracted by my pain.

Obviously, these symptoms overlap with fibro in many ways, however the things that don't necessarily line up are as follows:
-I'm a man, and supposedly fibro occurs more in women than in men
-I don't have any sensitive spots on my body, other than at the base of my skull at the back of my neck
-I don't really have any pain in my lower body. It seems fibro typically involves both upper and lower body pain.

I have done multiple things to try and track this down, including
-A variety of blood tests, including thyroid, blood sugar, testosterone
-X-rays
-Eating only meat for two weeks
-Eating only raw fruits and veggies for three weeks
-Vitamin D supplementation
-Magnesium
-Probiotics
-Pycnogenal
-L-Glycinate
-Exercise (hiking 2-3 five mile hikes a week for 3 months)
-Acupuncture
-Massage
-Physical therapy
-Talk therapy (just for giggles)

I love my job and have friends and family that I'm close to, and I know that if this pain and fog would go away I would be incredibly happy, so I firmly believe it has nothing to do with depression. When I have a couple good days, I am typically out and about doing as much as I can with other people before the pain comes back.

Anyway, that's a brief version of my story. Even though I said it's been getting worse over the last couple years, I feel like I have always struggled with fatigue and a cloudy mind. I think that maybe I have just become more conscious of how I feel because I've had some really good days to put it into contrast.

What do you think, is it fibro?
 

BroFi

New member
Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
3
Reason
Undiagnosed
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
I forgot to mention, I also get strong fatigue and often still feel tired when I get up in the morning.
 

BroFi

New member
Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
3
Reason
Undiagnosed
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
One more thing I remembered:
I have IBS, which apparently is common in people with FM.
 

Jemima

Distinguished member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
195
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
Hi BroFi,

Sorry you didn't get a reply yesterday - I saw your message and then got totally diverted by the usual chaos!

Reading through your symptoms, it does sound to me like it could be fibromyalgia, but - as you've probably figured out by now - it's really tricky to know for sure, and working through eliminating anything else with a doctor is a frustrating part of the process on this particular rollercoaster.

While it's true more women than men get fibro, there certainly are many, many guys out there struggling with it - and quite a few here on the forum - so I wouldn't consider that a reason to discount the possibility.

Within the up-to-date medical sphere, use of tender points to diagnose fibro has been dismissed as unreliable. You'll find a lot of talk about that here too - not everyone matches up exactly, and some people find that they experience them some days and other days not, so I'd also not look to that as a cut and dry indicator.

In terms of having pain in both your upper and lower body, it's true that body-wide pain is the norm with fibro. That said - and I'm sorry, you probably won't want to read this! - many of us begin with pain in one or two specific areas, and over time it spreads to others. For me, I had a year or two of unexplained knee pain before the rest began to chime in. Now, while that means being aware of fibromyalgia is a constructive thing for you to be at this point, it also means that you're not looking at a clear presentation. I'd advise that the best reaction to that is to know that there's nothing to say your symptoms are necessarily going to get worse, so work with where you are now!

Our fantastic moderator, Sunkacola, always gives stellar advice to newcomers who haven't got a diagnosis yet, which is to start doing all the things that help fibromyalgia on the basis that they might make a difference right away. She has a pinned post at the top of the General discussions about fibromyalgia thread, which has some great advice.

It's interesting that you've ruled out depression, because depression is actually a core symptom of fibro that most of us seem to wrestle with, so I suppose that could actually be a contraindicator - but it's really impossible for me to say! Definitely not a doctor over here 🙃 On that topic I'll just add to keep in mind that, while depression can be triggered, it usually can't be measured by external factors. Someone with a life that measures up as wonderful can experience depression, so how you feel in yourself is the barometer to watch in this area, rather than how you think you should feel based on what's going on in your life.

You mentioned being out and about doing as much as you can with other people on your good days. Pacing is really important with fibromylagia - doing too much always acts as a trigger - so perhaps experiment with trying to take it a little easier on the days you feel relatively well to see if the kick back is less pronounced. Keep doing the good stuff, but try to take little breaks and tune into how much energy you're expending. Learning to do this is really hard, and a lot of people with fibromyalgia will tell you how much it frustrates them, but it does make a big difference.

The last thing I'll say is that, in the case of fibromyalgia, acceptance is a really crucial part of getting a handle on things. While I know that you're completely uncertain of what you're dealing with right now, beginning to wrap your head around the possibility that this might not go away may be, counterintuitively, really helpful. When you're fighting against your symptoms all the time and wishing you could wind time back to when you felt better, it can cause a lot of stress that in turn triggers a dreaded fibro flare! I'm not suggesting you accept that you are stuck where you are, but rather that you try to accept that the issues you're struggling with are part of your present life - something to adjust to and work with from the start point of today. My therapist calls this "radical acceptance", and it made a massive difference to me both mentally and in terms of getting my symptoms to calm down. If you do find out that you have fibromyalgia, that acceptance is going to help you a lot, because then it becomes all about management - at least at this stage in the science!

We're all here for you if you've got questions or just want to vent at an understanding corner of the universe. I wish you luck in figuring things out, and hope you feel better soon - fibro or otherwise.
 
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