I Have

    Fibromyalgia/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but it Doesn't Have Me!

    © 2019 Chantal K. Hoey-Sanders. All rights reserved. Photo credit. 

    The American College of Rheumatology criteria recommends searching for tender points at eighteen predetermined sites on the body to establish a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Finding eleven or more will result in a positive diagnosis.  

    However some patients simply have higher pain thresholds so while they complain of body aches or stiffness, they focus mainly on fatigue and cognitive impairments. These so-called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients suffer from the same metabolic abnormality. www.fibromyalgiatreatment.com

    Fibromyalgia has no set symptoms and many combinations from the following list are interwoven:

    • Central Nervous System: Fatigue, irritability, nervousness, depression, apathy, listlessness, impaired memory and concentration, anxieties and suicidal thoughts. Insomnia and frequent awakening due to pain result in non restorative sleep.

    • Musculoskeletal: Pain and generalized morning stiffness could arise from muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia of the shoulders, neck, entire back, hips, thighs, knees, ankles, feet, inner and outer elbows, wrists, fingers, and chest. Injured or old operative sites are commonly affected. Though fibromyalgia is described as a “non-articular” disease many know better: Joint pains with or without swelling, redness and heat are frequent. The litany includes foot or calf cramps, numbness and tingling of the face or extremities.

    • Irritable Bowel: (Often called leaky gut, spastic colon or mucous colitis). Symptoms include nausea (often brief, repetitive waves), indigestion, gas, bloating, pain, cramps, constipation alternating with diarrhea and sometimes mucous stools.

    • Genitourinary: Common are pungent urine, frequent urination, bladder spasms, burning urination (dysuria) with or without repeated bladder infections and interstitial cystitis. Vulvodynia (vulvar pain syndrome) includes vaginal spasms, irritation of the vaginal lips (vulvitis) or opening (vestibulitis) and painful intercourse (dyspareunia). It typically mimics a yeast infection but without the cottage-cheese discharge. Intense PMS and uterine cramping are common. Symptoms of fibromyalgia are worse premenstrual.

    • Dermatological: Various rashes may appear with or without itching: Hives, red blotches, itchy bumps or blisters, eczema, seborrheic or neurodermatitis, and rosacea. Nails are often brittle and of poor quality and hair falls out prematurely. Strange sensations are common such as cold, heat (especially palms, soles and thighs), crawling, electric vibrations, prickling, super-sensitivity to touch, and flushing that is sometimes accompanied by sweating.

    • Head, Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat: Headaches (migraines), dizziness, vertigo (spinning) or imbalance; dry eyes as well as itching and burning with or without sticky or crusty discharge upon awakening; blurred vision; nasal congestion and post-nasal drip; painful, burning tongue, mouth and abnormal tastes (scalded, bad or metallic); ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or lower-pitched sounds; ear and eyeball pain; sensitivity to light, sounds and odors.

    • Miscellaneous Symptoms: Weight gain; low grade fever; lowered immunity to infections; morning eyelid and hand swelling from fluid retention that gravitates to the lower extremities by evening where it stretches tissues causing the restless leg syndrome.

    • Hypoglycemia Syndrome: This is a separate entity. Thirty percent of female and twenty percent of male fibromyalgics suffer both conditions (fibroglycemia). Symptoms greatly overlap those of fibromyalgia, but sugar craving accompanied by tremors, sweating, anxiety, panic attacks, heart pounding, faintness, and frontal headaches, especially if hunger induced, are solid clues to the diagnosis. Hypoglycemics must follow a prescribed diet or recovery will not be complete even with the reversal of fibromyalgia. www.fibromyalgiatreatment.com

    © 2019 Chantal K. Hoey-Sanders. All rights reserved.