Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Fibro and sleep

Hi everyone. I am trying to work out whether my widespread muscle pain (a new symptom for me in the past 6 months) is due to my Lupus (25 years +) or perhaps Fibro which may have snuck in latterly. No Doc has mentioned Fibro to me and I was wondering how significant poor sleep and depression is in the diagnostic criteria. I sleep very well and have no depression, my life is relatively stress free as I don't work but the pain increases as the day progresses and now gnaws constantly at my hips and thighs, sometimes upper arms and often chest and upper back too. I understand that the pressure points are not considered of value in diagnosing Fibro any more. The pain is miserable and worse than the pain of Lupus flares that I have experienced over the years as it doesn't let up and is worsened by activity.

Hoping some of you can enlighten me! Many thanks. Clare

4 Replies

Interesting post. You sound exactly like me. Stiff first thing but then have a period most days of a few hours when as long as I am sensible life isn;t too bad (unless I am having a flare) then as the day goes on I really start to deteriorate and the pain just builds and builds however much I rest.

Not everyone has sleep problems and some in fact have the opposite and find they want to sleep all the time. I have tried two anti depressants as my doctor says they help with sleep and the pain which is often a problem with fibro but unfortunately had to stop both because of side effects and unfortunately they did not help sleep but I was starting I felt to have a small reduction in pain. I have never been a sleeper but I do think that if the body can have a proper relaxing rest the body copes with pain better and lack of sleep for whatever reason whether through insomnia (my case), pain or stress can have a significant effect on mood this is why antidepressants are often tried with people with fibro.

Many people who seem to have developed fibro have had depression and anxiety before so perhaps their muscles were extremely tense all the time but others like me had no depression beforehand but some stress (because of family circumstances) but started to feel down because of the unremitting pain.

Many people like myself do not have just one illness and it is very difficult sometimes to isolate what symptom us caused by what illness. As you say these pains could be just another extension of your Lupus or could be in combination with fibro. The experts I have spoken to seem to say that fibro is now diagnosed when tests for other things like Rheumatoid Arthritis are negative so in the end the only thing it can be is fibro. There appears to be no blood test that can show it although new research seems to be showing that people with fibro have different responses in their brain to pain stimuli but as usual with fibro there does not seem to be the reserch projects out there like there are for alot of other illnesses.

Have you looked on our mother site FibroAction as there are very good sections outlining symptoms as some of them are really surprising and when I read it I started ticking boxes I had never ticked before.

Good luck in finding an answer.x


Thank you Rosewine for your input. I am rather at sea with just what is causing what. I fit a few of the criteria but these tend to be present before, during or after a flare of my lupus. Most baffling is the change in my pain without change in my inflammatory markers. I also had understood that Doctors are quick to suggest Fibro as a dx whereas mine have not.

I think I need to watch and wait for a little longer before approaching my GP. I have loaded a symptom diary onto my phone to record trends etc.

Interesting that there is so little research into Fibro as I have read that a sizeable percentage of PIP payments go to sufferers of this condition.

Thank you again. Stay well, Clare x


It is a very interesting post as rosewine says. I am so very sorry to read that you are suffering and struggling in this way, and I would ask your doctor outright if they feel that you may have Fibro? They may decide to send you for tests to have other illnesses ruled out of the equation, as it quite usual for a Fibro diagnosis? I want to genuinely wish you all the best of luck.

Al my hopes and dreams for you



hello clare,

I too have lupus and fibro. my symptom's overlap so its impossible for me to what condition Is to blame. both conditions give similar symptoms as well.

I do have depression but again for me that isn't lupus or fibro's fault. I have months of not sleeping well and times of extreme sleepiness (I am experiencing that recently).

my hips, lower back and knees are my most painful places, again lupus & fibro are to blame.

I hope you get answers as not knowing is the worst as you cant help yourself as much without knowledge. (hope this makes sense as I have brain fog thanks to the lovely sunshine).

hugs x


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