Fibromyalgia Action UK

Have I found the answer?

I did a search the other day for "fatigue, joint pains and headaches" and guess what came up.

I've been struggling particularly with fatigue (not your every day feeling tired but bone weary despite plenty of sleep) and a bad bout of dizziness (which lasted 12 months or more but has thankfully passed) as well as very sore hips and other painful joints, a bad back and a daily headache. I am also really stiff and uncomfortable in the mornings even after relatively light exercise

When I was really dizzy, I have had MRI scans and some nasty thing stuffed up my nose and more blood taken than you would see in a Hammer House of Horror's movie. Nothing at all showed up and the diagnosis was anxiety.

I have suffered all my life with anxiety and depression and been on medication for best part of 15 years. So if I say to the doctor I am just not feeling right - something is wrong - I'm 50 years of age and shuffling around like an old man despite being active and reasonably fit - then I know the doctor simply dismisses what I am saying as a symptom of the depression.

I was convinced that the blood tests and MRI would show something as I was convinced something was wrong beyond the depression and anxiety. Although I know that many of my symptoms could be a result of depression and anxiety and medication (I am not dismissing them out of hand) having lived with those conditions for so many years I am not convinced it is that.

Perhaps I am clutching at straws, I don't know, and making the mistake of trying to self diagnose without proper experience or knowledge.

Anyway, could I be on to something with FMA and if so, how on earth could I find out? Given that I probably need to eat healthier food, take more excise, reduce my stress and anxiety levels and generally take things a bit easier (I am a workaholic to be fair), does a diagnosis actually matter. Am I just better doing all those other things anyway and seeing if there is an improvement. Answer sounds obvious when I put it like that :)

Anyway, thanks for reading and any help or guidance would be really appreciated.

Haaz

p.s. I am not a serial hypochondriac I promise!

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I can relate to the diagnosis of depression..I called the GP's bluff and said if im that depressed refer me to a community psychiatric nurse, guess what..I wasnt depressed. I would say the way to go is to ask your GP to refer you to a rheumatologist who will be able to make a correct diagnosis. Good luck.x

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Many thanks. My whole family suffers from arthritis and my Mum is crippled with it. Obviously it could be that as well but presumably a Rheumatologist is the person for that as well. I just hate going to the doctors and seeing that look on his face which is very dismissive. Last time I mentioned all this he said "so what do you want from me?". Doesn't fill me with optimism which I why I keep putting it off.

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It all depends on your GPs views as to how he perceives this condition, is it not possible to go to a new GP? otherwise yes a rheumy referral is definitely in order to rule out arthritis if nothing else.

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Hello Haazbeen and a warm welcome to our friendly fibro forum where you can find help, advice, support and friendship. Our mother site fmauk.org has a wealth of information about fibro including guides and links.

Fibro is very difficult to diagnose and is usually given when all other tests are negative. It can mimic other conditions, accompany many more, including anxiety, and seems to be the default diagnosis.

It is not life threatening and although it is not supposed to be progressive, there are many here who would disagree.

I suggest you ask for a referral to a rheumatologist, although in most cases he will just confirm fibro and send you back to your GP to manage, but at least you would know for definite what is causing you all this trouble.

Looking forward to seeing you around the forum.

Kay

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Hi I was diagnosed by the doctor at the pain clinic . Apparently u need to fit certain criteria . I know u have to have at least 12 areas of pain on both sides of ur body . Also the fatigue too. Hope u get sorted 😁

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Hello Haaz

I just wanted to wish you a very warm welcome to the forum :)

You have come to the right place for lots of advice and support.

I am presuming that you are asking about a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia??

If you feel that you do need a definitive answer, you need to ask your GP to refer you to a Rheumatologist. They are the consultants that specialise in diagnosing Fibro.

To answer your question - (just my personal opinion) no. I don't think it does matter whether you have a diagnosis or not.

At the end of the day it wont change anything and sometimes (yet again just my own opinion) I think it can actually sometimes make things worse.

Some doctors seem to be under the impression that we want this awful condition and that we want to drop out of society - whatever that means.

So, if you feel you do need a diagnosis I would recommend that you keep a Pain Diary for a couple of weeks. Write down in bullet points how bad your pain has been, where it has been and how long you have had it for.

Add in what your sleep has been like and something about fatigue.

Doctors like to see something to work with. If you rate your pain from 0 - no pain at all right through to 10 being the worst pain you have ever had this also helps.

Your diary would look something like this

Monday

* Pain - 7

* Mostly in legs

* All day

* Fatigue very bad

* Sleep none

When you see the Rheumatologist take your Pain Diary with you. He or she will find this very useful.

It is possible that if you do not particularly have much pain that you could "just" have CFS/ME. It is possible to have both Fibro & ME (which I have had for 36 years).

It is also possible to have one or the other as well.

I very much hope that some of this helps. I am no expert but do have a lot of experience.

Take care of yourself

Lu xx

Administrator

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Good one mate Stay of the tramodol if you can

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Hi Haazbeen

I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you possibly can be today? Welcome to the forum and it is wonderful to make your acquaintance.

As some of your other respondents have written, a really good place to start would be to ask your doctor for a referral to see a Rheumatologist.

I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck and please take care of yourself my friend.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Really helpful. Going to have to bite the bullet and go and see the GP and take it from there :)

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