Keep Checking…Are you sure it is Fibromyalgia?

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Keep Checking…Are you sure it is Fibromyalgia?

So you have been told that you have Fibromyalgia, but are you sure? It seems that fibromyalgia has become the all-encompassing diagnosis when doctors cannot find something wrong or because of insufficient testing. However, some common health issues present similar symptoms.

Autoimmune conditions such as mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), undifferentiated connective tissue disease, arthritic conditions, lupus and other such autoimmune conditions sometimes results in symptoms that mimics the symptoms of fibromyalgia. The pain and tenderness felt by sufferers with autoimmune conditions can result in a misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia. A good doctor who orders blood work testing for autoimmune markers is likely to differentiate between the conditions, thus enabling sufferers to obtain the correct treatment. In the case of Lupus and some MCTD sufferers, in the absence of the butterfly rash and confirmation from blood tests, it can be a life-threatening situation if the lupus patient is misdiagnosed, and the correct treatment is withheld. While fibromyalgia is debilitating in some cases and causes great pain and discomfort in others, it is not life threatening. Consequently, patients must ensure that once in doubt, their doctors conduct appropriate tests to rule out the more deadly autoimmune conditions.

Thyroid issues are becoming more commonplace especially since persons like Oprah Winfrey indicated the challenges having a thyroid issue could cause. In many cases, thyroid issues can be addressed and medication or surgery used to help sufferers improve their outlook on life. However, when misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, time is wasted treating the wrong condition, thus allowing the thyroid problem to remain untreated for too long. Sufferers of thyroid issue can be either hyperthyroid or hypothyroid, but hypothyroid is most likely to mimic fibromyalgia symptoms as it too causes all over pain, a feel of constant tiredness and memory issues. If you are not sure that your fibromyalgia diagnosis is correct, then ask your doctor to run thyroid tests just to be sure.

Are you sure you are not depressed? A common question a doctor might ask on your visit when you complain of all your ills. Do not be so quick to tell the doctor no. Studies have shown that depression is linked to fibromyalgia although the jury still seems to be out on whether fibromyalgia causes depression or the depression is caused by having fibromyalgia. If you are actually depressed, then the all over aches, tiredness, lack of appetite, weight gain and memory lapses may all be because you are depressed. With the right medication and therapy, depression may be cured or at best managed. Given the multiple causes of depression, with the help of the right doctor, together you both can find out the source of the depression and work towards removing the stressors that trigger the depressive state.

When last have you been in the woods? Do you live in a wooded area?  Do you have pets around you that might have ticks? If you have answered yes to any of these questions and can answer yes to other risk factors, you might have Lyme disease. Unlike the nice creamy key lime pie, you might be craving, having Lyme disease is not desirable. Many people never realize a tick has bitten them and sometimes it is years before the symptoms fully manifest themselves making it difficult to pinpoint when you might have originally been bitten. Lyme disease also causes pains, aches and mimics many other fibromyalgia symptoms, but unlike fibromyalgia, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. While a blood test may show the presence of Lyme disease, the blood test may not always be a reliable indicator of whether or not you have the disease. As such, a good doctor might have to, through detailed work-ups, determine if you have the disease in the absence of a positive blood test.

If you are yawning every few minutes and cannot remember when last you had a good sleep, chances are, you have a sleep problem. Whether from chronic insomnia or sleep apnea issues, person who lack sleep over time are at risk from having their cognitive functions impaired. Such persons are likely to suffer from fatigue, memory issues and body aches. If it sounds like a fibromyalgia sufferer, then understand when sleep issues are often the cause of a person’s suffering and not the fibromyalgia. Whether by using sleep aids or attending a sleep clinic, help is available for chronic sleep deprived sufferers. Notwithstanding that fibromyalgia sufferers do sometimes suffer from sleep issues, the sleep issue itself is not to be the root of the cause; else, the person maybe never really had fibromyalgia.

So, when in doubt that you have Fibromyalgia, follow your instinct, check, then check again! It is better to be sure than to be sorry.




Kimberly Valentine operates which sells Jamaican products shipped directly from Jamaica. She also operates a weight loss forum at where persons can joint the forum to share their weight loss stories and recipes and find support among a community of persons all with the same goal of weight loss and fitness.

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