One member of WebMD’s fibromyalgia community wonders if it's possible that she has been misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia. “My pain is centered in my lower back. I was under the impression that fibromyalgia affects the whole body,” she says. She has back spasms and can’t sit for an extended amount of time. Some days her spine is tender to the touch. A set of X-rays showed she had a curvature in her spine and an MRI showed multiple bulging discs. But her doctor says her back pain is due to fibromyalgia, not the discs. “My doctor says the discs are not the problem,” she says. “Per my doctor, I have over 17 pressure points.”
Her other symptoms include extremely dry eyes, mostly in the morning. “Both eyes feel dry and feel as though there is something in them.” In addition, she has difficulty sleeping and often feels fatigued. She is taking pain medication and a medication for anxiety, but she is no longer doing any type of therapy because it caused too much strain on her back. She wonders if any other community members have experienced similar symptoms.
Managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia or related ailments is not easy. So, many patients turn to alternative therapies for relief of pain and sleep problems. They may use Chinese herbs or over-the-counter supplements such as 5-HTP, melatonin, and SAM-e.
Because so many people -- not just those with fibromyalgia -- are using alternative therapies, Congress has formed the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). It is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and...
One man responds that he had a similar experience when he was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia. “My intro was just in my chest muscles -- I thought I was having a heart attack at the time.” He suggests she see a rheumatologist, if she hasn't already, for an accurate diagnosis. But he says it’s important to find a rheumatologist who is experienced in treating fibromyalgia. “Call around. Your first question should be, ‘Does the doctor treat fibromyalgia?’ Unless you get a definite YES, keep dialing.”
Another community member agrees that the symptoms described sound like fibromyalgia. She says that in her experience, fibromyalgia symptoms can vary a lot from day to day. “I know that in the many years I have dealt with fibromyalgia that there aren’t many days that are the same or many areas of my body that acted or reacted the same time after time,” she says.
One member wonders how to find a doctor in her area who will diagnose fibromyalgia. “I live in the Louisville, Kentucky area and have yet to find any doctor within 100 miles who will diagnose or believe in fibromyalgia,” she says.