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4 Replies
soreandconfused - January 3

I hope someone can shed some light for me. I have been diagnosed with FMS for 7 months. However my syptoms and pain date back 8 years. However in the last three years my feet have been getting more painful, with heel spurs and what i thought to be osteoarthritis (which is what i was told all those years ago) I find sitting, or trying to turn over in bed or walking or any movement requiring use of my legs is just more painful and very stiff. I feel and look like a very old woman when I get up from sitting whether it be in the car, lounge or getting out of bed. My doctor says to try endep, what I dont get is why would a anti depressant help with pain I am not depressed. I tried to avoid using it so have tried magnesium,change of diet, valerian for sleep (which i do not get much of_) but nothing seems to work. I seem to be just seizing up, it has also gone to my hands and arms now as well. I still walk, even though I now take twice as long to walk the same distance I once did. I am a bit concerned with becoming addicted to the endep. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice for me.


Fantod - January 3

soreandconfused - Welcome to the board! In reading your post, I feel that you really don't have a very good understanding of how to deal with Fibromyalgia. So, I am going to give you a crash course which may clear up some of your questions and help you cope.

Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a disorder of the central nervous system which causes widespread chronic pain. It is correctly referred to as a syndrome. The mechanism that causes it is not understood. There is no cure but it can be managed with certain classes of prescribed medication. OTC remedies do not work for the type of pain associated with FMS.

Fibromyalgia is recognised by the National Arthitis Foundation, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control.

Take some time to read the information in the blue boxes on the lefthand side of this page. There is a lot of good information there. Knowledge is power.

The doctor best suited to treat FMS is a rheumotologist. Have you been tested for a Vitamin D deficiency? This is done with simple bloodwork. Another option is gluten sensitivity. The most accurate result is obtained using a stool sample. Either of these issues will also cause widespread pain.

The three prescribed medications used to treat FMS are Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella. Cymbalata is an antidepressant which addresses both the pain and depression that usually accompanies FMS. Lyrica is advertised on TV in the USA all of the time. Some people experience weight gain with this drug. Unfortunately, most doctors do not seem to be proactive about trying something else when this problem becomes apparent. Savella (also known as Milnacipran) is the newest medication used to treat FMS. It has been used in Europe for decades and was approved for use in the USA in March of 2009.

One of the reasons that you are so sore is lack of restorative sleep. FMS interrupts the deep sleep cycle with short bursts of high intensity brain activity. Your muscles require deep sleep in order to repair themselves from the days activities. No deep sleep means higher levels of pain which rapidly becomes a vicious circle. You should be on a sleep aid. Amitriptyline (endep) is usally prescribed for FMS patients. Addressing the sleep issues associated with FMS is a crucial part of treatment.

I would not be overly concerned about becoming addicted to any of the drugs that I have mentioned. All drug interactions have to be listed now that we have such a ligitious society. Even if the possibility of a complication or addiction is miniscule. And, if you regain some quality of life by using prescribed medication, in my mind, addiction may, in fact, be a necessary evil.

We all have family members or friends who don't understand FMS. Pain is subjective. For some people, if they can not see it than it must not exist. I'd like to recommend a couple of options in this regard. Go to Amazon and order "Fibromyalgia for Dummies." Like all of the Dummies series, it contains good basic information. Read it yourself and pass it along to friends and family members. You can also go online to the National Arthitis Foundation website and use the "search" function to find the information on FMS. Send people a link so they can learn about your condition.

Diet is very important with FMS. If you use anything containing an artifical sweetner (including Splenda) get rid of it. If you need a sweetner use something made from the nontoxic Stevia plant. You can find Sun Crystals or Truvia in the grocery store. Deep fried foods, lunchmeat and red wine (nitrates) will also ratchet up your pain levels.

If you are having problems coping with your illness, I'd like to gently suggest that you consider seeing a counselor for extra support. Many of us see someone to help us cope with FMS. You should try to find a counselor who uses cognitive behavior therapy to help chronic illness patients.

For muscle twitching and cramping you could try Malic Acid. It comes in capsules and is available at any decent health food store. For breakthrough pain try Curamin. This a spice which is highly purified for this application. It comes in capsules too. I use it twice a day for breakthrough pain (I have underlying conditions in addition to FMS).

The longer a chronic pain cycle continues, the harder it becomes to manage or stop. You are not doing yourself any favors by not following the doctor's instructions. Get on a prescribed medication regimen and stay on it whether your symptoms ease up or not. Putting your body through a roller coaster of experimentation is only increasing your overall stress level. Stress and FMS are not a good fit.

As I said, only certain classes of prescribed medication work for FMS. Whether you think you are depressed or not, your options are really limited as to which drugs work for the pain associated with FMS. And, truthfully, I think you are kidding yourself about not being depressed given what you have described in your post.

I know how frustrated you are with all of this. I feel like an ongoing science project most of the time. You've come to the right place. We have a good group of people on this board who will step up to answer questions and lend support. If you are on Skype (Internet phone provider) we can talk one on one. This is the latest brainstorm of one of our other members (Noca). See the "general discussion" area for more about Skype.

I hope that my comments are helpful to you in some way. You are not alone and we welcome your participation on the board. Take care and keep in touch


Auvonto - January 3

take it one day at a time. its so frustrating to have this disorder. i feel for everyone on here because i know how it feels to be ignored of the constant pain im in or getting the "you're too young to act that way" or feeling simply helpless to my family. looking like a whinner to my husband and a failure to my children. i try to do what i can when i can and have a tendency to do more then i should just so i dont look lazy or like i just want "attention" and then there are those that have become used to you and its nothing to them. I told my husband the other day just because im not moaning or complaining doesnt mean im not hurting. i hurt 24/7 if its not one thing its another. when you see me complain or moan and groan im at the point where it HURTS. I hope you find something soon. do what you can when you can but find your limits dont overdo it. get up, move about a little. if you have to sit for long periods of time. get up now and then to strech yourself out. we are all here for you get better soon.


soreandconfused - January 4

Thankyou for your reply. It helps to get a better understanding of the disease. I have been to a rheumatologist who basically told me to make sure I get out there and exercise. This I do everyday. I have just purchased the Fybromyalgia for Dummies and yes it is helping, and my family also understand better. My family are very supportive, they perhaps fuss too much. I will take your advise and start to follow the doctor, ( I have never been one for medications) now is the time to change. Now is the time to start to listen to the body and not be my usual pig headed self. I am very pleased I have found this site, it is nice to know that it isn't all in my mind, it is very hard when you are aching all over and people tell you you look well and great. Thankyou once again for your reply.


soreandconfused - January 4

Thankyou for taking the time to reply to my post. After reading the replies, I can see now that I will just have to take it slowly and work my way through it. No magical fix. Hope you get better soon.



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