Is Fibromyalgia Real?

Is Fibromyalgia real?   I don’t believe at this point in time, anyone can doubt its existence.  Ask anyone and either they or someone they know is dealing with the challenges of Fibromyalgia.

John Kissel, M. D. a neurologist and co-director of the MDA/ALS Center at Ohio State University, used to think that Fibromyalgia wasn’t a real condition, thinking it was a waste-basket diagnosis for patients with unexplained pain, fatigue and depression.  Later, he realized most of the patients with these symptoms are perfectionists who have high expectations for themselves.  They do not adjust well to the limitations of living with chronic pain and learning to relax.  They push through the pain to the point of exhaustion, eventually, learning to adjust their lives and are able to become more active without overdoing. (Neurology now• september/october 2009)


Is Fibromyalgia real and if it is, exactly what is it?  It is considered a syndrome, a collection of related symptoms without an identifiable cause, which include:

    • Pain
    • Anxiety
    • Concentration and memory problems — known as “fibro fog”
    • Depression
    • Fatigue
    • Headaches
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Morning stiffness
    • Painful menstrual cramps
    • Sleep problems
    • Numbness, and tingling in hands, arms, feet, and legs
    • Tender points
    • Urinary symptoms, such as pain or frequency

Tender Points

The diagnosis of Fibromyalgia can be made by identifying tender point areas.

Typically, but not always, patients will have at least 11 of the 18 classic fibromyalgia tender points.  By finding no accompanying tissue swelling or inflammation, and by excluding other medical conditions that can mimic Fibromyalgia, a diagnosis can be made. A lot of people that have these tender spots will literally jump off the table when they are pressed on.

The two tender points on my lower back at my hip bones are highly sensitive. During massage or examination nobody is allowed to press on those spots.

Researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor have found that patients with Fibromyalgia have what’s called a hyper excitable nervous system.  The pain networks in their brains are more easily activated than people who do not have FMS.  Other researchers have also found impairments in a specific brain region that helps to inhibit the body’s response to pain among people with Fibromyalgia.

Is Fibromyalgia Real?  Well, it is not easy to fake Fibromyalgia.

The pain is very real to the patients that live with its ongoing attacks; and yes, they need to be treated. It is true that some patients with FMS do have some anxiety and depression but those are just illnesses associated with Fibromyalgia.

Nothing reinforces the negative feeling about Fibromyalgia than a patient saying, “It hurts everywhere and nothing works.”  These words can be frustrating to the nurse that is trying to get information from you to give to the doctor. Try to describe where exactly you have the pain and what medications you have tried in the past and which ones work better than the others. Be more specific about your symptoms. Try not to have preconceived ideas that you will not be heard; you may have found someone that will truly listen to your concerns and will assist you in feeling better.

It was time to get to know myself.

My doctor classified me in three categories—(a) Genetics—I have three siblings who are also diagnosed with fibromyalgia ; (b) I had emotional and physical trauma in my life; and (c) I had a viral onset of mononucleosis.

For me the challenge of living with a chronic disease became an opportunity to learn about myself. Being a wife, mother and working outside the home as a caregiver, and putting other’s needs before my own took its toll on me emotionally and physically.  Fibromyalgia was a wake-up call.

***Living with a chronic disorder is about getting to know yourself, finding what makes you feel better, becoming aware of what works for you, though it may not work for someone else. It’s all about getting in touch with oneself.


A walk with my fur-baby, Lola and my grandson.

The things that make me happy are being with my grandson, walks with my dog, attending a chair yoga class once a week, and being out with friends.  I love volunteering in the community, making a difference in people’s lives…..paying it forward.

Massages and a warm bath in magnesium-rich epsom salts are wonderful for sore joints and muscles. Of course, the Algae  and the digestive support products that I use have always been a part of my wellness program.

Did you know that most of our immune system is located in the digestive tract?  Keeping our digestive system healthy assists the immune system in achieving optimal wellness, by enabling it to do what it was meant to do — defend, heal and protect the body from pathogenic invaders.

After all, it’s not what we eat, it is what we digest and absorb.  It’s about keeping the immune system fit so the body can perform at its very best!

How do we do this?    By a simple program of a whole-food supplement, since synthetics are not absorbed by the body as a natural food is, probiotics to replenish the good bacteria in the gut and digestive enzymes to aid in the break-down of food and absorption of  nutrients.  I can help you with this.

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I am spreading the word about this amazing super-food!

Today, besides being an active grandmother, I am a volunteer with several PattiFBcommunity organizations and love spreading the word of this amazing super food.

To read more about my journey living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome andFibromyalgia – click here.





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